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Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Round Up Saturday 1st February 2014

Monday, 3 February 2014

There were two Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup 2nd Round games and one Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Trophy Quarter-Final game played on Wednesday 29th January. These games had been postponed, due to unplayable pitches, on Saturday 25th.

Rainey Endowed School hosted Belfast Royal Academy in their Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Round 2 game in Magherafelt. The Rainey Endowed team dominated the game for long periods of time and won the game by 22-3.

Typical of any Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup match, the first ten minutes of the game were played at a frantic pace. Both teams kicked a lot trying to gain territory and force a mistake from the opposition. Twelve minutes into the game, the Rainey Endowed team was penalised for an infringement at the break down. From the resultant penalty, the Belfast Royal Academy team took a 3-0 lead when Michael Wilson was successful with his kick. Neither team could attain superiority but the Rainey Endowed team missed a chance to draw level when Kieran Lynch was off target with a penalty opportunity. However, midway through the first half a Belfast Royal Academy player was penalised. Kieran Lynch was successful with his conversion to take the score to 3-3. Rainey began to revert to their handling game and this resulted in a try for Eunan Shaw. From inside his own half he received a pass and burst through a tackle. Displaying great footwork, Eunan beat the despairing opposition defence to score a superb try close to the opposition posts. Kieran Lynch converted the try to put his team into a 10-3 lead at halftime.

Rainey took the game to Belfast Royal Academy in the second half and controlled both possession and territory. They came close on a few occasions but the opposition defence held them out. Clever kicking from Kieran Lynch and Mark Rooney keep the Belfast Royal Academy team pinned back deep in the own 22m area. Eunan Shaw then took a ball and made a storming run to break a number of tackles to score his second try of the game. Kieran Lynch kicked the conversion put the Rainey Endowed team into a 17-3 lead. This score gave Rainey some breathing space and they attacked the Belfast Royal Academy defence relentlessly. A break from the Rainey Endowed 2nd Row forward, Conal Murphy, supported by Anton Lupari, led to an excellent team try that was finished off by Rigan Sanderson. The conversion was missed but the Rainey Endowed team now had a 22-3 lead. They held this lead until the no-side whistle to record a well-deserved victory.

Belfast High School had to work hard before finishing their Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 2nd Round encounter against Omagh Academy with a 13-5 victory.

The home side dominated the first half, but both sides made too many errors which stopped the flow of play. A Robbie Reid try and penalty in the first half saw the hosts change ends 8-0 up. With Connor Elliott going over early in the second half, after sustained forward pressure, for an unconverted try, it seemed as if Belfast High School would dominate proceedings. But the visitors, boosted by their fine win over Royal School, Dungannon in the previous round, piled on the pressure and were rewarded with a try late into the game.

Belfast High School coach, Michael Rainey, said: “I thought it was a competent performance from the boys, but the damp and windy conditions didn’t suit our style of play.”

On paper, with five Ulster representatives in the High School line up, the home side looked to have too much quality for their opponents. After a tentative first quarter, which the hosts dominated but couldn’t benefit from, the first breakthrough came. From a good lineout Belfast High School centre, Robbie Reid, found a gap and dived over the line for the first try. Fine Omagh defence prevented any further scores until Robbie Reid slotted a penalty late in the half for an 8-0 lead.

Belfast High School matched the strong Omagh pack early in the second half by keeping the ball from the kick-off. This allowed flanker, Connor Elliott, to pick up and dive in for an unconverted try to extend the lead to 13 points. If the High School team thought that was game over, the visitors proved otherwise. They dominated proceedings for the next quarter and only very strong defence stopped the County Tyrone side from scoring. A stop-start next twenty minutes stopped the flow of the game and Belfast High School attacks were thwarted frequently by the Omagh Academy defence. This aspect of the game seemed to frustrate the high School team. The Omagh academy team was determined not to give up and deservedly scored late in the game after another period of pressure. Belfast High School gave away a series of penalties and free kicks. The Omagh Academy centre, Lloyd Kane, made a great break down the right hand side. He off loaded the ball which  allowed his  full back, Scott Barr, to touch down for an unconverted  try – resulting in the 13-5 scoreline.

Overall, Belfast High School deserved the victory, but as coach, Michael Rainey, said: “We’ll have to step it up a gear if we’re to progress against Wallace in the next round.”

In the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Trophy competition, the Royal School, Dungannon team travelled to play Larne Grammar School. The Tyrone team was able to put the disappointment of their loss in the 1st Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup behind them and won the Trophy game by 40-10.

The RS Dungannon team started strongly and, five minutes into the game, Stuart Moore made a break in midfield. He off-loaded to Jack Milligan who then found the supporting Matthew Montgomery with a clever pass. Matthew outpaced the defenders to touch down for a try. Jack converted the try to see the RS Dungannon team into a 7-0 lead. Shortly after this, Matthew Montgomery broke from his 22m area and, once again, proved too strong for the Larne GS defence. He touched down for his second try which Jack Milligan converted to see his team into a 14-0 lead. The visitorsremained in the ascendancy for the remainder of the first half and got just reward for their endeavours when Jack Milligan scored a try. Jack converted the try to leave his team with a 21-0 lead at the interval.

Just after the restart, a strong break from John Buckley was finished off by Stuart Moore who ran in for the try. The conversion kick was unsuccessful but the RS Dungannon team had a 26-0 lead. The Larne Grammar School pack then started to compete more strongly and they produced some quality possession for their team to use. This allowed the Larne Grammar School team to mount something of a comeback and they ran in two unconverted tries to reduce the deficit to 26-10. However, it was a case of “too little, too late” as the Royal School, Dungannon team finished the game with a flourish. Jack Milligan created the opportunity for Jamie McNeill to score a try, which Jack converted, to give the RS Dungannon team a 33-10 lead. Matthew Montgomery then completed his hat trick with his third try of the game. Jack Milligan was successful with the conversion to secure a 40-10 win for the Royal School, Dungannon team.

There were two midweek games played in the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 2ndxv Cup competition. Wallace High School defeated Dalriada School by 29-8 while Regent House defeated Strabane Academy by 20-6.

In the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 3rd xv Cup competition, two midweek games were played. Methodist College, Belfast recorded a 29-7 win against Banbridge Academy and Fivemiletown High School lost by 14-12 against Down High School. The Methodist College 3rdxv then went on to defeat Ballyclare High School by 41-0 in the next round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 3rdxv Cup on Saturday 1st February.

There were eight Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Medallion Shield Quarter-Final games scheduled for Saturday 1st February. Unfortunately, due to adverse weather conditions, only three games took place. The results are as follows:-

Dalriada School 0 Campbell College, Belfast 12

Grosvenor Grammar School 12 Coleraine Academical Institution 3.  The Grosvenor Grammar School Medallion team has picked up some very impressive results in recent games, including a 26-0 win against a very strong Belfast Royal Academy team. In their Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Medallion Shield game, against the very strong Coleraine Academical Institution team, the Grosvenor team scored tries through Taylor Pollock and Daniel Martin. Conor Kernohan  was successful with one conversion kick.

Methodist College, Belfast 24 Dromore High School 0

The Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Medallion Shield games involving games involving Ballyclare High School and Sullivan Upper, Ballymena Academy and Belfast Royal Academy, Omagh Academy and Down High School and Wallace High School and Banbridge Academy have been rescheduled for Tuesday 4th February. The Regent House v Royal Belfast Academical Institution game has been rescheduled for Wednesday 5th February.

In the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Medallion Bowl competition, the game involving Lurgan College and Portadown College has been rescheduled for Tuesday 4th February with a 4-00pm kick off. This game may be played at Lurgan Rugby Club. The Royal School, Dungannon Medallion Bowl game against Royal School, Armagh has also been rescheduled for Tuesday 4th February.

The Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Medallion Trophy game involving Antrim Grammar School and Limavady Grammar School has been rescheduled for Wednesday 5th February.

All the scheduled Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ friendly fixtures scheduled for Saturday 1st February fell victim to the prevailing weather conditions.