Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Round Up Saturday 7th December 2013
There was one midweek fixture played when Antrim Grammar School defeated Cambridge House by 27-7.
The Antrim GS team had built up a 17-7 lead by half time with tries coming from Andrew White, David Armstrong and Chris Donnelly. Andrew added one conversion. In response, the Cambridge House team scored a converted try through Chris Di Mata.
The Antrim Grammar School team controlled the game in the second half in terms of territory and possession. They scored two unconverted tries through Andrew White and Sam McComb to secure their well-deserved 27-7 victory.
Things did not get any easier for Cambridge House when they hosted Lurgan College on Saturday 7th December and lost the game by 41-7.
The visitors took a 5-0 lead just six minutes into the game when their No 8, Matthew Laird, crashed over the line for an unconverted try. This became 10-0 nil shortly afterwards when Des Bingham touched down for an unconverted try following good work from his pack. Midway through the first half, a well worked back row move paved the way for a second Matthew Laird try. Mark McIlwaine converted try to give his Lurgan College team a 17-0 lead. Just before the interval, Harry Webb scored a fine try in the corner but the conversion attempt was unsuccessful. Despite this, the Lurgan College team had built up a 22-0 lead at the break.
Five minutes after the restart, Jordan McIlwaine was put clear with a fine pass from Ryan Osbourne. Jordan finished with a try which Mark McIlwaine converted to increase the Lurgan lead to 29-0. Matthew Laird then completed his hat trick with a try, again converted by Mark McIlwaine, to take the score to 36-0. Jordan McIlwaine then scored his second try of the game. The try was not converted but the Lurgan College lead was now 41-0. The Cambridge House team scored a converted consolation try, with just seconds of the game remaining, to leave the final score reading Cambridge House 7 Lurgan College 41.
Limavady Grammar School have been battling an injury and illness crisis for the past six weeks but, on Saturday, they were able to field a side that was getting close to their first choice team when they played Ballymena Academy.
Limavady started the game the stronger and their pack had the edge over their Ballymena counterparts. This allowed half backs, Ross Allen and Scott McLean, to drive Ballymena back with good tactical kicking. Centres, Michael Barr and Jamie Millar, were able to punch holes in the Ballymena Academy midfield which put Limavady GS on the front foot. It came as no surprise when Limavady took the lead after ten minutes through Michael Rice.
Michael Barr broke through the Ballymena defence and off-loaded to Jamie Millar who carried the ball on strongly. Following a series of rucks, Michael Rice barged through the Ballymena defence to touch down for a try. Scott Mclean added the conversion to give his Limavady GS team a 7-0 lead. Limavady continued to have the better of the first half with their scrum and line out well in control. They continued to press and were unfortunate not to score on more than one occasion. They were rewarded with a penalty which Scott McLean kicked after Ballymena infringed at a ruck. This gave the Limavady GS team a 10-0 lead, a lead they held until the interval.
The second half was a much tighter affair with both teams having periods of dominance. Ballymena kicked two penalties through Andrew Magrath to reduce the deficit to 10-6. Then Limavady went close with a penalty which shaved the post. The last ten minutes saw Limavady dominate proceedings as their pack continually drove Ballymena back. The last five minutes of the game was played on the Ballymena line. Good defence from Ballymena saw Limavady held up over the line on three occasions. The game ended with Ballymena being penalised in front of their posts but Limavady declined the three points and kicked the ball off the pitch to ensure their 10-6 win.
Dalriada School travelled to play Down High and the Ballymoney boys were delighted to come away with a 10-0 win.
Right from the kick off good kicking out of hand from Timmy Emerson helped Dalriada gain momentum as well as good territorial position. After a lot of pressure from the Dalriada side a penalty was finally won which Timmy Emerson converted to give his Dalriada team a 3-0 lead. Dalriada’s intensity at the break down and tackle area helped the visitors retain possession with Timmy Emerson continually putting through a lot of intelligent kicks to gain territory. However, throughout the remainder of the first half both teams showed excellent defensive qualities with neither team able to make a breakthrough which left the halftime score reading Down High School 0 Dalriada 3.
The second half was a tough test for both teams who were having difficulties in getting through each other’s defence. Down High had two good opportunities to score but Dalriada’s defence and hustle kept the home side from getting any advantage! Eventually, some good tackling and scrummaging by the Dalriada side put them in a good position on the pitch. Another good tackle came in and the ball popped loose from a Down player. It fell into Scott Malcomson’s hands and, despite still having some work to do, Scott finished off with a well-deserved try. Timmy Emerson added the conversion to leave the Dalriada team finishing the game as 10-0 winners.
Carrickfergus Grammar School hosted Wellington College in a game which the Wellington College team won by 12-10.
Both teams were short a number of first choice players but this did not stop what turned out to be a very good game. The Wellington team dominated both territory and possession for large parts of the first half. However, the Carrickfergus GS defence was well-organised and restricted the Wellington College team to just one try in the first half. The try was scored by Josh Garnham but the conversion attempt was missed. However, the Wellington College team was delighted to take a 5-0 lead into the break.
This was increased to 12-0 early in the second half when the Wellington out half, Andy Hanna threw a great cut out pass to Jamie Hewitt who finished with a fine try. Andy added the conversion. The Carrickfergus Grammar School team responded very positively and really took the game to the Carrickfergus team. David Carse did a lot of work before he released Kris Berry who finished the move with a try. The conversion was missed but the deficit had been reduced to 12-5. David Carse then scored close to the Wellington College posts but, somehow the conversion was missed, leaving the Wellington College team as 12-10 winners.
The Royal School, Armagh team got back to winning ways when they defeated a very competent Rainey Endowed School team by 38-17.
The Rainey Endowed team had built up a 17-10 lead by the interval with tries from Eunan Shaw and Rigan Saunderson. Kieran Lynch added two conversions as well as a penalty. The RS Armagh team scored two unconverted tries in response.
The second half saw a much greater effort from the RS Armagh team. A few well- chosen words from the RS Armagh coach, the redoubtable Kenny Hooks, seemed to do the trick. The Armagh team cut loose and ran in four converted second half tries in the course of the second half. The Rainey ES team scored a converted try through Kieran Lynch but it was the Royal School, Armagh team that ran out as 38-17 winners.
Banbridge Academy hosted Royal School, Dungannon in a very close game which ended with the Tyrone team recording a 9-0 win.
Jack Milligan was successful with three penalty kicks, one in the first half and two in the second. The Banbridge team added greatly to the game with Rory Carson playing well in the centre and Matthew Bell putting in a good performance in the second row.
The Grosvenor Grammar School team played a very good Wesley College team minus a number of regular players and lost the game by 38-5.
The Wesley team scored six tries in the course of the game, four of which were converted. The consolation Grosvenor GS try game from the hard working Caleb McCullough.
Omagh Academy hosted Foyle and Londonderry College at the Campsie playing fields and recorded a 10-0 victory.
In an error strewn game it was the power of the Omagh Academy pack that really separated the teams. Ethan McKeown, the Omagh Academy loose head prop, gave his team 5-0 lead when he crashed over the Foyle College line for an unconverted try. Both teams asked questions of the opposition defence but there were no further scores in the first half.
The only score in the second half came when James Catterson touched down for an unconverted try, following good work from Adam Beattie and Stuart Ballentine, to secure the 10-0 win for his Omagh Academy team.
Regent House lost heavily against a rampant Belfast High School team while the Friends’ School team recorded a rare win when they defeated Ballyclare High School 2ndxv by 15-12.
This was a morale boosting performance by the young Friends’ School team for whom Zach Finlay put in a “Man of the Match” performance. Zach was ably assisted by players such as Caolan Harkin, Peter Simpson, Mark Dodds, and Andrew Nesbitt. Kirk McGrady, playing out of position on the wing, impressed with his performance as well.
Wallace High School travelled to play Sullivan Upper School with a team decimated by injury following their recent game against Methodist College.
The Sullivan Upper team was missing key players as well when they rested most of their Year 14 players following the Year 14 Formal. Sullivan won the game by 22-15 but it was the Wallace High School team that controlled the game in the first half. They had built up a 15-3 lead at the interval with tries from Ben Finlay and Josh Collingwood. Philip Hyland added a conversion as well as a first half penalty. Callum Jeffrey kicked a first half penalty for the Sullivan Upper team.
The Sullivan Upper team put in a fine performance in the second half and scored three tries through Josh Davidson, who touched down twice and Max Clarke. Callum Jeffrey added two conversions to ensure a hard earned 22-15 victory for his Sullivan Upper team.
The Ireland U19 Squad had a get together in Dublin in the build up to the game against Australia on Saturday 14th December at Ravenhill.
The game against Australia is scheduled to kick off at 2-30pm and the young Ireland team would appreciate a good turnout of supporters for this game, the first International game to take place at the “New” Ravenhill.