Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Round Up Saturday 29th August 2015 by Barney McGonigle!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Round Up Saturday 29th August 2015
On Saturday 29th August the Danske Bank Ulster Schools U18’s squad took part in a tournament at King’s School, Macclesfield. The team played four matches, each of 20 minute halves, with no kick of any type allowed at goal and the emphasis on tries. The purpose of the tournament was very much on pre-season practice and to give coaches the chance to experiment with players in different positions and combinations, as well as try out various patterns of play, so there was no overall winner to the tournament.
In the opening match against Denstone College, James Hume opened the scoring after Ulster followed up the kick off to force a scrum following a knock on. The RBAI centre outwitted the opposition defence before cutting through for the try. Ulster conceded a couple of penalties in quick succession and Denstone levelled the scores with a quickly taken tapped penalty to draw the score level at 5-5. Ulster regained the lead when Matthew Dalton (BRA) broke through several tackles and reached out to make the line to touch down for the try. Early in the second period Jack Barry-Glendinning (CCB) scored a try and Josh Agnew (RS Armagh) completed the scoring with a fine try when he took advantage of good work from Michael Lowry before outpacing a bemused opposition defence. This ensured the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ squad won the game by 20-5.
In the second match against Bristol GS, Ulster again scored an early try when hooker, Clayton Milligan (Down HS), crossed the line after a good carry by Zac Ward (Down HS). Then a James Nelson (Campbell College) tackle forced a turnover and when the ball was moved quickly Josh Agnew (RSA) finished when he touched down for the try. In the second half winger, Ben Finlay (Wallace HS), scored a try and then Callum Smith (Coleraine GS) completed the scoring with a rehearsed move to see the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ squad through with a 20-0 win.
The pattern of an early score was repeated in the third match when Ulster took a quickly tapped penalty and prop, Tyler Arnold (Belfast HS), was on hand to take the pass to score the opening try against St Joseph’s Ipswich. In the second half good work by Matthew Agnew (Bangor GS) brought a try for Matthew Norris (Coleraine GS). Ben Finlay (WHS) then completed the scoring when he showed good strength to break a couple of tackles for a try in the left hand corner to secure a 15-0 win for the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ squad.
In the final match against Warwick School the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ team once again scored inside the first four minutes. A clever switch of play by Michael Lowry (RBAI) created space for James Hume who used his pace to run in for the score. A break by Alexander Clark (Ballymena Academy) took play deep into the Warwick half and created the space for James Hume to add his second try. In the second period several drives down the left hand side of the pitch saw Callum Smith (Coleraine GS) rewarded with a try. James Hume (RBAI) then completed his hat trick for this match when he picked up a loose ball to score and Warwick School completed the scoring with a similar try. Ulster finished the game on the attack only metres from the Warwick line to win the final game 20 -5.
This very well run tournament was a very useful exercise for both the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ players and coaches who will now switch their focus to preparing for the first Inter Provincial match of the season on Saturday 12th September at 3.00pm at Belfast Harlequins when they will meet Leinster Schools. This will provide a gvreat opportunity for rugby supporters to go along a see the next generation of potential Ulster Rugby players and all support would be appreciated.

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