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Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Round Up Saturday 23rd December 2017

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

There was one postponed Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Round 1 game, one postponed Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Medallion Shield Round 2 game as well as three 1stxv friendly games played on Monday 18th December.

In the first round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Carrickfergus Grammar School hosted Strabane Academy in a repeat of a game that took place at the same stage of the competition last season. The only difference was that the Carrickfergus Grammar School had home advantage this season and they took full advantage by recording a hard earned 14-12 victory. The Strabane Academy team started the game strongly and forced the Carrickfergus Grammar School team into making a lot of early mistakes. Ralph Mealiff, Jordan Mealiff and Michael Doherty all asked questions of the home defence which somehow managed to survive the early onslaught. Then it was the turn of the Carrickfergus Grammar School team to go the offensive. They took the game to Strabane and forced the visitors into conceding a lot of territory, possession and penalties! However, the Carrickfergus Grammar School team was unable to take advantage and did not capitalise on the circumstances. The first half finished with neither side able to record any points on the scoreboard.

The second half saw a similar situation develop with both sides experiencing difficulties in putting any meaningful phases together in the opening exchanges. The Strabane Academy team was able to manage the breakdown situations well and turned over a lot of Carrickfergus Grammar School possession. However, with just ten minutes or so remaining the game really came to life. The Strabane Academy team won possession at the breakdown and threw the ball around to good effect. A slick back line attack finished off when their full back, Jamie Brown, hit a great line to finish the attack with a try close to the posts. Jordan Mealiff added the extras to see his Strabane Academy team into a 7-0 lead. This set back seemed to spark some life into the Carrickfergus Grammar School team. Good interplay involving both forwards and backs, presented Jack Leathem with the opportunity to run in for a try, which was converted by Daniel Curley, to draw the scores level at 7-7. With time running out it was the Carrickfergus Grammar School team that was next to score. Josh Irvine took advantage of some good work from his pack and rumbled over the line to touch down for the try. Daniel Curley was, once again, successful with the conversion to give the Carrickfergus Grammar School team a 14-7 lead with just a minute remaining on the clock. The last play of the game saw the gallant Strabane Academy team mount one last attack. They moved the ball around to good effect and Michael Doherty capped a fine personal performance with a try in the corner. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful, the final whistle blew, and it was the Carrickfergus Grammar School team that celebrated their hard earned 14-12 victory.

The Carrickfergus Grammar School team will now host Regent House School in the 2nd Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup on Saturday 6th December while the Strabane Academy team will enter the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Trophy competition.
The draw for the first round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Trophy took place at Ballymena Academy on Tuesday 19th December. The draw was organised by the Mr Stephen Black, Principal of Ballymena Academy and Chairman of the Ulster Schools’ Rugby Committee. The draw was conducted by Messrs Andrews and Murray-Senior Rugby Coaches at Ballymena Academy, The result of the draw is as follows 🙂
Strabane Academy v Wellington College, Belfast.
This game is scheduled to be played on Saturday 6th January
In the second round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Medallion Shield the last of the postponed games took place when Friends’ School, Lisburn hosted Belfast High School. Belfast High school won the game by 22-8 and will now host Down High School in the 3rd Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Medallion Shield on/before Saturday 13th January. Meanwhile the Friends’ School, Lisburn team will have a bye the 1st Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Medallion Trophy competition.

At the same venue the Friends’ School 1stxv, recently returned from a training camp in Portugal, played Portadown College. The Friends’ School team had to work hard before eventually emerging from the game as 16-14 winners. Friends’ School took a 3-0 lead when Ben McCaughey converted a penalty opportunity early in the game. This became 10-0 when Ross Stewart crossed the Portadown College line to touch down for a try which was converted by Ben McCaughey. The Portadown College team displayed great resolve and responded with a try from Dylan Nelson, which was converted by Adam Speers, to leave the scoreboard reading Friends’ School, Lisburn 10 Portadown College 7 at the interval.

Portadown ill-discipline in the opening stages of the second half led to them conceding a number of penalties. Ben McCaughey converted two of these penalties to give the Friends’ School team a 16-7 lead going into the final quarter of the game. The Portadown College team launched an attack from deep and some great handling was rewarded when Brett Fleck finished the flowing move off with a try. Adam Speers added the extras but it was the Friends’ School, Lisburn team that celebrated their hard earned 16-14 victory when the no-side whistle sounded.

Royal School, Armagh hosted Belfast Royal Academy in a postponed 1stxv friendly game at the College Hill venue. The Royal School, Armagh team won the game by 40-7 and scored six tries in the process. The try scorers were Ryan Finlay, Josh McClure, Aaron Woods, Jack Chapman, Nicky Jennings and Jack Treanor. The ever reliable Benji Boyd was successful with five out of his six conversions.
The Belfast Royal Academy points came through a try from Adam Kane which was converted by Harry Warke.
Larne Grammar School hosted Cambridge House Grammar School in a closely contested game the Cambridge House team won by 7-0. Rhys Ervine scored the Cambridge House try which was converted by Sam Millar.

On Wednesday 20th December Cambridge House School played Foyle and Londonderry College at Eaton Park in a game the Cambridge House team won by 40-3. The Cambridge House points came through tries from Kane McIlroy, Peter Munce, Sam Millar, Andrew Wilson, Rhys Ervine and Curtis Henry. Sam Millar was successful with six conversions. Keelan Coyle converted the penalty opportunity for the Foyle and Londonderry College team.
Both teams would like to thank Ballymena RFC for the provision of facilities and hosting the game.
Methodist College, Belfast finished off their training camp in Portugal with a game against the Portugal National U19 team. The Methody team brought their camp to a successful conclusion by winning this prestigious fixture by 31-19. Chris Larmour scored two tries for the Methodist College team with Ethan McIlroy, Samuel Bernard and Tom O’ Doherty each touching down for one. John Fletcher was successful with three conversion kicks.

On Thursday 21st December Ballyclare High School played Campbell College in the 2nd Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 2ndxv Cup. The Campbell College team won the game by 33-5.
Ballymena Academy 2ndxv played Antrim Grammar School 1stxv in a game the Ballymena Academy team won by 11-5. Ben McDonagh scored the Antrim Grammar School try.
Grosvenor Grammar School played the Malone U18 team in a friendly game the Grosvenor Grammar School team won by 24-5. The Grosvenor Grammar School team scored four tries through Isaac Skillen, following good work from his pack, Matthew Logan, following a series of hard carries in the Malone 22, Jack Patterson, who benefitted from a clever “pop” pass from Jos McConkey, and Ali Norton, who took advantage of a great off-load from Dan Whitcroft. Jos weighed in also with two successful conversions.
On Saturday 23rd December a small number of school friendlies took place alongside one Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 2ndxv Plate game
In the first round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 2ndxv Plate Banbridge Academy played Lurgan College in a game the Banbridge Academy team won by 13-10. The Banbridge Academy points came from Scott Buchannon and Roger Russell tries with Roger converting a penalty kick opportunity as well.

The Lurgan College No 8, Tyler Boyce, capped a fine personal performance when he scored two unconverted tries in the course of the game.
At 1stxv level Banbridge Academy lost by 40-7 against Lurgan College on Saturday 23rd December. The Lurgan College team had built up a 19-0 lead by the break through tries from Ewan Mulligan, who took advantage of a great line break from Jack Maxwell, Reuben McCreery, who ran strongly from the base of a scrum, and Ryan Holmes who cut a great line close to the posts. Jack Maxwell added two conversions.
The second half saw the Lurgan College team score three more tries through James McAllister, who carried strongly close to the line, Jack Maxwell, who finished off following a telling break from inside his half, and Matthew McConaghy, who took advantage of a great break from Jon Woods. Jack Maxwell added the three conversions. The Banbridge Academy points came from an Alex Shannon try, following good work from the impressive Robert Ashfield, which was converted by Chris Patterson, midway through the second half.
Ballyclare High School defeated the Ulster Clubs’ U18 Select xv by 32-17 when the teams met at the Rashee Road venue. The Ballyclare High School team scored six tries in the course of the game. Ewan Wasson and Adam Campbell touched down twice with Owen Lockhart and Josh Young scoring one try apiece. Adam Clarke added one conversion.

The Ulster Clubs’ U18 team scored three tries, one of which was converted.
Bangor Grammar School hosted Royal Belfast Academical Institution in a game the visitors won by 19-0. The Belfast Inst team had built up a 14-0 lead by half time with tries from David McCann and Ethan Sloan, both of which were converted by Angus Adair.
The only score in the second half came through an unconverted try from Simon McMaster which secured the 19-0 victory for the Royal Belfast Academical Institution team.