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Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Round Up Saturday 19th September 2020

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Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Round Up Saturday 19th September 2020
The first schoolboy game of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 2020/21 season took place on Saturday 16th September, at the College Hill venue in the Cathedral City, when the Royal School, Armagh U17 hosted the Wallace High School U17 team.
With all Covid 19 “Return to Play” protocols having been fulfilled there was a degree of excitement evident from both teams as the players took the pitch for this U17 Training Development game which, after three closely contested periods of play, the Royal School, Armagh team won by 24-15.
The Wallace High School team, with Cameron Doak central to all that was positive about their display, took a 5-0 lead when they ran in for an unconverted try. Matty Monaghan drew the scores level at 5-5 when he touched down for an unconverted try for the RS Armagh team. Ally Haire then touched down for a try, which was converted by Matty Monaghan, to see the RS Armagh team into a 12-5 lead. This became 19-5 when Jay Forrest ran in for a try, which was once again successfully converted by Matty Monaghan.
This spurred the Wallace High School team into something of a revival and they reduced the deficit to 19-10 when they scored their second unconverted try of the morning. James Campbell then touched down for an unconverted try to see the Royal School, Armagh team into a 24-10 lead. Close to the end of proceedings a third unconverted try from the Wallace High School team saw the final scoreboard reading Royal School, Armagh 24 Wallace High School 15.
Meanwhile, at the Circular Road in Newtownards the Regent House senior players played an internal game which both the players and coaches involved found to be a very useful start to the new season.
The newly appointed captain of the Regent House 1stxv, Hasan Kaymak, finally got the opportunity to lead his Regent House senior team onto the pitch when the Regent House School team, adorned in their black kit, played against another Regent House senior team, this time adorned in their red kit.
This turned out to be a very highly competitive and entertaining game involving quite a number of very talented players in both teams. The pace of the game, as well as the intensity, was impressive from the beginning with both sets of players keen to play with the ball in hand. The red team was under considerable pressure in the opening quarter but the players fulfilled their defensive duties with great aplomb. However, eventually the pressure told from the team in black and Cameron Gazzard scored an unconverted try in the corner to give his team a 5-0 lead. Shortly after this quick turn over ball, and good handling skills, presented Glenn Smyth with the opportunity to run in from deep and touch down for an unconverted try to increase his team’s lead to 10-0. Just before the halftime break Curtis Ewing ran a great support line off his second row forward, Adam McCracken. A clever pass from Adam allowed Curtis to touch down close to the posts. Zach Campbell added the extras to see the Regent House School black team go into the break with a 17-0 lead.
The Regent House School red team started the 2nd half intent on reducing the arrears. They came close on a number of occasions only to see a couple of potential try scoring passes go to ground. These mistakes enabled the opposition to break out of defence and take play to the opposition “Red Zone”. Curtis Ewing then touched down for his second try of the morning when he ran a great line with a pass from Zach Campbell to touch down for the try under the posts. Zach, once again, added the extras to see his team into a 24-0 lead. The Regent House red team then responded with two tries from Samuel Attipoe, who displayed great strength on both occasions by carrying defenders with him over the line. Both tries were converted by Ethan Barrett to reduce the red team arrears to 24-14. However, it was the Regent House black team that finished the game strongly with two unconverted tries from captain, Hassan Kaymak and the impressive Jude McKenna. The game finished as a 34-14 victory for the Regent House School black team but it was a strong performance from both teams and one which will hopefully set the standard for the Regent House School senior players for the season ahead.
Both teams would like to thank the referee, the venerable Teddy Sloan, for his positive contribution to the game.

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