Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Round Up Saturday 1st December 2012: By Barney McGonigle Includes Cup 1st Round Report, Ballyclare Scalp Blackrock & News From Massive Local Games!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Saturday 1st December saw the start of the 2012/13 Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup campaign when Larne Grammar School and Cambridge House contested the Round 1 game at the Lower Cairncastle Road venue in Larne.

Both teams have struggled for success in the course of the season but it was the home team that went through to the Round 2 draw with a convincing 31-7 win. The Cambridge House team started well with their forwards dominating the opening exchanges. The Cambridge House team took a 7-0 lead when Mark McIlroy went over for a try which was converted by Philip Smyth after just ten minutes of the game. Shortly after this, the Cambridge House team lost Philip Smyth to injury and this seemed to impact on his team’s performance. The Cambridge House did continue to dominate at times but the Larne Grammar School backrow was much quicker to the breakdown and denied the visitors the quality possession they required. Connor Connolly brought the Larne Grammar School team back into the game when he picked up from the base of a scrum to touch down for an unconverted try and reduce the arrears to 7-5. The scoreline remained at 7-5 in favour of the Cambridge House team until halftime.
The second half saw the Larne Grammar School team dominate proceedings. Connor Connolly put on a “Man of the Match” performance and his good work put his Larne Grammar School team into positions of strength. Kris Rea touched down for a try following a series of picks and drives. Calum McKay converted the try to give the Larne Grammar School team a 12-7 lead. The Cambridge House team lost a number of key players to injury and the Larne team took advantage. Alistair Burke and Connor Connolly scored one try each and, with Calum McKay adding one conversion, the Larne team took a 24-7 lead into the final few minutes. More good work from Connor Connolly paved the way for a second Alistair Burke try. Calum McKay added the conversion to see the Larne Grammar School team progress to the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Round 2 draw with their well-deserved 31-7 victory against a gallant Cambridge House team.

The draw for the 2nd Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup will take place on Wednesday 5th December at Ravenhill. The 2nd Round games are scheduled to take place on Saturday 12th January 2013.

There was a number of non-Schools’ Cup games played on Saturday 1st December. The big friendly game of the morning took place at Fox’s Field where Campbell College hosted their cross town rivals from Methodist College, with the visitors winning a close encounter by 22-18. The Campbell College started strongly and dominated the early possession. The Methodist College defended well but the Campbell College team took a 3-0 lead when Rob Haldane converted a penalty opportunity. The Campbell team surrendered possession on a number of occasions, allowing the Methody team to gain territory in the Campbell 22m area. It was from a line out close to the Campbell College line that James Gallagher was able to get possession and touch down for an unconverted try to give his team a 5-3 lead. The Campbell College team responded positively and attacked the Methodist College line with some promising lines of running. The Methodist College defence gave away a penalty which Rob Haldane was pleased to convert to give his Campbell College team a 6-5 interval lead.
This lead was extended to 11-5 early in the second half when Conor McIlmurray took advantage of some enterprising Campbell College play to touch down for an unconverted try. Once again, poor Campbell College discipline allowed Methodist College to take play deep into Campbell territory. From another Methody lineout, Mark Campbell gained possession and powered his way over the Campbell College line to score a try. The conversion was successful and the Methody team now had a 12-11 lead. Once again, the Campbell team responded positively some great attacking rugby presented their hard working centre, Jordan Boyd, with the opportunity to run in for a try under the posts. Rob Haldane added the conversion to put the Campbell College team into an 18-12 lead. Methodist College then responded with a second James Gallagher try following good lineout work from his pack. The try was not converted but the Methodist College team had reduced the arrears to 18-17. The Campbell College team then attacked from deep but the attack was not clinical enough. The Methody team gained a penalty from an infringement at the breakdown and put the ball back into Campbell territory. Once again, the Methodist College team gained possession allowing James Gallagher to touch down for his hat trick of tries. The conversion was missed but the Methodist College team had done enough to warrant their 22-18 win.

Belfast Royal Academy travelled to play Coleraine Academical Institution and came away with a convincing 49-3 win.

The Belfast team dominated all aspects of the game from the kick off. The Belfast Royal Academy team scored three first half tries through Jordan Hylton, Daniel Dass and Stewart Martin. None of the tries was converted but the Belfast Royal Academy team had a 15-0 lead. The Coleraine AI did amount something of a response but had only a Conor Shiels penalty to show for their efforts. With the scoreline reading 15-3 in favour of the visitors at halftime, the home team had it all to do in the second half.
However, the Coleraine AI team was unable to match the power and pace of the Belfast Royal Academy team in the second period of play. Jordan Carlisle, Mark Wylie, Stephen Craig, Daniel McFadden, Daniel Dass and Sam Lindsay all ran in second half tries, Daniel McFadden added two conversions to ensure a well-deserved 49-3 win for the Belfast Royal Academy team.

The Grosvenor Grammar School had a busy week since their last game.

They played an Ulster Clubs U18 Select xv under lights at Carrickfergus Rugby Club on Wednesday evening. The game was played at a good pace with both teams determined to attack at every opportunity. The Grosvenor Grammar School team, despite being 10-0 down at one stage, went on to win by 22-17. The Grosvenor team scored tries through Peter Davison, Scott Adams and Matthew Allen, who touched down twice. Stewart Baillie was successful with one conversion.

The Grosvenor Grammar School team then travelled to play Wesley College in Dublin on Saturday 1st December.

The Grosvenor team went 5-0 down early in the game but then started to dominate the game in terms of territory. However, they found the Wesley College defence to be well-organised and unwilling to give anything away. A Stewart Baillie penalty just before the interval was all the Grosvenor team had to show for their endeavours.
The second half saw Grosvenor Grammar School mistakes allow the Wesley College team to score two tries. One try was converted to leave the Wesley College team emerge as 17-3 winners of the game.

Foyle and Londonderry College saw a number of key players, including Patrick Leeson and Neil Burns, return to their side when they entertained Omagh Academy.

The Foyle team won the game by 22-10. The Foyle team took a 3-0 lead when Neil Burns converted a penalty opportunity. This was extended to 8-0 when Ryan Curry ran in for an unconverted try. Louis Fields scored a try which Neil Burns converted to give his Foyle College team a 15-0 lead. . Lloyd Kane converted a penalty for his Omagh team to see the Foyle College team into a 15-3 half time lead.
The Foyle College team continued to dominate the proceedings in the second half. Ryan Curry scored his second try of the game which Neil Burns converted to put his team into a 22-3 lead. With the final play of the game, the Omagh Academy team scored a try through Adam Longwell. Lloyd Kane was successful with the conversion but it was the Foyle and Londonderry College team that emerged as 22-10 winners.

Portadown College travelled to play Dalriada and went straight of the bus onto the pitch.

The College team started slowly and never really gained their composure. This enabled the Dalriada School team record a 19-14 victory. Dalriada scored the first try of the game by taking advantage of some slack Portadown College midfield defence. The try was not converted but the Dalriada team had a 5-0 lead. Further early pressure the Dalriada side score their second try of the game which was converted to give the Ballymoney boys a 12-0 lead. Slowly the Portadown College team played their way into the game gaining plenty of first phase ball from set piece. The chances soon came and, following some excellent handling from the College backline, winger Thomas Trouton ran in to score a simple touchdown. Niall Davison was successful with the conversion from the touch line to reduce the arrears to 12-7, a score which remained until half time. Dalriada scored a converted try early in the second half to stretch their lead to 19-7. From that stage on the Portadown College team controlled most of the possession. Despite this, they could not make the most of the possession they had and could only score one try through their hard working No 8, Aaron Abraham. Niall Davidson added the conversion which left the Dalriada team finishing the game as 19-14 winners.

Wallace High School and Sullivan Upper played out a game which finished as a 13-13 draw.

Both teams were missing front line players but the Wallace High School team was able to welcome Zack McCall back after a long lay-off due to injury. The Sullivan team controlled possession and territory for the first quarter of the game but failed to really capitalise on this. A Mark Adair drop goal, after ten minutes, to give his team a 3-0 lead, was all they were able to record for their endeavours. The Wallace High School defence, ably lead by Jordan Grattan, was able to deal with anything the Sullivan Upper team threw at them. Eventually, the Wallace team did get some possession and drew level at 3-3 when Ryan Moore converted a penalty opportunity. Wallace High School then took a 10-3 lead when Cal McIlwaine got the touch down having been driven over the line by his pack. The try was converted by Ryan Moore.
The second half saw Sullivan reduce the arrears to 10-6 when Mark Adair was successful with a penalty kick. Wallace responded and took play deep into Sullivan Upper territory. Jordan Grattan was at the centre of all that the Wallace team was doing in attack and it was good play from him that forced the Sullivan team into infringing at a ruck. Ryan Moore kicked the penalty to increase the Wallace High School lead to 13-6. The Sullivan team now started to vary their lines of running in attack and forced the Wallace High School team into ensuring their defensive structures were up to the task. They were, that was until the final play of the game when Michael Cartmill took advantage of a rare Wallace moment of weakness in defence, to score a try close to the Wallace posts. Mark Adair kicked the conversion to ensure the game finished as a 13-13 draw.

Belfast High School hosted Instonian’s RFC U19 Seahorses at the University of Ulster in a floodlit fixture and recorded a 28-25 victory.

The Seahorses fielded a very strong team featuring representative players and the game proved to be a very hard test for the young High School side. The Seahorses started the game very strongly and put a lot of pressure on the High School and took an early 3-0 lead after High School were caught offside and gave away penalty in front of the posts. Giving away a lot of size in the forwards, High School had to battle very hard all to win ball. To their credit they did and got their just rewards when Joel McBride cut a great line to go clear and score under the posts for the first try of the game. The try was converted by Robbie Reid to give Belfast HS a 7-3 lead. The lead was extended to 10-3 when Robbie Reid slotted home a penalty. Back came the Seahorses when they charged down a kick and were first to the ball to touch down for an unconverted try to reduce the arrears to 10-8. The Seahorses took the lead again after they went in for a good score which was converted to take the score to 15-10 approaching half time. There was one twist left to the first half when High School were awarded a penalty and the reliable boot of Robbie Reid put the ball over to see the U19 team lead by 15-13 at the interval.
The second half scoring started with High School being awarded a penalty which Robbie Reid converted to give his team a 16-15 lead. The Seahorses were awarded a penalty and, instead of going for the posts, decided to kick to the corner. The lineout was taken at the front and a fantastic drive saw them drive over to touch down close to the touchline and again take the lead by 20-16. The conversion was superbly struck and split the posts to make the score 22-16 in favour of the U19 team. Lewis Benson had a good night at the lineout against good opposition and this gave another platform for Jordan Garford to pressure the Seahorses. Good work from Jordan led to Joel McBride displaying great ability to score an unconverted try close to the left touchline and reduce the difference to one point with the score now reading 22-21. The Seahorses won a penalty which was well deserved and was popped over to extend their lead to 25-21. With the final whistle not far away, Belfast HS started to apply pressure to the U19’s line. Following several phases of play they were awarded a penalty. Robbie Reid’s quick thinking and reactions proved to be the winner on the night when he tapped and went to cross the Instonian’s U19’s line close to the posts. Robbie added the extras to make the score to 28-25. Belfast HS had to defend strongly for the last few minutes to earn their hard, but well-deserved, 28-25 win against quality opposition.

Wellington College hosted Carrickfergus Grammar School and continued with their positive recent results with their 33-12 win.

The Wellington team took an early 7-0 lead when Michael Hamilton ran in for a try which was converted by Andrew Hanna in the second minute of the game. Carrickfergus Grammar School responded very positively and scored two tries in quick succession. One try was converted to give the Carrickfergus team a 12-7 lead. In the second quarter of the game the home team scored two tries through Kier Patterson and Owen Jarvie. Andrew Hanna converted one try to give the Wellington College team a 19-12 half time lead.
The Wellington team went on to dominate the second half and scored two more converted tries to ensure their well-deserved 33-12 win.

The Friends’ School team was in a positive mood when they travelled to play Lurgan College.

The Lisburn boys had ha recent run of good form including a win over Bangor Grammar School in their previous game. However, an early shoulder injury to the Friends’ captain, Ross Robinson, seemed to impact on his team. The Lurgan College team, with Dean Wilson and Mark McIlwaine displaying good form, went on to record a well-deserved 13-0 win.

Limavady Grammar School travelled to play Ballymena Academy minus a number of regular players unavailable due to injury.

The home team won a closely contested game by a 13-12 margin. The home team started well and raced into a 10-0 lead by scoring two unconverted tries with Oliver Simpson and Josh McIlroy touching down. The Limavady team responded well and began to dominate territory and possession. Twenty minutes into the game Andy Miller touched down from a driving maul off a line-out but Jack McCool hit the post with the conversion. The remainder of the half saw Limavady as the more threatening of the two sides with their backs moving the ball at every opportunity. On the stroke of half time Limavady lost out-half, Michael Barr, to injury and the same befell captain, Jamie Millar, just after half time.
This seemed to galvanise Limavady and with their forwards beginning to provide quick second phase ball, their backline was proving very dangerous. Twelve minutes into the second half Limavady scored under the posts through prop, Ricky Boyd. Jack McCool converted the try to give his team a 12-10 lead. The last few minutes of the game saw play taken deep into Limavady Grammar School territory. Ballymena were awarded a penalty in front of the posts for an infringement in the ruck. Andrew McGrath was successful with his kick which went over off the upright and Ballymena Academy scraped home with a hard earned 13-12 victory.

Ballyclare High School hosted a Blackrock College Development team and recorded a hard earned 28-26 win.

Blackrock College scored two converted tries in the first half but the home team responded with two penalties from Jack Irvine as well as a converted try from Michael Kirk to take the score at half time to 14-13 in favour of the Dublin visitors.
Ballyclare High School then stormed into a 25-14 lead in the second half with an unconverted try from James Beattie and a converted try from Paddy Reid. Back came Blackrock College with two tries, one of which was converted, to give the Dublin team a 26-25 lead going into the final few minutes of the game. The Ballyclare High School team made one last attempt to score a try. The Blackrock defence gave away a penalty and up stepped Jack Irvine to convert the penalty, with the last kick of the game, and ensure a 28-26 victory for his Ballyclare High School team.

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