Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Round Up Saturday 21st August 2021
Having completed a summer long training programme, which really started back in April when the squads were identified, the Ulster Age Grade Squads are finalising their preparations for the Inter-Provincial Series which is due to start at the Energia Stadium in Dublin on Sunday 22nd August when the Ulster U18 Clubs’ and the Ulster U19 teams are scheduled to play their Connacht counterparts.
On Wednesday 18th August the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ squad, who will begin their Inter-Provincial series when they play the Avonmore Munster U18 Schools’ team on Saturday 28th August at the NPC in Dublin, played out a training game against the IQ U19 squad who were on a training trip to Belfast. The IQ squad was accompanied by the former Ireland Centre, Kevin Maggs, former Rugby League star, Joe Lydon, and coached by Steve McGinnis.
The game, refereed by Andrew Munce, was played over three periods with the players on both teams providing some excellent entertainment for the good crowd of spectators that had gathered to watch the game.
With strong performances from players such as Oran Murray, James Randall, Jack Gilmartin, George Shaw, Finn McNulty and Darragh Walsh, the IQ U19 team emerged as 22-10 winners at the end of the third session of play.
Jack Boal scored the Ulster try with Jonny McCracken adding the conversion as well as being successful with a penalty attempt. Other Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ players who impressed in the course of the game included Cameron Hillis, James Anderson, Josh Stephens, Conor Drain, Andrew Chesney and Ben King.
Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ U18 v IQ U19
Wednesday 18th August 2021
KO –2.30 PM, Queen’s University RFC
1 Ethan Fitzimmons (Down High School) 16 Jack Boal (Campbell College, Belfast)
2 Zac Soloman (Campbell College, Belfast) 17 Jake Bowden (Methodist College, Belfast)
3 Nathan Ogborne (Coleraine Grammar School) 18 Cameron Hillis (Campbell College, Belfast)
4 Andrew Chesney (Ballymena Academy) 19 Callum Simms (Royal Belfast Academical Institution)
5 Patrick Fullarton-Healey (Methodist College, Belfast) 20 Ben King (Ballymena Academy)
6 James Anderson (Royal School, Armagh) 21 Ben McFarlane (Methodist College, Belfast)
7 Josh Stevens (Methodist College, Belfast) 22 Tom Crowther (Campbell College, Belfast)
8 Flynn Longstaff (Campbell College, Belfast)
9 Jonny McCracken (Campbell College, Belfast) 24 Alex McBurney (Ballymena Academy)
10 Tristan Ferguson (Cambridge House Grammar School) 25 Josh Hanna (Wallace High School)
11 Lukas Kenny (Campbell College, Belfast) 26 Chris Massey (Campbell College, Belfast)
12 Rory Ellerby (Royal Belfast Academical Institution)
13 Ryan Stewart (Royal Belfast Academical Institution)
14 Matthew Booth (Campbell College, Belfast)
15 Conor Drain (Ballymena Academy)
IQ U19 Squad
1/Oran Murphy 2/James Randall 3/Reuben Moloney
4/Jarlath Gleeson 5/Connor Neary 6/Jack Gilmartin
7/James O’Sullivan 8/George Shaw
9/Ryan Davis 10/Cormac Calnan
12/Henry Boyle 13/James Flatley
14/Darragh Walsh 15/Connor Oresanya
16/ George Coen 17/Jack Sanger Davies 18/Paddy Jones
19/Billy McDermott 20/Michael Broderick
21/Danny O’Regan 22/Kean McKabe 23/Logan McKabe 24/Harry Carsons
On Sunday 22nd August the Ulster Carpet’s U18 Club team and the Ulster U19 team travelled to the Energia Stadium in Donnybrook, Dublin where they played their counterparts from Connacht in the first of the 2021/22 season’s Age Grade Inter-Provincial games.
Ulster Carpet’s Ulster U18 Club Team got things off to a good start when, after a nine try thriller, they emerged as 39-24 winners against a very competitive Connacht U18 team.
Star of the show for the Ulster team was Ben Gibson who, as well as touching down for two tries, added three conversions, as well as a penalty, to his total. Ethan Graham touched down for two tries as well with Nathan Hook running in for one.
The Connacht U18 points came from two tries from Hugh Gavn and one each from Rory Glynn and Charlie Naughton. DJ Hession was successful with two of his conversion kicks.
Ulster Carpet’s Ulster U18 team v Connacht U18 team.
15-9) Ethan Graham (Monaghan RFC), Harry Hughes (Coleraine Grammar School / Coleraine RFC), James Girvan (Royal School, Dungannon / Dungannon RFC), Michael Burnett (City of Armagh RFC, Capt.), Nathan Hook (Dromore High School / Dromore RFC), Ben Gibson (Bangor Grammar School / Bangor RFC), Oliver Smyth (Belfast Royal Academy / Academy RFC)
(1-8) Nathan Ogborne (Coleraine Grammar School / Ballymoney RFC), Sam Green (Malone RFC), Tom McCalister (Ballyclare High School / Ballyclare RFC), Luke McIlwrath (Ballyclare High School / Ballyclare RFC), Mark Lee (Rainey OB RFC), Jamie Jackson (Portadown College / Portadown RFC), James Spence (Ballyclare High School / Ballyclare RFC), James McKillop (Foyle and Londonderry College / City of Derry RFC).
Replacements: Sam Anderson (Royal School, Armagh / Portadown RFC), Blake McClean (Royal Belfast Academical Institution), Stephen Callaghan (Inishowen RFC), Bryn McCallan (Ballyclare High School / Ballyclare RFC), Tom Muldrew (Sullivan Upper School / Malone RFC), Clark Logan (Coleraine Grammar School / Ballymoney RFC), Jordan McAuley (Coleraine Grammar School / Ballymoney RFC), Zach Scarlett (Ballyclare High School / Ballyclare RFC), Ruairi Doyle (Friends’ School, Lisburn / Lisburn RFC), Leon Thornton (Malone RFC)
Next up was the Ulster U19 team that had to work hard against a very competent Connacht U19 team before emerging as narrow, but deserved, 22-19 winners at the no side whistle. It took a well worked driven maul try going into the final quarter of the game to seal the victory for the Ulster U19 team.
First half tries from Blaine Barry and Harry West, one of which was converted, gave the Connacht team a 12-10 lead at the interval. The Ulster points in the first half came from a James McNabney try alongside a conversion and penalty from Ross McKay.
The Connacht team extended their narrow first half lead to 19-10 going into the final quarter of the game with a try from Tadhg Finlay which was converted by Harry West. However, the Ulster U19 team, led by the impressive Paddy Brown, did not panic. Scrum half, Arthur Johnston, combined with replacement, Kyle Ferguson, to set up the opportunity for Rory Telfer to touch down for a well-finished try. Ross McKay was successful with the conversion to reduce the Ulster arrears to 19-17. With little time remaining the Ulster U19 team sealed their win when Ethan Fitzsimmons took advantage of a well-organised driven maul from the Ulster pack and touched down for the decisive unconverted try which was enough for the Ulster U19 team to record their 22-19 victory.
Ulster U19 Team
1/Cameron Hillis (Campbell College, Belfast) 2/Owen Warren (Ballyclare High School) 3/Jack Boal (Campbell College, Belfast) 4/Jack Norton (Belfast High School) 5/Charlie Irvine (Wallace High School) 6/ Paddy Brown (Ballymena Academy, Captain) 7/Matthew French (Ballymena Academy) 8/James McNabney (Cambridge House Grammar School)
9/Arthur Johnston (Campbell College, Belfast) 10 Ross McKay (Ballymena Academy) 11/Rory Telfer (Coleraine Grammar School) 12/Peter O’Hagan (Methodist College, Belfast) 13/ Cameron McCaughey (Down High School) 14/James Campbell (Royal School, Armagh) 15/Josh Drain (Ballymena Academy)
16/Ethan Fitzsimmons (Down High School) 17/Zac Soloman (Campbell College, Belfast) 18/Scott Wilson (Wallace High School) 19/Kyle Ferguson (Ballyclare High School) 20/Michael Crothers (Methodist College, Belfast) 21/Adam Scott (Royal School, Dungannon) 22/Lorcan Hanratty (Methodist College, Belfast) 23/Adam Warren (Ballyclare High School 24/Angus Robson (Ballyclare High School)
Next up for the Ulster Age Grade teams will be a visit to the IRFU National Performance Centre in Dublin on Saturday 28th August when the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ U18 team, the Ulster Carpet’s U18 Clubs’ team and the Ulster U19team will play their Munster counterparts.