Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Round Up Saturday 12th October 2013: By Barney McGonigle – HOTTING UP OUT THERE!

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Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Round Up Saturday 12th October 2013

There was one midweek fixture played in the lead up to a full schedule of games on Saturday 12th October.

Portora Royal School hosted their close rivals from Omagh Academy in Enniskillen and ended up winning a very closely contested game by 19-17.

The Royal Belfast Academical Institution team had travelled to play Ballyclare High School on Saturday 5th October and came away with a 30-3 win.

The Belfast Inst scores came through Rory Campbell who kicked two penalties as well as two conversions and scored a try, Robert Lyttle, who scored twice, and Andrew McGrath. The Ballyclare High School points came from a Matthew McDowell penalty in the opening stages of the second half.

The Royal Belfast Academical Institution team then hosted the Coleraine Academical Institution team on Saturday 12th October and maintained their undefeated start to the season with a 36-0 win.

The Belfast Inst team controlled the play for most of the game and was 24-0 ahead at the interval with tries from Connor Field, who touched down twice, Rory Campbell and Andrew Thompson. Rory added two conversions as well.
The Coleraine AI team mounted something of a revival in the second half but, despite the efforts of players such as Ollie McDowell, Mark Gordon, Callum Smith and Allie Corbett, they could find a way across the Belfast Inst line. The Belfast Inst team scored two further tries through Rory Bell and Cameron Magee, one of which was converted by Robert Little, in the second half. These scores ensured a well-deserved 36-0 win for the Royal Belfast Academical Institution team.

The Ballyclare High School team hosted one of the “dark horses” of this season when they played Belfast High School at the Rashee Road venue.

The Belfast High School team, with Robbie Reid, Jordan Garford and Lewis Benson, displaying impressive form, came away with a 34-8 victory.

On Saturday morning, Methodist College travelled to Ballymena for the annual Young Cup fixture.

Both schools welcomed back their representative players and so the teams were close to full strength for perhaps the first time this season. The early encounters were closely contested, with the home team enjoying territorial domination for the first fifteen minutes. Methody defended aggressively and, on the fifteen-minute mark, a long-range penalty attempt by Marcus Rea narrowly missed the posts. During their first foray into the Ballymena 22m area, Methody generated quick ball through several phases and the ball was moved wide for Conor McKee to finish in the corner. Josh Bingham was unsuccessful with the conversion attempt but didn’t have to wait long to wait for his second attempt. Following a dynamic maul, Allie McIvor powered over for an unconverted try to leave the score reading 10-0 as the half time whistle sounded.
An early blitz in the second half saw the Belfast school take an unassailable lead. Poor defence by the home team, combined with clinical finishing, saw both Conor McKee and the Methody winger, Lewis Trainor, score tries, both of which were converted by Josh Bingham. Ballymena rallied and their stand out performer, Jonny McKeown, went over for a score which Marcus Rea converted to reduce the deficit to 24-7. Late in the game, with Ballymena stretched by several changes due to injuries, Methody added two further scores. Alex Thompson charged and then touched down an attempted clearance and Conor McKee showed great footwork to score and complete his hat-trick just before the final whistle to leave the final score 34-5. On this impressive showing, the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup holders certainly look like the team to beat this season.

Limavady Grammar School travelled to Bangor Grammar School and came away with a 25-14 victory having played some impressive rugby.

Bangor won the toss and chose to play with the wind. They caught Limavady cold after just four minutes when they touched down under the posts for a try after taking advantage of some weak Limavady GS defence. The try was converted to give the Bangor GS team a 7-0 lead. Almost immediately Limavady came back into the game and the Limavady pack started to dominate the set piece allowing half backs Ross Allen and Scott McLean to control the game. Good work in mid field by Michael Barr resulted in a penalty which was then converted by Scott McLean to reduce the arrears to 7-3. Limavady were now on top and, with their pack controlling most of the possession, they went close on a number of occasions. Limavady took the lead on the stroke of half time when their captain, Michael Barr, ripped the ball off a Bangor forward and crashed over the line. Scott McLean kicked the conversion to leave the half time score reading 10-7 to Limavady. Limavady started the second half strongly and, with their big pack driving Bangor back, the Limavady half backs where able to pin Bangor back into their 22m area. Limavady turned over a Bangor scrum and scrum half, Ross Allen, dived in the corner for a try. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful but the Limavady GS now had a 15-7 lead. Two minutes later Limavady went 18-7 up when Bangor infringed at a ruck and Scott McLean converted the resultant penalty. After more Limavady pressure a fracas ensued, which resulted in one Bangor player and two Limavady players being sin-binned. Still Limavady where able to control the ball and, after the Limavady pack had driven the line-out thirty metres towards the Bangor line, the ball was recycled on a number of occasions before Limavady out-half, Scott McLean, touched down. He then added the conversion to his try to give Limavady a 25-7 lead. Bangor managed some possession in the last five minutes of the game and right on the final whistle their right winger dived in the corner. The conversion was kicked to leave the final score 25-14. Best for Limavady on the day were forwards Sam Mackey, Darren Corrigan, Richard Boyd and Michael McMullan. In the backs, captain, Michael Barr and half backs, Ross Allen and Scott McLean, all stood out.

Sullivan Upper travelled to Ballymoney, where Dalarida had lost the previous week 10- 9 to a Wallace High School side that had put 50 points on Campbell College Belfast, the week before that.

Sullivan Upper stormed into a 26 v 0 lead at half time, eventually emerging as 45-0 winners. They played some fantastic running rugby and first half tries were scored by Peter Copper, Ross Todd, Micheal Cartmill and Harry Harper with three conversions from Mark Adair.
The second half opened with Dalriada asking questions of the Sullivan defence hard but Sullivan withstood all pressure and pushed on by scoring three more tries through Chris Jordan, Josh Davidson alongside a third from Peter Cooper try. Mark Adair was successful with two second half conversions to leave the Sullivan Upper team as deserved 45-0 winners.

The Portadown College team is going through a transition period and this was clear to be seen in their performance when they hosted a very determined Down High School team.

Despite losing the game by 24-15, there were some encouraging signs in the performance of the team in the course of the game. The Portadown College team took a 5-0 lead when their influential out half, Niall Davidson, crossed for an unconverted try. Down High School then scored out wide and converted the try to put them into a 7-5 lead. Portadown added a further score straight from the set piece with fullback, Jack Orr, touching down for a try. Niall Davidson converted the try to give his team a 12-7 lead. Down HS then had a period of possession and scored an excellent try from their own line, which they converted, to take the score to 14-12. They scored another converted try on the stroke of half time to take a 19-12 lead into the second half.
Portadown College started the second half strongly with large periods of time encamped in the Down half. Persistent pressure paid off on a number of occasions with Portadown awarded a total of four second half penalties. However, the ever reliable boot of Niall Davison managed to convert only one of the kicks with the others drifting narrowly wide in the strong wind. With the score board now reading 19-15, Portadown continued to press for the winning try but, to no avail. Down High School scored a further try on the final whistle to leave the score reading 24-15 to Down High School at the end of an entertaining encounter.

The Royal School, Dungannon team hosted their Co Tyrone rivals from Omagh Academy and ended the game with a 20-0 victory.

The first points of the game came from the boot of Jack Milligan who was successful with a first half penalty opportunity to give his RS Dungannon team a 3-0 lead. Both team attempted to attack with the ball in hand at every opportunity but both defences held out until the interval.
The home team came out of the blocks quickly at the start of the second half with the RS Dungannon pack winning good ball which allowed Jack Milligan to pin the Omagh team back into their 22m area with some astute kicking. Following a line-out, the ball was moved by the Dungannon backs and John Buckley ended up with a try in the corner. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful but the RS Dungannon team now had an 8-0 lead. This soon became 13-0 when, again following a lineout, the RS Dungannon hooker, Jamie McNeill, touched down for an unconverted try. Close to the end of the game, the RS Dungannon centre, Scott McLean, took advantage of a space in the Omagh defence and ran in for a try. Jack Milligan converted the try to see his team through as 20-0 winners.

Royal School, Armagh hosted a strong Blackrock College XV, with the Dublin team emerging as deserved 27-10 winners.

The score at the interval was 8-7 in favour of the Blackrock College team, with the points coming from a David Agnew try which was converted by Gerard Treanor.
Gerard gave the RS Armagh team a 10-8 lead early in the second half when he converted a penalty kick opportunity. However, some slack RS Armagh defence allowed the Blackrock team in for three second half tries, two of which were converted, to ensure a 27-10n win for the Dublin team.

Grosvenor Grammar School hosted Friends’ School, Lisburn and emerged from the game as comfortable 31-0 winners.

The home team took a 10-0 lead into the break with Karl McLean and Alex Cullen touching down for two unconverted tries.
In the second half the Friends’ School defence worked well with Zach Finlay, Josh Agnew and Kyle Andrews getting through a lot of work. However, the physicality of the Grosvenor attack eventually led to the creation of spaces and Mark Johnston ran in for an intercept try, which was converted by Andrew Toland, to increase the Grosvenor lead to 17-0. Mark then scored his second try, which Andrew Toland converted, to put the Grosvenor Grammar School team into a 24-0 lead. The impressive Grosvenor flanker, Sam Purdon, rounded off a fine display with a try, which Andrew Toland converted, to secure a 31-0 win for the Grosvenor Grammar School team.

Following their away win against Friends’ School the previous weekend, the Larne Grammar School team hosted the Rainey Endowed School team that has started the season so impressively.

The Larne was team was unable to achieve their second win in a row with the Rainey Endowed team running out as 41-5 winners. The Rainey team had taken a 29-0 lead at the interval with tries from Samuel Hawe, who touched down twice, Andrew Browne, Conall Murphy and Andrew Nicholl. Kieran Lynch was successful with two conversion attempts.
The Rainey team made some changes after the interval but this did not stop their ability to move the ball. Rory Nicholl ran in for two tries with Kieran Lynch adding one conversion. The Larne Grammar School team scored one unconverted try in the second half to leave the Rainey Endowed School team as deserved 41-5 winners.

The recent good run of results achieved by the Lurgan College team came to an end when they made the short journey to Banbridge Academy to play a game the Banbridge Academy team won by 13-5.

The first half was a closely fought encounter with the Banbridge Academy team taking a 3-0 lead into the interval through a Daniel McElderry penalty.
This was increased to 8-0, five minutes after the restart, when the Banbridge Academy flanker, Jonny Campbell, touched down for an unconverted try. Fifteen minutes later the Banbridge winger, Nathan McKinley, intercepted a loose Lurgan College pass and ran in for an unconverted try to give his team a 13-0 lead. The Lurgan College team had brought a lot to the game and got some reward for their endeavours when their captain, Ryan McCann, scored an unconverted try, almost at full time, to leave the result as 13-5 in favour of the Banbridge Academy team.

Antrim Grammar School defeated their close rivals from Cambridge House by 22-7.

Andrew White, David Armstrong and Adam Johnston all scored first half tries for the Antrim Grammar School team with Jamie Magowan adding one conversion.
In the second half the game was a much closer affair with Chris Donnelly scoring a try for the Antrim Grammar School team and Chris Da Mata touching down for the Cambridge House team.

An almost full strength Campbell College team hosted Regent House and emerged from the game as convincing 58-0 winners.

The game featuring Carrickfergus Grammar School and Foyle and Londonderry College was postponed on Saturday 12th October. It has been rescheduled for Wednesday 16th October.

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