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Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Round Up Saturday 16th November 2013.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Methodist College V Rockwell College

Methodist College played a recent game against Rockwell College and hung on to win a close encounter by 15-13. The game was a personal triumph for the talented Methody out half, Josh Bingham. Josh scored twelve points in the first half, with two tries as well as one conversion, to give his team a 12-0 first half lead.
The Munster team mounted a challenge to the dominance of the Methody team and took a 13-12 lead in the course of the second half with a goal and two penalties. However, it was that man, Bingham, who sealed the game for his Methodist College team with a well struck penalty in the closing stages of the game; a penalty which secure the 15-13 win for the Methodist College team.

Antrim Grammar School V Wellington College V Wellington College

Antrim Grammar School and Wellington College met in a midweek fixture in Antrim with the visitors coming away with a 26-5 win. Five minutes into the game, Ethan Sweeney scored an intercept try for the Wellington team. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful but the Wellington College team had a 5-0 lead. This became 12-0 some ten minutes later when Andy Hanna scored and converted his try for the Wellington team. The Antrim Grammar School team responded positively and came close to scoring on a number of occasions. However, the Wellington College defence was in no mood to let anything through and the score stayed at 12-0 until the interval.
The second half saw the Antrim team dig deep in terms of defence to keep their line intact. There was little they could do to prevent Matthew Elliott from touching down for a try, following a great exchange of passes between his forwards and backs. Andy Hanna converted the try to increase the Wellington College lead to 19-0. The Antrim Grammar School replied with an excellent unconverted try from their talented winger, Adam Johnston, to reduce the arrears to 19-5 with fifteen minutes to go. The Wellington team sealed the result when Josh Garnham scored a try which Andy Hanna converted to leave the final score reading 26-5 in favour of the Wellington College team.

Rainey Endowed School V Cambridge House

Rainey Endowed School fielded an “A” xv against Cambridge House when the two teams met in a midweek fixture. The Rainey team emerged from the encounter as 52-17 winners. Andrew Conway scored a hat trick of tries for the Rainey Endowed School team with Eunan Shaw, Rory Nicholl, Mark Rooney, Andrew Nicholl and Kieran Lynch all touching down once each. Kieran added six conversions for the Rainey Endowed School team.

Methodist College V Sullivan Upper

The “Match of the Day” on Saturday 16th November was the clash at Pirrie Park where Methodist College hosted the very talented Sullivan Upper team. The teams met earlier in the season, in a game which Methody won, when both teams were missing players on Inter Provincial duty. Both teams were close to full strength in the Pirrie Park game and Methody had to work hard before they emerged as 29-14 winners. The home team dominated proceedings in the first half and had built up a 22-0 lead by the interval. The Methody scrum was dominant and their back row trio won the battle at the break down. This provided the opportunity for the talented Methody back division to test the Sullivan defence and, test them, they did! Conor McKee was dominant in midfield and scored the first try of the game after just three minutes. The try was not converted but the home team had a 5-0 lead. The Sullivan Upper team responded immediately and had the opportunity to reduce the arrears from the restart. Unfortunately for Sullivan, a penalty kick opportunity was missed. Conor McKee worked hard to off load to Saul Herdman after eleven minutes and Saul finished with a fine try. Again, the try was not converted but the Methody team now had a 10-0 lead. Methody continued to dominate the game and Conor Kelly scored an unconverted try on twenty five minutes to put Methody into a 15-0 lead. This became 22-0 just before the interval when Conor Kelly touched down for his second try of the game for a try, which Josh Bingham converted, to give the Methody team a comfortable lead.

A few well-chosen words at the break from the Sullivan Upper coach, Willie Anderson, seemed to galvanise the Sullivan Upper team. They started the second half by taking advantage of poor Methody play when David McMaster touched down for a try less than a minute after the restart. Mark Adair converted the try to reduce the arrears to 22-7. Ross Todd, Dave Cave, Fergus Jemphrey and Josh Davidson got through an immense amount of work in the Sullivan Upper pack and the Sullivan team asked questions of the Methodist College defence for most of the second half. Good work in the scrum from the Methody front row provided respite at times for the Methody team but the Sullivan Upper team got rewarded for their second half endeavours when Chris Griffiths crashed over for a try with just ten minutes of the game remaining. Mark Adair added the extras to take the score to 22-14, still in favour of the home team. Shortly after this Josh Davidson seemed to have scored a third Sullivan Upper try only to knock the ball on in-goal. Close to the end of the game and, on a rare second half visit to the Sullivan Upper 22m area, the Methody pack won good ball from a lineout. Michael Lagan got his hands on the ball and proved to be unstoppable as he crashed over the Sullivan Upper line to score a try. Josh Bingham added the conversion to ensure a hard earned 29-14 victory for the Methodist College team.

Methodist College 2ndxv V Belfast Metropolitan

Meanwhile, on the back pitch at Pirrie Park the Methodist College 2ndxv recorded a fine 29-7 victory against the Belfast Metropolitan College Rugby “Academy” team.

Sullican Upper 2ndxv V Regent House

A second Sullivan Upper team travelled to play Regent House and recorded a hard earned, but deserved, 20-17 win.

Coleraine Academical Institution V Limavady Grammar School

Coleraine Academical Institution, having drawn 0-0 in a midweek game with Limavady Grammar School, continued their recent good run of good form with an excellent 48-3 win over Portora Royal School in Coleraine. Playing into the elements in the first half, Coleraine AI struck early on with an excellent try from centre, and captain, Conor Shiels. His mazy run came after an impressive display of handling from the Coleraine AI forwards.  Conor converted his try to give his team a 7-0 lead. On nine minutes Coleraine AI struck again when surging runs from prop, Danny McAllister, and second row, Thomas Pethick, led to quick rucks which released 1stxv debutant, Niall Cameron, to out- pace the covering defence to score in the corner. The try was not converted but the Coleraine AI team had a 12-0 lead. A few minutes later the Coleraine AI team scored again on when Conor Shiels made another excellent break in midfield and timed his pass perfectly to release wing Brad Dempster who scored an unconverted try in the corner to give his team a 17-0 lead. On a rare visit into the Coleraine AI half Portora got their only score of the game with a well struck penalty to reduce the arrears to 17-3 after eighteen minutes of the game. Two minutes later Coleraine AI struck again Conor Shiels made another telling break and popped the ball to Danny McAllister. Danny, in turn, drew a defender to release Brad Dempster. Brad then cleverly drew the last defender to pop the ball inside to the supporting Danny McAllister. Danny was stopped just short of the line by some desperate last ditch defencebut the Coleraine AI hooker, Kieran Burns, was a hand to pick up and dive over the line for another Coleraine unconverted try to leave the score at the break reading 22-3 in favour of the Coleraine AI team.

Two minutes after the restart, Joel Stanbridge, returning from illness made an impressive midfield break. He kept the ball alive by popping it inside to Thomas Pethick who, in turn, fed Ally Corbett who made further inroads into Portora RS territory. Ally cleverly fed Conor Shiels who raced over to score another try which he converted to give the Coleraine AI team a 29-3 lead. Three minutes later Coleraine AI scored a carbon copy of their previous try when Joel Stanbridge made another excellent break, off loaded to Ollie McDowell who, in turn, fed Thomas Pethick who timed his pass well to Conor Shiels for the captain to race in for another try which he converted to put his team into a 36-3 lead. Midway through the second half Thomas Pethick capped an excellent performance when he scored a try after some excellent work by his pack. The conversion was missed but the Coleraine team had a 41-3 lead. Coleraine AI completed their scoring spree, with ten minutes remaining, when a poor Portora clearance released the illusive Mark Gordon. The centre skipped past several would be tacklers to score an excellent individual try under the posts. Conor Shiels converted the try to leave the Coleraine Academical Institution team as 48-3 winners.

Dalriada School V Larne Grammar School

Dalriada School hosted Larne Grammar School and recorded a comfortable 66-0 win.

Portadown College V Cambridge House

Portadown College hosted Cambridge House and won the game by 43-17.

Grosvenor Grammar School V Campbell College

Grosvenor Grammar School hosted a bigger and stronger Campbell College team that had last season’s Ireland Schools’ winger, Jack Owens, back in harness for the first time this season. Despite the hard work of the Grosvenor GS team, with players such as Sam Purdon standing out, the Campbell College team won the game by some 70 points.

Royal School, Dungannon V Royal Belfast Academical Institution

Royal School, Dungannon, played a Royal Belfast Academical Institution “Select” xv in a game that fished in a 24-24 draw. The RS Dungannon team found themselves trailing by 17-0 after only ten minutes of the game when the Belfast Inst team scored two converted tries as well as a penalty. The home team then responded with a try from John Buckley which was converted by Jack Milligan to leave the Belfast Inst team leading 17-7. A few minutes later John then created havoc in the Inst defence when he broke through and off-loaded to Jack Milligan who finished with a try. Jack converted his try to reduce the arrears to 17-14. Just before the half time whistle the RS Dungannon team took a 21-17 lead when Thomas Downing took advantage of good work from his fellow forwards and ran in for a try. Jack Milligan converted the try.
The second half saw the Dungannon lead increase to 24-17 when Jack Milligan scored with a finely struck drop goal. Both teams were in attack mode but, both defences held out. That was until the Belfast Inst team exploited a gap in the RS Dungannon defence to run in for a converted try to leave the final score as a 24-24 draw.

Ballyclare High School V Bangor Grammar School

Ballyclare High School played a Bangor Grammar School team missing a number of regular players. The Ballyclare High School team got back to winning ways and recorded an 11-3 victory. The Bangor GS team had taken a 3-0 lead in the first half with a well struck penalty. Ballyclare HS responded with an unconverted try to give them a 5-3 lead, a lead they held until the break.
Playing with the wind in their backs in the second half, the Ballyclare HS team controlled the game in terms of territory as well as possession. Mattie McDowell converted two second half penalties to secure their 11-3 win.

Banbridge Academy V Belfast High School

Banbridge Academy hosted the high flying Belfast High School team and found themselves losing the game by 41-0. The Belfast HS team scored seven tries, three of which were converted, to secure their 41-0 victory.

Omagh Academy travelled to Wales to play YGG Cymer & Treorchy College

Omagh Academy took the opportunity to travel to Wales to play two games and then attend the Wales v Argentina game at the Millennium Stadium. In their first game the team lost by 20-7 against a very physical YGG Cymer team with Stuart Ballantine scoring and converting the Omagh Academy try.

The second tour game was played against Treorchy College and the Omagh Academy team put on a fine display of attacking rugby to win the game by 17-5. This game featured a number of young 2ndxv players such as Stuart Young and Jonny Anderson, both of whom played well. Richard White scored a try following good work from Josh McKinley in the Omagh lineout. Stuart Ballantine converted the try to give his team a 7-0 lead. This became 12-0 when Jack Mitchell crashed through the Treorchy defence to run in for an unconverted try.

The home team scored an unconverted try at the start of the second half when their impressive No 8 touched down. However, the Omagh Academy team sealed their well-deserved 17-5 win when Scott Barr scored an unconverted try in the corner with just minutes remaining.

Royal School, Armagh plays Wallace High School

A less than full strength Royal School, Armagh team travelled to play Wallace High School and lost the game by 19-5. The Wallace HS team had taken a 7-5 lead by half time with the RS Armagh try coming from Kyle Faloon. The Wallace try came with the last play of the first half from their impressive scrum half, Jonny Stewart, and was converted by Ryan Moore.

The Wallace HS back row was dominant at the break down and provided quality possession from which the team scored two second half tries through Philip Hylands and Ben Finlay. Ryan Moore converted both tries. The RS Armagh pack, with Philip Matthews putting in a good performance, was dominant at the set piece in the course of the game.

Down High School V Belfast Royal Academy at Roughfort

Down High School travelled to play Belfast Royal Academy at Roughfort and came away with an impressive 39-7 victory. The home team took an early 7-0 lead with a converted try but from that stage on most of the game was controlled by the Down High School team. Patrick Wright kicked a penalty goal to reduce the arrears to 7-3. Down HS might have scored more points in the first half but a number of poor final passes ensured the score remained at 7-3 until the break.
Playing with the wind in the second half the Down HS team scored early tries through Ricky Gill, Thomas McCavera and William Martin. Chris Gibson, playing at scrum half, was next to score a try, closely followed by a try from Patrick Wright. Patrick added four conversions, as well as a penalty, to leave the final score reading 39-7 in favour of the confident Down High School team.

Lurgan College V Antrim Grammar School

Lurgan College travelled to Antrim Grammar School and, following an entertaining game, came away with a 20-0 win. Both teams were wishing to move the ball at every opportunity and it was the Lurgan College team that scored the tries. Jordan McIlwaine gave his Lurgan team a 5-0 lead, after just one minute of the game, when he ran in for an unconverted try. The Antrim team responded positively but could not break down the Lurgan College defence. The Lurgan team held their 5-0 lead until the half time whistle.

Ten minutes into the second half, Mark McIlwaine converted a penalty kick to give his Lurgan College team an 8-0 lead. Mark then converted a Matthew Laird try to increase the lead to 15-0. A last minute unconverted try from the effervescent Lurgan College scrum half, Drew Davis, sealed the 20-0 win for his team.

Ireland U19 fixture against Australia Schools’ at Ravenhill Saturday 14th December

The Ireland U19 team will play against the touring Australia Schools’ team at Ravenhill on Saturday 14th December. This game is scheduled to kick off at 2-30pm. The Ireland squad will be announced shortly and will meet in Dublin on Saturday 7th/Sunday 8th December for a two day preparation camp. The squad will then reconvene in Belfast on Wednesday 11th December to complete preparations for the Test Match at Ravenhill on December 14th.

Colin McEntee, IRFU High Performance Manager, along with Nigel Carolan, the Connacht Academy Manager, will coach the Ireland team. Barney McGonigle is the Ireland team Manager; Dr Tim O’Flanagan is team Doctor with Barry Smith team Physiotherapist, Declan Browne in charge of S&C and Pat Downey in charge of team logistics. Vinny Hammond, IRFU Video Analyst, will provide technical back up to the management team and players.