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Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Round Up Saturday 8th March 2014

Monday, 10 March 2014

There were quite a few Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Medallion and Schools’ 1st, 2nd and 3rdxv Cup games played in the lead up to the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Subsidiary Shield semi-final games played on Saturday 8th March.

In the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Medallion Bowl replay of a replay, Belfast High School defeated Lurgan College by 26-7. The Belfast High School team will now meet Bangor Grammar School in the final of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Medallion Bowl at Grosvenor Grammar School on Monday 10th March.

In the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ School semi-final, Methodist College had to work extremely hard before they were able to see off the challenge of a very determined and skilful Wallace High School team. The Wallace High School team attacked from the start of the game and scored an excellent try through their hard working centre, Ryan Branagh, twenty minutes into the game. Ryan Moore added the conversion into give the Wallace HS team a 7-0 lead. Wallace continued to dominate both territory and possession for the majority of the remainder of the first half with Jacob Stockdale continuing to cause immense problems for the Methody defence any time he got the ball into his hands. It was only in the final few minutes of the first half that Methody got close to the Wallace HS line. Methody captain, Michael Lagan, gave his team a major boost when he ran in for a try. Josh Bingham converted the try to draw the score level at 7-7 just before the break.

Wallace High School started the second half strongly and scored an early try through their impressive full back, Philip Hylands. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful but the Wallace HS team had a 12-7 lead. The game now opened up slightly with the Methody team realising they were going have to improve. The Methody outhalf,Josh Bingham, reduced the deficit to 12-10 when he was successful with a penalty opportunity. Back came the Wallace HS team with Ben Finlay, Jacob Stockdale and Jonny Stewart all causing problems for the Methody defence. Somehow they held out and a series of driven mauls saw the Methody team take play deep into Wallace HS territory. A Wallace HS player was binned for continuously collapsing the maul. From the resultant lineout, Methody appeared to have scored only to be brought back for another penalty. Once again, the ball was played into touch. Methody won the lineout and drove the ball over the Wallace High School line for a try with Steven Weir getting the touch down. Josh Bingham added the conversion to give his Methody team a 17-12 lead, a lead they held until the final whistle.

In the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Bowl final Foyle and Londonderry College recorded a hard earned 11-5 victory against Banbridge Academy. The game was played at Dungannon RFC in front of an enthusiastic crowd with both team pl;aying a very positive brand of rugby. The Foyle College team took a 3-0 lead when Alex McDonnell converted a penalty kick. The Banbridge Academy team responded with an unconverted try from their impressive flanker, Ethan Harbinson, to take a 5-3 lead. Both teams were determined to enjoy the occasion and it was the Foyle team that took an 8-5 lead midway through the half when their centre, Mark Wilson, crossed the whitewash for an unconverted try. Just before half time the Foyle College lead was extended to 11-5 when Alex McDonnell was successful with his second penalty of the game.

The second half saw both teams come close to scoring on a number of occasions but both defences held firm. There were no further scores and it was the Foyle and Londonderry College that celebrated their 11-5 victory when the final whistle blew.

Following the game the Banbridge Academy players were presented with their medals by Mr Keith Patton, Ireland Schools’ Selector. Mr David Marshall, representing the Danske Bank, then presented medals to the Foyle and Londonderry College team and the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Bowl to the winning captain, Patrick Leeson.

The Ulster Schools’ Committee, as well as both schools, would like to thank Dungannon Rugby Club for use of their excellent facilities and hosting the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Bowl final.

In the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 2ndxv Cup replay, Belfast High School defeated Dromore High School by 15-7. In the same competition Royal School, Armagh lost by 31-3 against Methodist College.

On Saturday 8th March, Campbell College, Belfast 2ndxv defeated Sullivan Upper 2ndxv by 30-14 in the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 2ndxv Cup. In the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 2ndxv Plate, Omagh Academy defeated Strabane Academy by 28-0.

In the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 3rdxv Cup, Ballyclare Secondary School defeated Grosvenor Grammar School by 51-0, Belfast Royal Academy and Coleraine Academical Institution drew 15-15 and Down High School lost by 31-8 against Methodist College, Belfast.

In the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 3rdxv Plate, Royal Belfast Academical Institution defeated Limavady Grammar School by 47-5

The draws for the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 3rdxv Cup semi-finals and the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 3rdxv Plate quarter-finals have taken place. The results of the draws are as follows:-

 

3rd XV Cup Semi Final

Belfast Royal Academy 3/Coleraine Academical Institution 3 v Methodist College 3

Royal Belfast Academical Institution 3 v Wallace High School 3

 

Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 3rd XV Plate Quarter- Finals

Banbridge Academy 3 v Ballyclare Secondary School

Ballyclare High School 3 v Methodist College 4/Fivemeiletown High School

Royal School, Armagh 4 v Ballymena Academy 3

Campbell College, Belfast 4 v Royal Belfast Academical Institution  4

Matches to be played ASAP

 

The second Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup semi-final saw Sullivan Upper School overcome the challenge provided by Coleraine Academical Institution by 27-14 in an exciting game played in front of a large crowd at the Queen’s University Arena. This win means that Sullivan Upper will appear in the Schools’ Cup Final at Ravenhill for the first time in the history of the school and the competition. Their opponents will be Methodist College, the most successful team in the history of the competition, and the stage would appear to be set for a great final at Ravenhill on the 17th March.

Conditions dictated the game was going to be won or lost up front and it was the display of the Sullivan Upper pack that laid the foundations for their success. They controlled the set piece plays, disrupted the Coleraine AI lineouts on a number of occasions and won the contest at the breakdown with Dave Cave, Andrew Baillie and team captain, Ross Todd, getting through a lot of work.

The Sullivan Upper scrum half, Charlie McEwen, opened the scoring for his team when he took advantage of lack of communication between the Coleraine half backs to touch down for a simple try. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful but the Sullivan Upper team had a 5-0 lead. Mark Adair then kicked a penalty to give his team an 8-0 lead midway through the first half. On the stroke of half time, further pressure from the Sullivan Upper pack presented hooker, Mark Crockford, with the opportunity to touch down for a try. Mark Adair converted the try to give his team a 15-0 lead the interval.

Shortly after the restart, the Sullivan Upper second row forward, Josh Davidson, went over for an unconverted try to put his team into a 20-0 lead. The Coleraine AI team responded positively and set up good attacking positions in the Sullivan Upper 22m area. Conor Shiels, the Coleraine AI captain, took advantage of a Sullivan Upper defensive lapse and ran in for a try. Conor converted the try to reduce the deficit to 20-7. The Sullivan pack then took their driving maul plays close to the Coleraine AI line. Constant Sullivan pressure, on a tiring Coleraine pack, led to a penalty try, which Mark Adair converted, to give his team a 27-7 lead. The Coleraine AI team rallied, once again. A clever chip kick was gathered by Mark Gordon in the Coleraine AI centre. He stepped a number of Sullivan defenders, and outpaced a few more, to run in for an excellent try. Conor Shiels converted the try to leave the scoreboard reading 27-14 in favour of the Sullivan Upper team. Despite the attacking intentions of both teams there were no further scores and it was the Sullivan Upper team, coached by former King’s Scholar’s, Dungannon, Ulster and Ireland captain, Willie Anderson,that celebrated their success at the no-side whistle.

In the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Medallion Trophy Final, Larne Grammar School and Rainey Endowed School played out a 3-3 draw. The game was hosted by Carrickfergus Grammar School and played in front of a good crowd of supporters from both schools. The Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Medallion Trophy and medals were presented to both teams by Mr David Haslett, representing the Ulster Schools’ Committee. The Ulster Schools’ Committee, as well as both schools,  would like to thank Mr Mulvenna, Principal of Carrickfergus Grammar School, the Governors of Carrickfergus Grammar School and Mr Neal Kennedy, Head of Physical Education, for the use of the facilities at Carrickfergus Grammar School and hosting this game.

The Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Medallion Bowl Final will be played at Grosvenor Grammar School on Monday 10th March at 2-00pm. Belfast High School and Bangor Grammar School will contest the final.

The Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Medallion Shield final, which will be contested by Royal Belfast Academical Institution and Ballymena Academy, will be played at the Queen’s Arena on Tuesday 11th March at 2-30pm.

The Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Medallion Plate Final will be played at the Belfast Royal Academy grounds at Roughfort on Thursday 2oth March at 2-30pm. Coleraine Academical Institution and Banbridge Academy will play in the final.

In the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Subsidiary Shield Semi-Final, Limavady Grammar School lost by 14-8 against Ballymena Academy in a somewhat controversial game. Conditions were difficult for both teams with the strong winds, combined with a heavy pitch, ensuring that it was not a morning for free-flowing rugby.

Ballymena were quickly out of the blocks and scored a try after only two minutes when Andrew Magrath cut through the Limavady defence and off-loaded to Jonathan McKeown who finished below the posts.  Andrew added the extras to put his team into a 7-0 lead. Midway through the first half, Andrew Magrath’s clever footwork resulted in another line break and, after several quick phases deep in the Limavady 22m area, Jonathan McKeown powered over for his second try. Andy made no mistake with the conversion to put his side into a 14-0 lead. Both teams had chances late in the first half, especially the home team who thought they had touched down on a couple of occasions only to have the opportunities denied, and the score remained unchanged until the interval.

Limavady started the second half with a successful penalty attempt from Scott McLean to reduce the deficit to 14-3. The Limavady Grammar School team took great confidence from this and continued to put pressure on the Ballymena line with a sustained period of possession. Ballymena seemed to have weathered the storm, but a couple of careless decisions resulted in the away team finding themselves camped on their own line again. After several driven line-outs, the abrasive Limavady pack rumbled over in the corner with Brendan Ferguson getting the touch down.  The difficult touchline conversion was missed and the score remained 14 – 8 until the final whistle sounded for the relieved and elated Ballymena Academy team and travelling supporters.

The second Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Subsidiary Shield Semi-Final took place in Ballymoney where Dalriada School hosted Bangor Grammar School. The Dalriada team controlled the game for long periods of time and ended up as 20-0 winners. The Dalriada pack, once again, dominated lineouts and scrums, which gave their backs good field position throughout the game. Their Ulster U19 squad member, Timmy Emerson, produced a very mature performance at outhalf. He controlled the field position and constantly put the Dalriada team in the right position on the park. Dalriada forced a penalty kicked following a good turnover by Peter Dunlop. Timmy Emerson kicked to the to the corner and Dalriada’s maul gave their backs the opportunity to execute a great strike move which  stretched the Bangor backs  and presented Adam Barton with the opportunity to run in for an unconverted try to give his team a 5-0 lead, a lead they held until the interval.

In the second half Dalriada used the wind to their advantage and scored from two very effective drive mauls through No 8, Scott Malcomson. With a 15-0 lead built up it was Dalriada who continued to control most facets of the game. Good work from the Dalriada pack presented Peter Dunlop with the opportunity to outflank a despairing Bangor Grammar School defence and score an unconverted try in the corner which gave his team a 20-0 lead. Bangor came back into the game late in the second half but it was a case of “too little, too late” and the Dalriada team romped home with their 20-0 victory at the end of the game.

Dalriada will now lock horns with their local rivals from Ballymena Academy in the final of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Subsidiary Shield. This game will take place at Shaw’s Bridge on Wednesday 19th March at 2-30pm.

Reports were received on two Schools’ U17 games played on Saturday 8th March.

Royal School, Armagh and Royal School, Dungannon played out a game which saw the RS Armagh team win by 47-12. The RS Armagh tries came from David Agnew and Grant Hutcheson, both of whom touch down twice, Josh Agnew, Michael Muragasu, Philip Matthews and Jack Campbell. Jack added two conversions as well as one penalty. For the RS Armagh team, there were standout performances from Jonathan Nelson, Oliver McAlpine and David Agnew throughout the game.

Friends’ School and Lurgan College played out an entertaining U17 game which the Lurgan College team won by 36-15. Lurgan College scrum half, Scott Wilson capped a “Man of the Match” performance with two tries while Thomas Neill, Harry Simpson, Ryan Emerson and Matthew Laird scored one each. Lurgan College full back, Robbie Norton converted three of the tries.