Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Round Up Saturday 17th November 2012. By Barney McGonigle

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Banbridge Academy played the Banbridge RFC U19 team in a floodlit midweek game at Rifle Park.

The U19 team included a number of players who have played AIL Rugby with the Banbridge RFC 1stxv. The Club U19 team started well, scoring two tries in the opening ten minutes of the game to take a 10-0 lead. The Academy team responded positively and enjoyed a good amount of possession for most of the remainder of the first half. However, the U19 team defence was strong and the Academy team was unable to register any points. Towards the end of the half, the Club team did manage to score a converted try to give them a 17-0 half time lead.
This became 24-0 in the opening exchanges of the second half when the U19 team ran in for another converted try. The Banbridge Academy team was rewarded for their enterprising approach to the game when their impressive centre, Rory Thompson, scored an unconverted try to reduce the arrears to 24-5. Just before the end of the game the U19 team scored an unconverted try to leave them as 29-5 winners. Despite losing the game to a physically superior team, the Banbridge Academy team was able to take a lot of positives from the game; in particular the performances of prop forwards Calum Boardman and Tom Carlisle as well as the game management skills displayed by scrum half, Connor Morrow.

Antrim Grammar School hosted the Ashfield Boys’ team in a midweek run out which proved to be a useful experience for all the players concerned.

The Ashfield team played games against the Antrim Grammar School 1st and 2ndxv’s will all three teams running in a number of tries in the course of the afternoon.

Quite a few school games were played on Saturday 17th November. The “big” game of the day was played at the famous Fox’s Field where Campbell College hosted Royal Belfast Academical Institution.

The Campbell College team dominated proceedings for most of the game and took a 30-7 lead at the interval.
The home team continued with their attacking game in the second half and ran out convincing 51-14 winners. The Campbell College tries came from Patrick Hamilton, Harry Howard, Elliott Boyd, Rob Haldane, Ross Campbell and Jack Owens, who touched down twice. The impressive Rob Haldane added five conversions as well as two penalties in the course of the game.
In response, the Belfast Inst team scored two converted tries through Paddy Anderson and Josh Atkinson.
Methodist College hosted a Coleraine Academical Institution team that had recorded some good results in recent weeks. However, they could not stop the impressive Methody players who scored eleven tries during the game. Alex McKnight, Marc Campbell, Conor McKee, Paddy Colhoun and Josh Bingham scored one try each in the first half, with Adam Liddell running in for two.
The second half saw further tries from Marc Campbell, James Gallagher, Conor McKee and Matthew McIvor. In the course of the game, Josh Bingham was successful with seven of his conversion attempts.

Ballyclare High School had a straightforward 50-0 victory against Foyle and Londonderry College.

The home team scored tries through James McKee and Luke McAnee who touched down for two tries each. Eddie McKee, Paddy Reid, Jonny Darling and Michael Kirk scored one try each with Jack Irvine adding five conversions to secure a well-deserved win for the Ballyclare High School team.

Omagh Academy hosted Wallace High School with both teams still missing key players due to injury.

Both teams found it difficult to get into any sort of rhythm in the opening exchanges. However, fifteen minutes into the game, it was the Omagh team that scored the first try of the game when prop forward, James Kelso powered over for an unconverted try to give his team a 5-0 lead. The Wallace High School team responded positively and ran in two tries, one of which was converted, to put them into a 12-5 lead. Omagh reduced the arrears to 12-8 when Lloyd Kane was successful with a penalty opportunity. An Omagh mistake at a lineout provided the Wallace team with a try scoring opportunity just before the interval. The try was converted to put Wallace High School into a 19-8 halftime lead.
The Omagh team dominated the early stages of the second half and scored their second try of the game through Lloyd Kane. The try was not converted but the arrears had been reduced to 19-13. The Omagh team worked hard in an attempt to score more points but it was the Wallace High School team that had the final say in the game when they scored their fourth try of the game. The try was converted to ensure a hard earned 26-13 win for the Wallace High School team.

Down High School continued in their winning ways with a narrow 15-10 win against Regent House.

The Regent team had lost a midweek game against Bangor Grammar School and put on a very spirited display against the Down High School team. Down High started the game well and had the lion’s share of territory and possession in the initial encounters. However, the Regent defence held firm as they consistently soaked up or spoiled the visitor’s attack. As the half progressed Regent evened things up and, indeed, they were first to score after a Down High clearance kick failed to make touch and the home team backs attacked wide for well executed unconverted try to take a 5-0 lead. Shortly after this initial score, Down High responded with a fantastic midfield break from Paddy Wright who rounded the covering defence before distributing to Toni Rushe who came onto the ball at pace and he ran in for a try. The conversion was missed and the score board read 5-5. For the remainder of the half the game became quite scrappy. However, Down High were able to enter the half time break with an 8-5 lead after Paddy Wright landed a long range penalty right on the blow.
The second half was another scrappy affair with both teams giving up possession and forcing errors from each other. Regent were first to score about fifteen minutes into the half when they exploited a numerical advantage on the blindside of a ruck. The conversion fell short but Regent House now had a 10-8 lead. The final score of the game came with about ten minutes to play. Once again it came from a decisive break from Paddy Wright who spotted a gap in the Regent defence and used his pace to make inroads into the Regent half. When the covering defence got across to him he made a great inside pass to Roger Birt who had come in off his wing and was able to stride away from any defensive cover to touch down for a converted try and ensure a 15-10 win for the Down High School team.

Carrickfergus Grammar School hosted Lurgan College in a very competitive, close encounter.

Carrickfergus started the game with most of the possession which resulted in them taking a 5-0 lead through their hooker, Rhys McConnell, who was well supported by his determined pack. Lurgan College had their fair share of possession in the first half but Carrickfergus managed to score another try just before the half time whistle in a similar fashion to the first try. However, this time it was John Campbell who put himself on the score sheet with an unconverted try to see the Carrickfergus Grammar School team into a 10-0 half time lead.
Carrickfergus possibly took the foot off the pedal at the start of the second half allowing Lurgan in for a converted try making the score 10-7. Carrickfergus had a few opportunities missed due to simple mistakes and two passages of play held up over the line. Lurgan then scored their second converted try to take the score to 14-10. Both teams threw everything into attack but found the opposition to be defending very well. However, a late penalty in the opposition 22m area for Carrickfergus saw the strong ball carrying Robert O’Callaghan take it quickly and score a try. Michael Black converted the try to see the game finish with a hard earned 17-14 victory for the Carrickfergus Grammar School team.

The Royal School, Armagh team recorded a somewhat flattering 31-12 victory against Belfast High School at the College Hill venue.

The RS Armagh team had taken a 10-5 lead at the interval with unconverted tries from Luke Reaney and Daniel Ewart. In response, the Belfast High School team scored an unconverted try through the impressive Lewis Benson.
Second half tries from Toby McAlpine, Luke Reaney and Michael Rolston, all of which were converted by Conor Wright, gave the RS Armagh team a 31-5 lead. Towards the end of the game, the Belfast High School team scored a converted try from Jason Garford to leave the final score reading 31-12 in favour of the home team. Despite a seemingly lacklustre performance from the RS Armagh team, Conor Wright, Toby McAlpine, Peter Eves and Jonathan Morton all impressed with their performances.

The Friends’ School, Lisburn team was short of a few regular players due to school play commitments when they entertained a very committed Antrim Grammar School team.

Dean Howes got back to try scoring ways when he ran in for an unconverted try early in the game to give the home team a 5-0 lead. The Antrim Grammar School team recovered from this setback and took play deep into Friends’ School territory. Mark Strange converted two penalty opportunities to give the Antrim team a 6-5 lead at the interval.
Friends’ showed great form in attack and managed to score three tries in the second half, with two from Paul Wyatt and one from Ben Palmer. Ross Robinson converted one try to put the Friends’ School team into a 22-6 lead. Antrim then reduced the arrears to 22-9 when Mark Strange was successful with his third penalty of the game. Friends’ might have increased their lead when Peter “Doakie” Ferguson thought he had gone over for a try only to have it disallowed for an offence committed in the build-up. Antrim worked hard in the final few minutes of the game and their efforts were rewarded with an unconverted try from their hard working flanker, David Armstrong. The Friends’ team was delighted to secure a well-deserved 22-14 win at the no-side whistle.

Sullivan Upper made the long journey to play Limavady Grammar School on a bright, but cold, morning.

The Sullivan team stormed into a 10-0 lead with two unconverted tries from Peter Cooper and Scott Finlay. The Limavady Grammar School team responded positively and came back to score three tries, two of which were converted, to go into a 19-10 half time lead.
The second half was dominated by the Sullivan Upper team. Their dominance paid off with four tries from Dave Cave, Andrew Baillie, Ross Todd and Michael Cartmill. Mark Adair added two conversions to ensure a well-deserved 34-19 win for the Sullivan Upper team.

Belfast Royal Academy travelled to Ballymoney to play Dalriada School and were delighted to come away with a 24-12 win.

Daniel Dass scored the first try of the game having taken the ball from a lineout in his own half and outpace a hesitant home defence to touch down for a try. Max Oates converted the try to give his team a 7-0 lead. Jordan Carlisle then made a great line break and followed up to gather his chip kick and score an unconverted try to increase the Belfast Royal Academy lead to 12-0. Dalriada responded with an unconverted try to take the score to 12-5. The Belfast Royal Academy team then increased their lead to 19-5 when Jonathan Torrents took advantage of clever work from Mark Wylie to run if for a try which Max Oates converted.
The second half saw the Dalriada team come back into the game and score a converted try to reduce the arrears to 19-12. However, it was the Belfast Royal Academy team that had the final say when Ryan Hogg scored an unconverted try from a driven maul. This ensured the Belfast Royal Academy team returned home with their 24-12 victory.

Grosvenor Grammar School played Larne Grammar School in a high scoring game in Belfast.

The Grosvenor Grammar School team controlled the first half and ran in five first half tries with Michael Young, Peter Davison, Jamie McMullan, Dale Stinson and Sam Purdon all scoring one try each. Stewart Baillie added two conversions to see the Grosvenor Grammar School team into a 29-0 halftime lead.
The Grosvenor team used a number of extended squad players in the second half. They scored two more tries as well as one conversion with Stewart Baillie getting all the second half points. The Larne Grammar School team got some reward for their endeavours throughout the game when they scored two late tries, one of which was converted, to leaving the final score reading 41-12 in favour of the Grosvenor Grammar School team.

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