Northern Bank Ulster Schools’ Round Up Saturday 10th September 2011 ~ Ulster Rugby U19, Methody C, Foyle C, Ballymena A, Wallace HS, Limavady G, Belfast HS, Dungannon RS, Friends, Portadown C, Banbridge A, Coleraine AI, Carrick G – Pictures & Reports

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With two U19 Inter Provincial games being played against Leinster U19’s at Dungannon Rugby Club a number of schools were without some front line players when their teams took the field on Saturday 10th.

The U19 “A” team lost by 36-6 to a strong Leinster team despite the best efforts of players such as Stuart Hooks, Mark Gribben, Andrew Clingan, Rory Winters and Matthew Rea. Leinster scored tries through Jack Fitzpatrick, Thomas Farrell, Edward Byrne, Ian Bryne and Andrew Murphy. Thomas Daly weighed in with four conversions as well as a penalty to account for the Leinster total. Mark Gribben converted two Ulster penalty opportunities. The “B” team put on a very determined and spirited performance to emerge as worthy 24-15 winners against another strong Leinster XV. Matthew McKeown, Ryan Martin and Connor Philips scored one try each with Timothy McNeice converting all three tries as well as adding a penalty. In response, the Leinster team scored a converted try, an unconverted try as well as a penalty.
CLICK HERE FOR 223 Pictures by w: Tom Porter Photography

There were a number of midweek games played in the lead up to a fuller programme of school games on Saturday 10th. Wallace High School played Grosvenor Grammar School in a midweek game that saw both teams at less than full strength. The Wallace boys won the game by 10-0 with tries from Stephen Arneill and Adam Dickson sufficient to secure the victory.

Methodist College played Foyle and Londonderry College in a midweek game and took the opportunity to play a number of squad players.

Losing quite a number of players to Inter Provincial duty did not prevent the Pirrie Park based team from securing an impressive win in their first outing of the season. Regent House travelled to Magherafelt to play Rainey Endowed School on Saturday 10th and were delighted to travel home having secured a 26-14 win. Fifteen minutes into the game Andy Hill took advantage of a good break by Jonny Carmichael to run in for the first try of the game and give his team a 5-0 lead. Just before halftime Alan Sinnamon and Andy Rigby combined to send Nathan Burns in for a try. Nathan converted his try to see his team into a 12-0 halftime lead. Following the restart Regent extended their lead to 19-0 when Jamie McKnight scored a try which Nathan Burns converted. At this stage the Rainey team mounted something of a comeback by scoring two tries and kicking one conversion. However, it was the Regent team that had the final say with a Steven Deering try that was converted by Nathan Burns.
Foyle and Londonderry College recovered from their midweek defeat by defeating Portora Royal School on Saturday. The home team took a first half 7-0 lead with a try from Michael Hanna which was converted by Kyle Henderson. The Portora visitors responded positively in the second half with tries from James Ferguson and Oliver Magwood. James Stevenson converted one of these tries to give the Enniskillen team a 12-10. However, in the closing stages of the game the home team sealed the victory with a Jack Glenn try which Kyle Henderson was delighted to convert.

Ballymena Academy entertained Wallace High School on Saturday morning with both teams missing several players involved with representative squads.

From start to finish, the game was completely dominated by the referee’s whistle, with neither side able to establish any sort of pattern or dominance. Not surprisingly, it was a penalty that led to the opening points of the day. A Wallace player was adjudged to have infringed at the ruck and Darren Geddis made no mistake with his kick. As the first half continued, Ballymena enjoyed more of the possession whereas Wallace probably shaded the territorial advantage. After 25 minutes the Wallace team was awarded another penalty, this time within kicking range, but the kick was just off target. The half time whistle sounded with the score reading 3 – 0 to the home team. In the second half, Ballymena Academy tried to increase the pace of the game. They established good field position and, after a rare period of continuity, Darren Geddis created a hole for Peter Storey who finished well between the posts. Darren Geddis added the extras to stretch Ballymena’s lead to 10 – 0. The score line stayed like this until the final minute of the match when Wallace were awarded a penalty five metres out from the Ballymena line. They took the penalty quickly and powered over for a try which was converted to leave the final score 10 – 7 to Ballymena Academy.

Limavady Grammar School played Belfast High School in a game where the first half was contested strongly between both sides with the High School forwards winning the battle up front.

The Limavady pack seemed to be second class to the Belfast pack but 15 minutes into the first half, the ball popped out of the side of the ruck on the half way line and Daniel Irvine reacted quickly by recovering the ball and showed great pace by running the ball into the corner to score. The try was unconverted but Limavady Grammar School had a 5-0 lead. The Belfast High School team reacted by taking the opportunity of a penalty and showing how their forwards worked with a maul and drive inside the Limavady 22m line leading to an unconverted try and a 5-5 scoreline. Just before the interval the High School team took an 8-5 lead when they converted a penalty opportunity. At half time it was stated clearly if Limavady were to get back into the game they had to get their forwards working and winning ball. Throughout the second half it was the Limavady pack which was dominating possession with a greatly improved second half performance. The Limavady pack dominated possession for long periods of the second half although their backline was unable to penetrate the well organised High School defence. However, that was until late into the second half when Andy Miller popped the ball to a great running line from Stuart Hull who cut open the High School defence. He gave the ball wide to Aaron Rainey who scored the try to complete his man of the match performance. The try was unconverted and for the rest of the game the score remained 10-8 to Limavady until the final whistle.

Royal School, Dungannon travelled to play Friends’ School in Lisburn.

The Tyrone dominated proceedings from the beginning of the game. They scored tries through Jonny Wright, Peter Cashel, Jacob McCammon, Jack Milligan, David Davidson and Robert McClean. One conversion was kicked as well as a openalty to account for the Royal School, Dungannon scoreline. The young and inexperienced Friends’ School team had opportunities to score but the Dungannon defence, with Stuart Moore and Jamie McNeill impressing, thwarted their advances. That was until the final quarter of the game when Peter Ferguson created an opportunity for the Friends’ School debutant winger, Zach Finlay, to score an unconverted try in the corner.
Coleraine Academical Institution hosted Carrickfergus Grammar School in a game which saw an uneventful first half littered with handling errors and turnovers from the Coleraine AI team. Mikey Poskitt uncharacteristically missed three straight forward penalty opportunities and the scoreline read 0-0 at halftime. The second half saw Coleraine AI start with more conviction, with Andrew Richardson and Mark Gordon leading the charge. After some good phase play from the Coleraine AI pack, play moved into Carrickfergus Grammar School territory. After 40 minutes a line break from second row forward Nick Logan the Coleraine AI pack recycled the ball quickly. Wing forward Andrew Richardson picked up and powered over from 20 yards out. Mikey Poskitt missed the kick but his team had a 5-0 lead. From the restart fly half, Mikey Poskitt, carved up the Carrick defence and made 40 yards before being brought down by the Carrick full back. From the ensuing ruck the ColeraineAI forwards were held up just short of the Carrick line but good ball retention and a change of direction allowed centre, Simon Cargin, to score from short range to give his team a 10-0 lead. Mikey Poskitt extended this to 12-0 with his successful conversion attempt. Towards the end of the game the Carrickfergus team rallied well and came back to score an unconverted try, to take the score, to 12-5 following a sustained period of pressure. This was how the final scoreline read. The Coleraine AI man of the match was Mark Gordon with other notable performances from wing forward Andrew Richardson and centre Simon Cargin.

Portadown College and Banbridge Academy played out a three session controlled game scenario and Banbridge started the first session in attack, having all the set plays in their favour.

Both sides started strongly with the Banbridge side enjoying the possession. However, Portadown were very aggressive in defence and managed to turn over numerous balls at the contact area. Nathan Montgomery and Matthew Thornton showed up well in the early exchanges. It was from one of these turn over balls that allowed the College backs to counter attack which they duly did spreading the ball wide to allow debutant right wing, Andrew Steele, to score wide out in the corner. The conversion was missed but the Portadown team had a 5-0 lead. Further pressure from the College team meant that Banbridge were unable to string the phases together and resulted in further turnover ball which allowed the College pack to drive for the line. This allowed prop forward, Matthew Robb, to pick and drive low for line which he executed well to give his team a 10 – 0 lead. In the second third of the game the College side enjoyed the possession and were able to make better use of the ball. Excellent ball retention and continuity skills shown throughout their period of possession enabled the College side to string the phases together. Inevitably the College managed to eventually create the overlap to allow Andrew Steele to stroll in for his second of the game and give his team a 15 – 0 lead. The final third of the game was played under ‘normal laws’ and Portadown College continued to dominate the open play particularly in defence which forced the Banbridge side into many unforced errors. By this stage the College back line were on top of their game and with some excellent handling and depth running from centres Matthew Trouton and Neil Cully together with excellent support play from newly converted wing forward Matthew Richardson. This comination of players created the opportunity for Andrew Steele to score his third try of the game and give his team a 20 – 0 lead. Banbridge then pressed and with an excellent kick to the corner put pressure on the College line out. This resulted in a turnover ball and eventually a try for their prop forward Harry Russell to reduce the arrears to20 – 5. Banbridge at this stage were playing their way back into the game and following further pressure were rewarded with a further push try from Aaron Kennedy following a pick and go from the back of a ruck to take the score to 20 – 10. This spurred the College side on and they scored a good try from centre, Matthew Trouton. Matthew followed up his own charge down to score a try under the posts which was converted by Ben Matchett to leave the final score 27 – 10 in favour of Portadown College.

Methodist College followed up with their midweek win another victory, this time against Sullivan Upper.

Methody played with the wind in the first half and scored nineteen unanswered points during that period of play. Winger Elliott Mooney scored a try which was converted by Rudolph Benade to give his team a 7-0 lead. This was followed by an unconverted try from Dan Bingham to put the Methody team into a 12-0 lead. Newly acquired flanker, James Gallagher, extended this lead with a try which Rudolph Benade converted to see the game through to the halftime whistle. The start of the second half saw Sullivan stage a mini revival. Flanker, Tom McCartney scored a try which Chris Hayes converted to reduce the arrears to 19-7. This very quickly became 19-12 when Chris Hayes ran in for a try. However, Methody reasserted themselves quickly with a try from Connor McKee which was converted by Rudolph Benade to extend their lead to 26-12. Rudolph completed a fine personal performance with an unconverted try to leave the final scoreline reading 31-12 in favour of the Methodist College team.

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