Northern Bank U16 High Schools Cup: Dromore 34 Slemish 7

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Wednesday 24th March . Report and pictures John McMurtry.

Dromore High School ran out comfortable winners for the seventh year in succession, scoring six tries in their 37- 7 win over Slemish College.

Slemish College kicked off and had an early chance with a penalty for offside. Unfortunately full back David McWirter put the kick wide and the experienced Dromore side began to dominate the opening exchanges.

After approximately ten minutes the High School took the lead with scrum half, and Man of the Match, Lee Steenson sniping over the line afer a bullocking run by Dromore captain Andrew Black. Steenson converted his own try.

Dromore were content to kick for position and added another try five minutes later with Number 8 Tom Jess finding himself with the ball at the back of a maul following an impressive catch and drive from the Dromore pack.

Slemish went further behind in the closing minutes of the first half when full back Harry Warren found himself in space inside the Slemish 22 and touched down with a flourish taking the half time score to 17 – 0 in favour of Dromore.

Dromore v Slemish Pictures

The County Antrim side tried to push on at the start of the second half and applied considerable pressure on their County Down opponents but the game was effectively over when Steenson broke from deep to add his second try with twenty minutes remaining. Dromore quicky scored their fifth after another break, finished off by a spectacular dive by replacement Morrison, taking the score to 27 – 0.

Slemish fought back and, desperate to get something on the scoreboard, moved the ball at every opportunity. After a period of sustained pressure in the Dromore 22 the College finally got their reward with scrum half David Nelson finding winger Nathan Storer close to the line. Storer still had plenty to do but he managed to force his way over for a well deserved try for the Co Antrim side. McWhirter added the conversion from out wide.

It was, however, Dromore who were to have the final say scoring their sixth try in the final seconds. Steenson capped an excellent personal performance slotting over the conversion with the final kick of the match to take the final score to 34 – 7.

Dromore High School: (1-15) Luke Gurlett, Robert Poots, Andrew Black (c), Matthew Martin, Stephen Arneil, Nathan Jones, Andrew Patton, Tom Jess, Lee Steenson, Chris Davidson, Ryan Hewitt, Alistair Lappin, Jonathan Rowland, Matthew McDonald, Harry Warren. (16-22) N Bolton, J Andrews, N Allen, A Sleator, R Corbett, L Morrison, R Cobb.

Slemish College: (1-15) Joel Mullan, Thomas Meehan, Troy Wilson, Andrew Millar, James McNee, William Smith, Gareth James, James Davidson (c), David Nelson, Brian Mulholland, Nathan Storer, John Gilkinson, Philip Clements, Bryan Gourley, David McWhirter. (16-22) A Burns, C McCambridge, S Mackay, J Houston, C McGlade, G Keernohan, D Fahy.

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