Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Round Up Saturday 8th November 2014. By Barney McGonigle

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Following the half term break there were four midweek games played in the lead up to a full list of fixtures on Saturday 8th November.

Coleraine Academical Institution entertained their near neighbours from Dalriada in a game the Coleraine AI team won by 20-10.
In a frenetic local derby game it was the Dalriada team that took a 3-0 lead when Angus Johnston converted a penalty opportunity fifteen minutes into the game. The Coleraine AI responded almost immediately when Calum Smith levelled the score at 3-3 when he converted a penalty following a Dalriada player straying off-side in midfield. Two minutes later the Coleraine AI team took a 6-3 lead when Calum Smith was successful, from the touchline, with his second penalty of the game. Despite constant Coleraine AI pressure for the remainder of the first half, resolute Dalriada defence ensured there were no further scores before the interval.
Ten minutes into the second half, good work from Peter Bonnar, Alistair Corbett and Daniel McAllister presented Calum Smith with the opportunity to make a fifty metre break. Good Dalriada defence halted his progress just short of the line but Peter Bonnar was on hand to receive the off-load pass and touch down for a try. Calum converted the try to give his team a 13-3 lead. Dalriada responded with an excellent try from their left winger, which was converted, to reduce the arrears to 13-10. Coleraine AI responded immediately when Skippy Norris displayed a combination of pace, power and panache to touch down for an excellent try under the posts. Calum Smith added the extras to ensure a 20-13 victory for the Coleraine Academical Institution team for whom Peter Bonnar, Calum Smith, Matthew Norris and Niall Cameron all stood out.

In the second of the midweek games, Campbell College returned from a mixed set of results at the recent Clongowes Wood College Bi-Centenary Festival to host, and defeat, Bangor Grammar School by 45-5.

In the third of the midweek games, Rainey Endowed School hosted Cambridge House on the 4G pitch at the Meadowbank Sports Arena. The Rainey Endowed School team recorded a comfortable 52-7 result.

The fourth midweek game saw Banbridge Academy host a Foyle and Londonderry College team that has surprised quite a few sides in the course of the season so far.
In a game played in dreadful conditions, the Foyle College team ended up as 6-0 winners. The Foyle College team was en route to Dublin to play Dublin High School prior to the Ireland v South Africa game at the Aviva Stadium. Both teams took the opportunity to play extended squads during the game. The Foyle College team played the first half with a strong wind behind them and found themselves in control of both territory and possession. However, they could find no way through a resolute Banbridge Academy defence. However, they did manage to take a 3-0 lead into the break when Alex McDonnell converted a penalty kick in the thirty fifth minute.
The Banbridge Academy team had the wind advantage in the second half but could not break down the Foyle College defence. Midway through the second half, on a rare incursion into the Banbridge Academy half, Alex McDonnell was accurate with his second penalty of the game to increase the Foyle College lead to 6-0. Now the Banbridge team had to really lay siege on the Foyle College line if they were to have any chance of a positive result. They were unable to find any way through which ensured it was the Foyle and Londonderry College team that emerged as deserved 6-0 winners at the end of the game.

The Foyle and Londonderry College team continued their recent good form when they played Dublin High School on Saturday 8th November in a game the Maiden City team won by 30-17.
The High School team took an early 7-0 lead when they scored a converted try after just three minutes. The Foyle College team then scored three first half tries through Ryan Marshall, Mark Williams and Thomas Cole. Alex McDonnell converted one of the tries to put his team into a 17-7 lead at the break.
The second half opened with a Dublin High School penalty to reduce the Foyle College lead to 17-10. Alex McDonnell then kicked a penalty to see Foyle College into a 20-10 lead. Back came the Dublin High School team with a converted try to reduce the deficit to 20-17. Alex McDonnell increased the lead to 23-17 with another successful penalty before he converted a Matthew Orr try to leave the Foyle and Londonderry College team as deserved 30-17 winners.

Meanwhile, the Foyle and Londonderry College midweek rivals, Banbridge Academy, travelled to play Carrickfergus Grammar School in a game the Carrickfergus team won by 7-5.
Banbridge Academy controlled this game for long periods of time in the first half. However, they had only an unconverted Daniel McElderry try, five minutes from the break, to give them a 5-0 lead, to show for all their hard work.
Conditions deteriorated rapidly during the second half with neither team able to score points. That was until the final play of the game when the Carrickfergus Grammar School team took advantage of a series of tapped penalties to pressurise the Banbridge Academy line. The Carrickfergus team scored a try through Michael Black, which David Carse converted, to finish the game as 7-5 winners.

Regent House had a comfortable 51-7 victory against the very young Cambridge House team.
The Regent House team had built up a 24-0 lead by half time with tries from Aaron May, Josh McFarland, Alisdair Deering and Matthew Stanex. Taylor Nutt added two conversions.
This became 29-0 when Aaron May ran in for his second try of the game shortly after the restart. Cambridge House reduced the deficit to 29-7 when Sam Nicholl scored a try which James Bovill converted. From then on, the Regent team controlled the game. Kyle van Geisen, Owen Bailie, Tom Donnan and Alex Hendriske all scored tries, one of which was converted by Taylor Nutt, to secure the 51-7 win for the Regent House team.
Omagh Academy hosted Lurgan College at the Campsie Playing Fields in a game the Omagh Academy team won by 26-0. The home team got off to a flying start when James Longwell gathered the ball from the kick off and drove deep into Lurgan College territory. Two quick rucks provided Fintan Lagan with quality possession and he finished with a try under the Lurgan College posts. Stuart Ballentine added the extras to give the Omagh Academy team a 7-0 lead. Despite controlling the game for most of the first half the Omagh team was unable to finish off a number of opportunities. That was until just before half time when Fintan Lagan broke away before off-loading the ball to Luke Hanson who showed great strength to score a try. Stuart Ballentine converted the try to give his team a 14-0 lead.
The second half started well for the home team and James Longwell and Matthew Clyde combined to send Matthew in for an unconverted try to put the Omagh team into a 19-0 lead. Despite the hard work of Lurgan College players such as Ryan Osbourne and Lewis Lawson, the Omagh Academy sealed their 26-0 win when Joshua McKinley cleverly sent Deane Kane in for a try, which Stuart Ballentine converted, just before the end of the game.

Ballymena Academy celebrated the return of Andrew Magrath to the ranks, following a long absence from the game through injury, when they defeated Coleraine Academical Institution by 30-10.
In a game played in bright, but damp conditions, Andrew had a major impact and displayed great skills on his return. He scored two tries, as well as two conversions and two penalties. Josh McIlroy and Jonny McKeown scored one try each for the Ballymena Academy team.
The Coleraine AI points came from an unconverted try from Calum Smith as well as an unconverted try from Alistair Corbett who finished off good work from the industrious Skippy Norris and David Greatorex.

The Grosvenor Grammar School team was unable to replicate the good form shown on their recent tour to Scotland when they played Ballyclare High School.
The Ballyclare High School team had built up a 35-0 lead by the interval before going on to win the game, which was shortened due to inclement conditions as well as a blood injury, by 42-0. The Ballyclare High School team scored tries through Patrick Mooney, Jack Black and Michael Stevenson all of whom touched down twice, and Matthew McDowell. Michael was successful with all seven conversions.

Rainey Endowed School defeated Royal School, Dungannon by 25-14 in a game the RS Dungannon team took an early 7-0 lead. Good work from John Buckley provided the opportunity for David Cooper to score a try which John converted. Rainey Endowed scored an unconverted try from Calvin Smyth, midway through the half, to reduce the deficit to 7-5. Twenty seven minutes into the game, John Buckley scored a converted try to put the RS Dungannon team into a 14-5 lead. Rainey responded with two unconverted tries from Neal Hastings and Anton Lupari, before the interval, to give them a 15-14 lead at the break.
The second half saw the RS Dungannon team spurn a number of opportunities compared with the Rainey Endowed School team that scored try from Calvin Smyth, which Lorcan Quinn converted, as well as a Lorcan Quinn penalty to record a 25-14 win.

Wallace High School travelled, once again, to Co Kildare where they played Clongowes Wood College, this time in a full game. Played in very wet conditions, the Wallace High School team won the game by 5-3 with Sam Moore scoring the only try of the game in the first half.

Wellington College hosted Friends’ School, Lisburn in a very closely contested game the Wellington College team won by 3-0.
The game was played in what can only be described as very difficult conditions which resulted in a very forward orientated game. With mistakes a regular feature of the game coming a lot of the game was spent scrummaging which Friends’ dominated for much of the first half which frustrated the Wellington team. Friends’ spent a fair amount of time in the Wellington 22m area but the Wellington defence remained strong and Friends’ could find no way through. At one stage, Friends’ got good possession in their own half and shipped the ball through the backs. Ryan Hall got the ball and ran down the wing before kicking the ball through but unfortunately he could not capitalise as the Wellington College defence scrambled the ball away. Wellington then showed they were up for the game and worked their way into the Friends’ 22m area. The Wellington team was awarded a penalty in front of the posts which they slotted over to give them a 3-0 lead at the interval.
The second half was very much more of the same with the poor conditions playing their part. Wellington managed to sort their scrum out and the scrums were more evenly matched in the second half. A lot of the play was in the middle of the pitch with the ball rarely getting past the outside centre. With twenty minutes to go, Wellington managed to break the Friends’ line and looked to be sure to score, but a great cover tackle from Mark Dodds ensured the score remained 3-0. With ten minutes to go, Friends’ won a number of penalties in their own half but a struggling line out meant they were unable to capitalise. In the final minute Friends’ were awarded a penalty only metres from the Wellington line and went for broke knowing a try would guarantee a win. Unfortunately for the Friends’ School team this was not to be the case. The Wellington team turned the ball over and cleared their line ensuring they had recorded a 3-0 victory at the no-side whistle.

Antrim Grammar School played Larne Grammar School in a game the Larne Grammar School team won by 26-17.
Larne GS started well and had built up a 26-12 lead by half time.
The Antrim GS team put on a fine second half performance but could not quite finish off some promising attacks. They did score three tries in the course of the game with Jack Orr, Ryan Taylor and Adam Johnston all crossing the whitewash.

Royal School, Armagh hosted a determined Sullivan Upper team in a game the Holywood boys won by 15-5.
Both team struggled with the prevailing weather conditions which turned the game into a very scrappy affair. The Sullivan points came from Fergus Jemphrey and Conor McEvoy tries with Calum Jeffrey adding one conversion as well as a penalty.
The RS Armagh points came from an unconverted try from their hard working prop, Philip Matthews.

In other games, Belfast Royal Academy lost to Bangor Grammar School by 22-20 while Portora Royal School defeated Belfast Metropolitan College by 20-15. Unfortunately, no reports were received on these games.

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