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Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Round Up Saturday 4th February 2017

Monday, 6 February 2017

In the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup 4th Round Dalriada School played Ballymena Academy in a game the Ballymena Academy team won by 38-24. The Ballymena Academy team had to work hard for their victory against a Dalriada School team for whom Thomas Hunter was outstanding. The Ballymena Academy team started strongly and took a 14-0 lead in the opening stages of the first half. Oisin Jordan touched down for a try which was converted by Bruce Houston before Azur Allison scored a try which, once again, was converted by Bruce Houston. The Dalriada School then recovered from these early setbacks and took the game to the Ballymena Academy team. Thomas Hunter kept up his impressive try scoring record in the current Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup campaign when he took advantage of hesitancy in the Ballymena Academy defence to run in for a try. He added the conversion to reduce the Dalriada deficit to 14-7. Ross Fallows then outpaced the Ballymena Academy defence to touch down for a try. Thomas Hunter added the extras to draw the scores level at 14-14. Just before the halftime break Oisin Jordan touched down for his second try of the morning. The conversion kick was unsuccessful but the Ballymena Academy team had a 19-14 lead going into the break.

Dalriada reduced the deficit to 19-17 early in the second half when Peter Elliott was successful with a penalty kick. The Ballymena Academy team then increased their lead to 26-17 when Stewart Moore ran in for a try which was converted by Bruce Houston. Back came the spirited Dalriada team and Dennis Posternak ran in for a try. Peter Elliott added the extras to reduce the Dalriada arrears to 26-24. The introduction of Angus Kernohan to the Ballymena Academy backline seemed to reduce the anxiety levels within the team. Mark Thompson scored a try, which was converted by Bruce Houston, to put the Ballymena Academy team into a 33-24 lead. Mark Thompson then sealed the deal for the Ballymena Academy team when he ran in for an unconverted try which secured their 38-24 victory.

Campbell College, Belfast hosted their close neighbours from Sullivan Upper School in a game the Campbell College team won by 29-5. The game was played in superb conditions in front of a sizeable crowd of supporters. The game was a typical Schools’ Cup encounter which was played in a great spirit by both teams Tom O’Toole opened the scoring for the Campbell College team when he carried the ball strongly before touching down for the try. Will Davis added the extras to put the Campbell College team into a 7-0 lead. Just before the break the Sullivan Upper team lost their inspirational captain, Ruairi Meharg, to an unfortunate knee injury. However, his team mates did manage to garner some reward for their first half endeavours when their industrious blindside flanker, Mike Hooper, scrambled his way over the Campbell College whitewash to touch down for an unconverted try which reduced the Sullivan Upper deficit to 7-5 at the break.

The second half saw the Campbell College team take control of the game despite the best intentions of Sullivan Upper players such as Matty Moran, Rory Kilpatrick, Jules Storey and Shaun Tyler. Campbell dominated territory and possession for long periods of time. Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ U18 player, John McKee, displayed some impressive skills with his ball carrying ability. He made four clean breaks in behind the Sullivan Upper defence which gave the Campbell College team front foot ball. Matthew Crowther, Jamie Macartney, Oscar Yandall and Harry Owens all thrived on the supply of quality possession. John McKee scored two second half tries with the elusive Ben Webb and the hard working Ben Power touching down for one try each. Will Davis added one conversion to secure the 29-5 win for the Campbell College, Belfast team.
Friends’ School, Lisburn took to the pitch against Grosvenor Grammar School in the 4th Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup missing a number of key players through injury and non-availability. Despite enduring an emotional start to the game the Friends’ School team went on to record a 30-0 victory against a very committed Grosvenor Grammar School team. It took the Friends’ School team some time to settle into their stride but once they did things came together very well. Ben McCaughey settled the nerves when he converted a penalty in the twenty fifth minute to give the Friends’ School team a 3-0 lead. Five minutes later Bradley Mulholland took on the Grosvenor Grammar School defence and outpaced them before off-loading a clever pass to David Newell. David then finished off with an unconverted try which gave the Friends’ School team an 8-0 lead at the halftime break.

The Friends’ School team then started to control the game in the opening exchanges of the second half. Their backline moved the ball to good effect before David Stewart finished a move off with a try. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful but the Friends’ School team had increased their lead to 13-0. A few minutes later Ben McCaughey blasted his way through the Grosvenor Grammar School and finished things off with an unconverted try to give his team an 18-0 lead. Five minutes later the Friends’ School captain, Adam Milligan, got rewarded for his impressive performance and leadership when he ran in for a try. Ben McCaughey added the conversion to increase the Friends’ School lead to 25-0. With just five minutes of the game remaining the well-deserved Friends’ School, Lisburn 30-0 victory was assured when Curtis Dundas touched down for an unconverted try.

It was a strangely complacent Enniskillen Royal Grammar School team that took to the pitch against the Royal School, Armagh team in the 4th Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup. The Royal School, Armagh team had built up a 24-0 lead by halftime before going on to record a 24-5 victory. The Royal School, Armagh team started the match brightly and, from the kick off, set about recycling the ball through a number of phases with both backs and forwards making hard yards. This positive start finished off with an unconverted try from Matthew Kilic when he barged over to open the scoring and give his team a 5-0 lead. The Enniskillen RGS team responded with a forceful attack of their own but good defence by James Dunne and Jack Chapman saw the ball turned over and Glen Faloon cleared his lines. The Royal School, Armagh team then got on the scoreboard to increase their lead to 10-0 with an unconverted try from Nicholas Jennings following good work from Ryan O’Neill and Matthew Reaney. The match then ebbed and flowed with both teams playing excellent rugby but both defences were on top. Armagh then scored before half time with Ryan O’Neill and Zac Thompson both crossing the whitewash to score tries. Glen Faloon converted both tries to put Royal School, Armagh 24-0 ahead at the break.

Enniskillen Royal Grammar School emerged as a different side after the break. They took the game to the Armagh team with players such as Jack Rutledge, William Dowson, Andrew Dane, Jack Wilson and team captain, Andrew Crawford, getting through a lot of work in the Enniskillen RGS pack. They produced some quality possession which the Enniskillen half back pairing of Matthew Dane and Reece Smyton used effectively to put their team onto the front foot. However, they found the RS Armagh defensive line up to be very difficult to break down. The Armagh team turned over some Enniskillen RGS attack ball which allowed Benjamin Boyd and Glen Faloon, the impressive RS Armagh halfbacks, to effectively clear the danger at crucial times. That was until the fifty fifth minute when the Enniskillen RGS winger, Ewan Haire, stood his opposite number up before touching down for an unconverted try to reduce the Enniskillen RGS arrears to 24-5. Both teams went on the offensive for the last ten minutes but both defences were unwilling to let anything through. This ensured the Royal School, Armagh team finished the game as deserved 24-5 winners.


The Down High School team hosted the Methodist College, Belfast team in an intriguing Danske Bank Ulster Schools 4th Round game from which the Methodist College team emerged eventually as 15-8 winners.
The Methodist College team started well and took play deep into Down High School territory. They pressurised the home team into conceding a number of penalties which saw the Methodist College team take the lineout option close to the Down High School line. From one such lineout the Methodist College team produced a trade mark driven maul. This was finished off when the ball was released to Paul Kerr who touched down for a try. Paul added the conversion to give the Methodist College team a 7-0 lead. Down High School responded in a positive fashion and took play into the Methody half. Lewis Finlay, the Down High School scrum half, displayed good game management skills and forced the Methody team into defence. A Methody player entered a defensive ruck from the side and, from the resultant penalty, Marcus Graham was accurate with his kick to reduce the Down High School deficit to 7-3. Down High School then missed a penalty opportunity before taking an 8-7 lead just before the break. A flowing attack, involving both forwards and backs, was finished off when William Annett ran in for an unconverted try to see an increasingly confident Down High School team take their deserved lead into the interval.

Midway through the second half an accidental collision saw the game delayed for a period of timer while the injured player was treated. Shortly after the restart of the game Paul Kerr put his Methodist College team into a 10-8 lead when he was successful with a penalty kick. This seemed to galvanise the Methodist College team who now wentt into attack mode. Team captain, Matty Loane, led the way and he received good support from players such as Ben Crangle, Thomas Gallagher, Jonny Jordan and Conor Scollan. It was Thomas Gallagher that secured the 15-8 win for the Methodist College team when he stormed in for an unconverted try with little time remaining.

The Royal Belfast Academical Institution team entertained the Ballyclare High School team in the 4th Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup. The Belfast Inst team had built up a 28-0 lead by the halftime break before going on to win the game by 54-0. Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ scrum half, Niall Armstrong, Ulster U19 players, Michael Lowry and Rhys O’Donnell and the impressive Zak Davidson each scored a try in the first half. Ulster U19 player, James Hume was successful with all four first half conversions. The first two tries came within the first five minutes of the game.
The Ballyclare High School team made the Belfast Inst team work hard for their next points. However, they eventually arrived midway through the second half when Michael Lowry touched down for an unconverted try and his second of the game. Conor McCormack, James Hume and Ulster U16 RDS Squad member, Angus Adair, then went on to score the remaining tries. James Hume added two conversions with Ulster U19 player, Joe Finnegan adding a third to secure the impressive 54-0 victory for the Royal Belfast Academical Institution team.

Wallace High School hosted a very determined Omagh Academy team in the 4th Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup. The Wallace High School team had built up a 20-7 lead by the interval before going on to win the game by 44-14. The Wallace High School team started the game by setting out clearly their intentions. Josh Cardosi scored a try in the corner, which Tom McKendry converted, to put his team into a 7-0 lead. The Wallace High School team continued to move the ball at pace and, despite the defensive work being done by Nathan Sides and Gary McCrossan, Stephen Courtney touched down for a try in front of the Omagh posts. The conversion attempt was charged down by Kyle Beattie but the Wallace High School team had increased their lead to 12-0. The Wallace High School team then scored an unconverted try through Conor Rankin. The difficult conversion attempt was unsuccessful but the Wallace High School lead had increased to 17-0. A Tom McKendry penalty further increased the Wallace High School lead to 20-0. Then the Omagh Academy scrum half, Taine Lagan, made a break before off-loading to Kyle Beattie who finished off with a try. Kyle added the conversion to leave the halftime score reading 20-7 in favour of the Wallace High School team.

Omagh Academy started the second half in a commanding manner. From the restart a strong chase from James Longwell put the Wallace High School defence under pressure. Deane Kane forced a spillage and Fintan Lagan gathered the ball and scored under the Wallace High School posts. Kyle Beattie added the conversion to reduce the Omagh Academy deficit to 20-14. The Wallace High School recovered well from these Omagh Academy scores. They went on to score four second half tries through Josh Cardosi, Stephen Courtney, Andrew Reid and Jack Brown. Tom McKendry was successful with two conversions thus securing the 44-14 victory for the Wallace High School team.


The Belfast Royal Academy team was in rampant form when they defeated the Rainey Endowed School team by 44-7 in the 4th Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup.
With Matthew Dalton, Tom Stewart, Tom Gilpin and Bradley Luney ensuring the Belfast Royal Academy team was producing a lot of quality possession the Academy captain, Conor McAuley, ensured his team was on the front foot. Lewis Davidson, the Academy centre, impressed with his ability to break the Rainey Endowed School defensive line on regular occasions. Eleven minutes into the game Jack Burton charged a Rainey kick down. Jack gathered the ball, beat one defender and off-loaded to Sam Osborne who finished with an unconverted try to give the home team a 5-0 lead. Six minutes later this became 10-0 when Cormac McCracken finished off a well-organised Belfast Royal Academy post lineout driven maul with an unconverted try. Tom Stewart then got rewarded for his hard work with an unconverted try after twenty five minutes to put the Belfast Royal Academy team into a 15-0 lead. Just before the break the Rainey Endowed School team had a venture into the Belfast Royal Academy 22m area. A penalty kick went to the 5m line and, from the resultant lineout, Bryn Davis ran in for a deserved try. Adam Hunter added the conversion to see the halftime score reading 15-7 in favour of the Belfast Royal Academy team.

Now playing with the wind in their backs, the Belfast Royal Academy team spent long periods of time in the second half in the Rainey Endowed 22m area. Eight minutes into the second half Conor McAuley converted a penalty opportunity to put the Belfast Royal Academy team into an 18-7 lead. Five minutes later replacement player, Jude Cowley, was on hand to score an unconverted try which increased the Belfast Royal Academy lead to 23-7. Two minutes later, Jason Stubbs, just on as a replacement scored try with his first touch of the ball. Conor McAuley added the extras to put the Academy team into a 30-7 lead. With five minutes of the game remaining Tom Stewart scored his second try of the game. Conor McAuley was successful with the conversion to increase the Belfast Royal Academy lead to 37-7. The game finished when Abdullah Sabri ran in for a try, which Conor McAuley converted, to secure the 44-7 win for the Belfast Royal Academy team.

When the results of all the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup and Bowl games came through the draws for the quarter-finals of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup and Shield and the semi-finals of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Bowl took place. The draws were organised by Mr Stephen Black, Chairman of the Ulster Schools’ Rugby Committee, and drawn by Keith McCullagh, Senior Private Banking Manager, Danske Bank, sponsors of the Ulster Schools’ Cup, and Chris Webster, Domestic Rugby Manager of the Ulster Branch, IRFU.

The results of the draws are as follows:
Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Quarter-Finals Draw
Campbell College, Belfast v Royal Belfast Academical Institution
Friends’ School, Lisburn v Belfast Royal Academy
Royal School, Armagh v Methodist College, Belfast
Wallace High School v Ballymena Academy

Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Subsidiary Shield Quarter-Finals Draw
Grosvenor Grammar School v Rainey Endowed School
Ballyclare High School v Sullivan Upper School
Down High School v Dalriada School
Enniskillen Royal Grammar School v Omagh Academy

Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Bowl Semi-Final Draw
Lurgan College v Bangor Grammar School
Regent House School v Royal School, Dungannon

All these games are scheduled to be played on Saturday 18th February 2017.