Coleraine Inst Medallion win the Bowl Final!
Saturday 28th February
Medallion Bowl Final
Coleraine Inst Medallion travelled to Antrim on Saturday morning to take on Grosvenor in the final of the Medallion Bowl. Both sides have had mixed seasons to date but have built momentum over the past six weeks. Victories against Banbridge and Regent House had given the Coleraine side a real boost and gave them confidence going into the final.
Coleraine started the game with great physicality and tempo. They made a number of line breaks through Hugo Mawhinney, Ross Moore and Marc McClelland but could not turn these opportunities into points.
In the first quarter Coleraine lost their key man and Inspirational leader Callum Beggs to a serious leg injury which was a major blow. This setback was compounded when minutes later out-half Pierce Crowe had to leave the pitch with a leg injury and this really stretched the resources of the squad.
Grosvenor seized the initiative and piled on the pressure with some direct running from their huge pack and accurate kicking from their out-half. Inst showed great maturity to defend with intensity but also keep cool heads under testing circumstances to not let their opponents over the line.
After a real battle and war of attrition between the sides the score at half time was 0-0. The boys used the interval to regroup after the changes in personnel and to refocus on the job at hand. The team knew that it was going to take a massive effort to win the game but there was a steely belief that bringing the silverware home was very much a possibility if they stuck together.
Coleraine spent the majority of the second half camped in their own half. Grosvenor used their big pack to try and grind their opponents down and looked to force penalties and mistakes. Inst defended their hearts out and worked hard as a team to make numerous turnovers and stay in the game.
Coleraine made a number of counter attacks and line breaks but again couldn’t find that last pass or piece of magic to turn pressure into points. With fifteen minutes to go Grosvenor took the lead with a well struck penalty from distance. This blow could have led to Inst falling away but again the boys showed determination and desire to stay in the game.
Coleraine just needed one break and boy did they get it. With ten minutes left on the clock Conor Potts picked up a loose ball, ran over half the pitch and beat a number of defenders to score an absolute wonder try under the posts and send everyone into delirium! Neil Graham converted to leave the score 7 points to 3.
Grosvenor threw the kitchen sink at Inst in the last few minutes but could not break down a very resolute, determined, disciplined and passionate defensive line. Coleraine put their bodies on the line and could not have given anymore. A great turnover close to the Inst line in the final play of the game allowed them to clear the ball off the pitch and the referee then blew the final whistle.
The boys were asked to show character and maturity at half time and they all stepped up to the plate. This was a team effort and was a great example of how pulling together in times adversity can lead to great things.
Thanks to the large crowd that came to support the boys on the day and to your efforts all year. This has been a season full of highs and lows but what a wonderful way to end the season. A day the boys, coaches and parents will never forget. We wish Callum Beggs a speedy recovery from his injury setback and pay a tribute to his great leadership and maturity as captain this year. The squad should be very proud of their efforts,well done and congratulations!