Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Round Up Saturday 16th November 2019
Wednesday 13th and Saturday 16th November saw twelve games take place in the newly formatted Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ League/Cup games. Twenty four teams competed in the twelve games on Wednesday 13th and Saturday 16th November. Each of the twenty four teams have been scheduled to play three league games over three weekends in October, November (16th) and December (7th) with the six league winners, and four highest placed runners up, eventually joining the six schools who are exempted from the league games, in the last sixteen of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup.
Those six schools are Ballymena Academy, Campbell College, Belfast, Methodist College, Belfast, Royal Belfast Academical Institution, Royal School, Armagh and Wallace High School. The remaining teams will be joined by the winners and runners up of the Tier 4 Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Bowl League competition to compete in the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Bowl competition.
On Wednesday 13th November one midweek Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup/League game took place when Dalriada School hosted Strabane Academy in a League D game. The Dalriada School team won the game by 38-10 but, despite their loss, the Strabane Academy coach, Niall McDonnell, was very proud of the way his young charges played by displaying so much skill and commitment throughout the game.
The Dalriada team scored six tries with Paddy Steele, Joseph Maybin, Sam Tweedier, Tom Hutchinson, Owen Boyd and Jack Kirk each touching down for one try. Aaron Gervais was successful with four conversions.
The Strabane Academy team scored their try through Kenzie Hall who scored with his first touch of the ball in his first 1stxv game for the Strabane Academy team. Tom Harpur added the conversion and was also successful with a penalty kick for the Strabane Academy team.
Also on Wednesday 13th Our Lady and St Patrick’s College, Knock played the Wellington College, Belfast team in a Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Bowl Qualifying League game. Having defeated Antrim Grammar School narrowly in the first of their three Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Bowl Qualifying League games the Our Lady and St Patrick’s College, Knock team was determined to look for a home win.
Following a closely contested game it was the Wellington College, Belfast team that emerged as 12-7 winners. The Wellington College team took a 5-0 lead, just three minutes into the game, when their flying winger, Chris Campbell, ran in virtually unopposed to touch down for an unconverted try. The Our Lady and St Patrick’s College team, with players such as Finn Rodgers and Thomas McDevitt impressing with their performances, got some reward for their endeavours when Jamie McConville touched down for a try, midway through the first half. Thomas McDevitt added the extras to see his team into a 7-5 lead-a lead they held for the remainder of the first half.
The second half saw both teams impress with their willingness to play with the ball in hand. Following a series of phase plays, midway through the second period, the Wellington College captain, Jake Hamilton, touched down for a try in the corner. Tom Stanfield was successful with his touchline conversion kick to see the Wellington College, Belfast team into a 12-7 lead. The Our Lady and St Patrick’s College team, with Oran O’Neill and Louis Brown to the fore, attacked the Wellington College defence at every opportunity in an effort to win the game. However, great work from Tyrone Jasi, Tom Stanfield and Finn Watts ensured the Wellington College line remained intact which meant the Wellington College Belfast team secured their hard earned 12-7 victory.
The remaining fixtures in this Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Bowl League competition saw Carrickfergus Grammar School play Antrim Grammar School on Saturday 16th November. Our Lady and Saint Patrick’s College will play Carrickfergus Grammar School on Wednesday 20th November, Wellington College, Belfast will play Antrim Grammar School on Saturday 30th November with the final game, featuring Wellington College, Belfast and Carrickfergus Grammar School, scheduled for Saturday 7th December.
On Saturday 16th November the remaining eleven Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup League games took place.
In League A Friends’ School, Lisburn hosted the Rainey Endowed School team in a game the Friends’ School team won by 31-17. Both packs were evenly matched in this game with the essential difference between the teams being the cut and thrust of the Friends’ School back division which was well organised by their Ulster U19 pairing of Jack Harte and Reece Malone. The Friends’ School team took a 14-5 lead into the interval with tries from Fergus McEwen and Kyle Gormley to which Reece Malone added two conversions.
The Rainey Endowed School team scored an unconverted try in the first half through Matthew Brown.
The second half saw the Friends’ School team score three more tries with Stuart Patterson touching down for one and Reece Malone running in for a brace of tries. Reece added one conversion to secure the thirty one points for the Friends’ School, Lisburn team.
The Rainey Endowed School team scored second half tries through Marc Seffen and Daniel Barfoot and one conversion from Matthew Thom left the final scoreboard reading Friends’ School, Lisburn 31 Rainey Endowed School 17.
In a re-run of the 2018/19 Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Trophy Final Limavady Grammar School entertained Dromore High School in a very evenly contested game the Limavady Grammar School team won by 20-19. The Limavady Grammar School team scored three tries with Joshua Howe, Joe McCartney and Sam Thompson running them in. Joe added one penalty, as well as one conversion, to secure the twenty points for the home team.
The Dromore High School team also scored three tries through Jack Owens, Reuben Turner and Xander Lowham to which Luke Allison added two conversions.
In League B Bangor Grammar School played Down High School in a game the Bangor Grammar School won by 47-19. The Bangor Grammar School team had built up a 26-0 lead by the break with tries from Lewis Hatty, Patrick Dobie, Angus Christie and Rory Christie. Angus was successful with three of his conversion kicks.
The Down High School team recovered strongly and displayed a great deal of bouncebackability in the course of the second half. They scored three tries through Rory Wilson, Matthew Edgar and Reece Philips, two of which were converted by Luka Walsh. However, three further Bangor Grammar School tries from Rory Christie, Patrick Dobie and Conor Lusty, alongside two conversions from Angus Christie, and one from Ben Gibson, secured the 47-19 bonus point victory for the Bangor Grammar School team.
Meanwhile Regent House School hosted the very spirited Foyle and Londonderry College team in a game the Regent House School team won by 46-7. The Regent House School team scored tries through Harry Rodgers, Adam McGrath, with two, Ryan Upritchard, Hasan Kaymak, Will Hopes, Matthew Gibson and James Adair. Three successful Adam McGrath conversions secured the forty six points for the Regent Hose School team.
The Foyle and Londonderry College team displayed great commitment throughout the game. They got some reward for their endeavours when Callum Gillen ran in for a try to which he added the conversion.
In League C Cambridge House Grammar School played Ballyclare High School and won the very close encounter by 17-16. Mark Jackson hit an early penalty to see the Ballyclare High School team into a 3-0 lead. The Cambridge House Grammar School team responded with an unconverted try from Aaron Smith to take a 5-3 lead. Back came the Ballyclare High School team with a try from Peter Gillespie, which was converted by Mark Jackson, to see the Ballyclare High School take a 10-5 lead into the half time break.
This lead was extended to 13-5 when Mark Jackson converted a penalty opportunity in the opening stages of the second half. The Cambridge House team responded with a try from Adam Brannigan, which was converted by Josh Caldwell, to see the arrears reduced to 13-12. Another Mark Jackson penalty gave the Ballyclare High School team a 16-12 lead and they were looking good for a win going into the final stages of the game. However, with little time remaining, the Cambridge House Grammar School team secured their hard earned 17-16 win when, following twenty two phases of play, Zac Crozier ran in to touchdown for an unconverted try.
Lurgan College hosted Omagh Academy in a game that saw referee, Mark Orr, officiate in his 34th season of refereeing Ulster Schools’ Cup rugby. This game was an evenly contested affair which ended as a 19-19 draw. The Omagh Academy team had built up a 14-0 lead by half time with tries from Reece Braden and Niall Alexander, both of which were converted by Jake Reid.
With a large vocal home support really encouraging the Lurgan College team on the home team got back into the game in the course of the second half. Tries from Ewen Mulligan and Luke Forsythe, one of which was converted by Harry Bird, reduced their deficit to 14-12. The Omagh Academy team then extended their lead to 19-12 when Jamie Wood drove over the Lurgan College line from close quarters to touch down for an unconverted try. With just seconds of the game remaining the impressive Luke Forsythe scrambled over the Omagh Academy line to touch down for his second try of the game. A conversion from Harry Bird ensured the final score board read Lurgan College 19 Omagh Academy 19.
The second of the League D games took place when Sullivan Upper played their near neighbours from Grosvenor Grammar School and recorded a comfortable 40-0 bonus point win. Peter Camlin, Harry Sheridan, Thomas Leitch, with two, Zac Moraghan and George Robb were the try scorers for the Sullivan Upper team to which Zac Moraghan added five conversions.
In League E Coleraine Grammar School hosted the Belfast Royal Academy team in an excitingly close encounter the Coleraine Grammar School team won by 8-7. The Coleraine Grammar School team took an early 3-0 lead when Harry Caskey converted a penalty kick opportunity. The Belfast Royal Academy team replied with a try from Jack Davies, which was converted by Ollie Parkes, to see them take a 7-3 lead into the break.
The second half was nip and tuck with both defences coming out on top for long periods of play. That was until the Coleraine Grammar School winger, Callum Wallace, came up with a moment of magic and finished a move off with an unconverted try to secure the 8-7 victory for the Coleraine Grammar School team.
Banbridge Academy played Belfast High School in a game where both teams were looking for their first win in a Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup League game. The Belfast High School team, with their outhalf, Ben Reid, impressing with his performance, won the game by recording a bonus point 29-17 victory.
Aaron Coulter opened the scoring when he converted a penalty kick to give the Belfast High School team a 3-0 lead. Harry Patterson then drew the scores level at 3-3 when he converted a Banbridge Academy penalty kick. The Belfast High School team then took control of the game and scored two tries through Aaron Coulter and Scott Hutton. Aaron converted both tries to see his team into a 17-3 lead at the break.
A second Aaron Coulter try and conversion, midway through the second half, increased the Belfast High School lead to 24-3. Five minutes later an unconverted try from Jacob Ogle secured the thirty one points for the Belfast High School team. The final period of play belonged to the Banbridge Academy team. Good work from Adam Hanna and Louis O’Neill secured possession at critical times for the home team which enabled them to finish with a flurry. Matthew Daly and Marc Patterson ran in for tries, both of which were converted by Harry Patterson, to leave the final score reading Banbridge Academy 17 Belfast High School 31.
In League F the “Tie of the Round” was played at Enniskillen Royal Grammar School where the opposition was from the Royal School, Dungannon. This game, involving two of the original Royal Schools in the Province, was won by the Enniskillen Royal Grammar School team which emerged as 40-10 winners. Jack Girvan gave the Royal School, Dungannon team a 3-0 lead when he converted an early penalty opportunity. The Enniskillen Royal Grammar School team responded with a try from Aaron Crawford, converted by Eddie Keyes, to see the home team into a 7-3 lead. The Enniskillen team continued to dominate proceedings and scored five further tries without response. Callum Smyton, with two, Stuart Brown, David Stinson and Neil Rutledge scored the tries, to which Eddie Keyes added the extras. The Royal School, Dungannon team did get some reward for their considerable input to the game when Adam Junk touched down for a try, which Jack Girvan converted, leaving the final score as Enniskillen Royal Grammar School 40 Royal School, Dungannon 10.
In the same league Portadown College hosted Larne Grammar School in a game the Portadown College team won by 38-14. The Portadown College team roared into a 24-0 first half lead with tries from Ethan Williamson, Rhys Heasty, their Captain, Ryan Neill, and Marshall Clint. Adam Speers was successful with two of his conversion kicks.
The second half saw a much more evenly contested game with both teams scoring two second half goals. James Conn and Reuben Boyd scored the tries for the Portadown College team with Adam Speers adding the extras to both. Jack Withers and Robbie Doey each scored a try for the Larne Grammar School team to which Euan Glenn added both of the conversions.
In the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Bowl Qualifying League Carrickfergus Grammar School, playing in their first game of the competition, hosted an Antrim Grammar School team that played a full part in this exciting game. The Carrickfergus Grammar School team recorded a bonus point 24-10 victory but had to work hard for the win.
The Antrim Grammar School team had taken a 10-7 lead into the break with a try from Jack Maguire and a conversion and penalty from Jack Craig. The Carrickfergus Grammar School points, in the first half, came from a Josh Dimbleby try to which he added the conversion.
The second half saw the Carrickfergus Grammar School team score three more tries through Lewis Simpson, Scott Gardiner and Jakob McComb. A second Josh Dimbleby conversion secured the hard earned, but, ultimately well-deserved, 24-10 victory for the Carrickfergus Grammar School team.
All the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup and Bowl League games were covered by referees from the Ulster Society of Rugby Football Referees. The Ulster Schools’ Committee members, as well as all the players and coaches involved in these games, are very grateful to the USRFR for the provision of referees for these games.
Wallace High School entertained the Royal School, Armagh team in a 1stxv friendly game on Saturday 16th November. The Wallace High School team continued their recent run of good form and inflicted a rare defeat on the Royal School, Armagh team by winning the game 13-7.
The Wallace High School points came through two James McNeight tries and one Harvey Patterson penalty.
Romain Morrow scored and converted a try for the Royal School, Armagh team.