Northern Bank Ulster Schools’ Round Up Saturday 5th March 2011. Reports: Videos of RBAI v Coleriane AI, Interviews with Coaches @ Methody v Campbell + Pictures, Videos of Play & Interviews At Sullivan v RS Armagh, Pictures from Wallace v Bangor GS

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There were a couple of Northern Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup matches played in the course of the week.

On Monday Campbell College and Methodist College met in a replay of their Northern Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup quarter-final replay at a packed Shaw’s Bridge stadium.



The conditions were superb and both teams put on a great display of all that is good about schoolboy rugby in the province. The tie was always likely to be settled by one score and so it turned out as Campbell College held on to seal a semi- final meeting with Ballyclare High School. In the first minute of the game Campbell College threatened the Methodist College line only to find themselves met by resolute Methody defence. The Methody back row won the initial battle at the breakdown and turned the ball over. They attacked immediately taking the ball deep into Campbell College territory when Mark Gribben made a great break through a bemused Campbell College midfield defence.

From a resulting ruck Peter Logan and James Harrison took play just short of the Campbell College 22m line and, when a Campbell tackler was penalised for killing the ball, the Methody out half Adam Berry put his team into a 3-0 lead with a well struck penalty kick. The Campbell team responded immediately and in the 7th minute centre Chris Farrell broke through a tackle and moved the ball to left wing Rob Haldane who managed to score in the corner. The Campbell College full back, Rory Scholes, was wide with the conversion attempt but his Campbell College team had a narrow 5-3. The Methody team responded positively and came back strongly. They had a number of opportunities from two scrums on the Campbell College 5 metre line but, despite being well on top in these scrums, on each occasion they failed to make their superiority count. Shortly afterwards Campbell College made their way into the Methody half and were awarded a penalty. Rory Scholes stepped up and converted the penalty opportunity to stretch the Campbell lead to 8-3. The Methody team did not let this upset them but came back strongly came back hard however and thought they had gone into the lead when their Captain, Dan Kerr, appeared to have scrambled over the Campbell College line. However, their hopes were dashed when the referee deemed that Dan Kerr had been held up. This ensured that the 8-3 scoreline remained until the half time whistle. The Campbell College team enjoyed the greater amount of territory and possession in the early part of the second half. Clever kicking from Rory Scholes and Campbell College Captain, John Creighton, kept the Methody team on the back foot. They also came close to extending their lead when their right wing, Moss Rodgers, almost managed to cross the Methody line. It took a great cover tackle from Rory Winters to stop him and force the ball to spill from his hands with the line at his mercy. The Methody team started to gain territorial advantage but were guilty of making far too many errors.The Campbell College defence was resolute in dealing with the direct approach adopted by Methody in attack and despite the best efforts of the impressive Peter Logan and Ross Kane, the Campbell line remained intact until the final whistle. There was another scare when for the Campbell defence when the Methodist College winger, Patrick Colhoun, broke from the his own 22m area and made inroads into the Campbell College 22m area only to be denied his moment of glory by a fine cover tackle from the hard working Rob Haldane. After three matches which were fine advertisements for schoolboy rugby in the province it was the Campbell College team that took the kudos and celebrated their hard earned 8-3 victory and who can look forward to next week’s semi-final encounter against Ballyclare High School.

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Royal Belfast Academical Institution and Coleraine Academical Institution met in the first of the Northern Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup semi-finals in front of a good crowd of supporters at a sun lit Ravenhill.



In perfect conditions both teams tried to run the ball at every opportunity but it was RBAI who came out on top with tries from Matthew Madill, Nathan Brown and Gareth Lawler. In a fairly even first half it was RBAI who got on the scoreboard first. After a number of phases the ball was moved wide to Madill who finished off in the left corner. Matthew McGuigan, who has impressed to date in the competition, was successful with his conversion attempt from the touchline. He then stretched the lead to 10-0 with a sweetly struck drop goal from 30 metres out. Coleraine began to gain a foothold in the game and breaks by Patrick Farrell and Peter Murphy brought play into the RBAI 22. After the defensive team was penalised for going offside, David McIntyre notched a penalty to leave the score 10-3 at the break. RBAI came out strong in the second period and winger Nathan Brown rounded off a well worked move but Matthew McGuigan was unable to add the extras. Coleraine had a few chances to reduce the gap but were let down by sloppy handling errors on a number of occasions. RBAI outhalf, Gareth Lawler, made the game safe with 6 minutes remaining as he got on the end of a Matthew Madill kick to score in the corner. Matthew McGuigan missed the difficult conversion but his side led 20-3. Coleraine grabbed a consolation in the last couple of minutes as David McIntrye squeezed over as the game finished 20-8 to RBAI.

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In the first of this season’s Northern Bank Ulster Schools’ finals, Portora Royal School hosted near neighbours and close rivals, Omagh Academy at a sun bathed Dungannon Rugby Football Club in the Schools’ Trophy final on Thursday afternoon.



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Played in front of an enthusiastic group of supporters, it was the Omagh Academy team that started the game in a more determined manner. The Tyrone team controlled most of the territory as well as possession in the opening exchanges. They will look back on the game wondering how they did not manage to score on a number of occasions in the first twenty minutes. Chances were created on a regular basis but a combination of poor decision making and handling errors by the Omagh Academy team ensured that the Portora RS line remained intact. Indeed, it was the Portora team that could have opened the scoring when, on a rare venture into Omagh Academy territory, they were awarded a penalty. Robert Connors missed a reasonably straightforward kick but his team had survived the hectic opening period. Towards the end of the first half, the Portora team was encamped deep in Omagh Academy territory. A series of penalties were kept in play with the Portora team working hard to get over the Omagh Academy line. Adam Farrell, Alex McCurry, Graham Rutherford and Neil Allen were all thwarted in their attempts by a well organised Omagh defence. Gary Sherrard, Adam Longwell and Harry Gibson tackled like demons to deny the Portora team a try. That was until the seventh minute of injury time when Neil Henderson scrambled his way over the Omagh line to touch down for a try. Robert Connor added conversion to give his team a 7-0 half time lead. If Omagh Academy dominated proceedings early in the first half, it was the Portora team that did so early in the second half. The Enniskillen team made the Tyrone team work hard in defence and they were successful until midway through the second period of play. A good combination of play involving both forwards and back presented the opportunity for the Portora RS centre, James Ferguson, to run in unopposed for a deserved try. The try was not converted but the Portora team had a 12-0 lead. This was extended 17-0 some ten minutes later when the Omagh defence failed to deal with a bouncing ball close their line. The ever alert Portora RS flanker, Matthew Mulligan, took advantage of the Omagh Academy hesitancy to pick up the ball and score a try. Once again, the conversion attempt was missed but the Portora team was sensing victory. On thirty three minutes Jonny Magwood took advantage of more hesitancy in the Omagh defence to romp home for an unconverted try to give his team a 22-0 lead. From the restart, the Omagh team regained possession and took play deep into Portora RS territory. A series of driven mauls were rewarded when Adam Longwell touched down over the Portora line for an unconverted try. The try was scored, the full time whistle went and it was the Portora RS team that celebrated their first win in the Northern Bank Ulster Schools’ Trophy competition. It was a delighted Portora RS captain, Adam Farrell, who received the Northern Bank Ulster Schools’ Trophy from Ulster Branch President, Sir Nigel Hamilton.

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There were two Northern Bank Ulster Schools’ Subsidiary Shield semi-final games played on Saturday 5th March.

A large crowd assembled at the Dalriada School playing fields on Saturday morning to witness the Semi-Final of the Ulster Schools’ Subsidiary Shield between the Ballymoney based school and local rivals, Ballymena Academy.

On a perfect morning for rugby, both sides showed an intention to move the ball from the outset. Ballymena Academy was the first team on the score sheet when their Captain, John Andrew, applied the touch down following a dynamic driving maul. Caleb Morrison added the conversion to leave Ballymena 7-0 ahead after just five minutes of play. Dalriada settled into the game after this setback with Roger Bonnar and Jonny McLaughlin, in particular, asking questions of the Ballymena defence. Dalriada were rewarded for their pressure in the fifteenth minute when John Laughlin was successful with a penalty attempt to reduce the deficit to 7-3. Five minutes later, Ben Henderson showed excellent composure and skill with a drop goal from 35 metres to reduce the arrears to 7-6. Ballymena had a couple of chances to increase their lead before half-time, but well organised and disciplined Dalriada defence meant that the teams broke for half time with game perfectly balanced. Ballymena enjoyed the majority of possession early in the second half with Timothy Patton and Adam Mitchell putting significant pressure on the Dalriada line-out. Indeed, it was a lineout catch by Timothy Patton which resulted in a second try for John Andrew. Again, Caleb Morrison added the extras to stretch the away team’s lead to 14-6. The deficit remained at eight points for the next twenty minutes during which time both teams came close to scoring a crucial try. The referee adjudged that a Ballymena Academy pass had gone forward which denied Callum Patterson the opportunity to touch down in the corner. Moments later, a loose ball was hacked through by the pacey Dalriada replacement, Jack Magee. However, the referee was on hand to signal a knock-on against the Dalriada winger. The final fifteen minutes were dominated by the Ballymena Acadermy team and Caleb Morrison, enjoying the freedom of playing on the wing, popped up at first receiver to exploit a gap and touch down below the posts. This try saw Caleb pass the two hundred point mark for the season, an outstanding achievement for this very talented player. Caleb was successful with his conversion which increased the Ballymena Academy lead to 21-6. Ballymena Academy added another try, the best of the morning, when Jordan Foster was on hand to finish in the corner after Academy had moved the ball from touchline to touchline through several phases. A final score of 26-6 means that the Ballymena Academy team has booked their place at Ravenhill for the final of the Northern Bank Ulster Schools, Subsidiary Shield non March 24th with this well-deserved 26-6 victory.

Wallace High School hosted Bangor Grammar School in a very physical and abrasive encounter at the Magheralave Road venue.


In front of a good crowd of supporters from both schools it was the Wallace team that took the lead with a well struck penalty from David Scott to give his team a 3-0 lead. The Bangor team responded almost immediately when Stuart McCloskey kicked a penalty to take the score to 3-3. Shortly after this the home team was reduced to fourteen players when the referee had occasion to use his red card! However, the loss of a player did not seem to impact on the Wallace team as they took the lead once again when Chris Taylor powered his way over the Bangor line following a well-controlled driven maul from the Wallace forwards. David Scott was successful with the conversion attempt to put his team into a 10-3 lead. The Bangor team upped the tempo of the game and took play into Wallace territory. The Wallace High School defence was well organised and disciplined. Cal McIlwaine and Daniel Henry got through a lot of work to ensure the score remained 10-3 until the half time whistle. Wallace High School started the second half strongly but their only reward was a David Scott penalty to increase their lead to 13-3. Bangor Grammar School realised they would need to lift their game or the Wallace High School team could start to run away from them. The Bangor pack started to put pressure on the Wallace pack and deprived the home team of possession from a number of scrums and lineouts. This pressure paid off when an opportunity was created which enabled Nico Espana to touch down for a try. Stuart McCloskey added the conversion to reduce the arrears to 13-10. Another David Scott penalty alongside two Stuart McCloskey penalties took the score to 16-16 with fifteen minutes remaining. Following a free flowing Wallace High School attack, David Scott scored an unconverted try in the corner to increase the Wallace lead to 21-16. With time running out the Bangor team took play deep into Wallace territory. Their off-loading game, involving both forwards and backs, paved the way for Stuart McCloskey to run in for a try. Stuart was unsuccessful with the conversion but the scoreline now read 21-21. There was one last opportunity for the home team to register a victory but David Scott was unsuccessful with an injury time penalty attempt which ensured the two teams will meet again on Saturday 12th March at the Ballymacormick Road venue in the replay of the semi-final of the Northern Bank Ulster Schools’ Subsidiary Shield game.

Despite not being in any of the Schools’ competitions at the minute, the Regent House 1st xv Development squad has been busy recently.

They played Larne Grammar School and won a very close encounter by 13-12. The Regent team scored the first try of the game through Stephen Adams. The Larne team responded with a try from Aaron McBride following good work from his pack. Philip Andrews converted the try to give his team a 7-5 half time lead. In the second half the visitors scored a try through Steven Colwell and kicked a penalty from Alan Sinnamon. Late in the game Billy Brown touched down for an unconverted try to leave the final score at 13-12 in favour of the Regent House team.
The Regent team continued their travels when they played a midweek training game against Friends’ School in Lisburn. Both teams were determined to move the ball around when they had possession and the final score ended up as 33-14 in favour of the home team. Steven Colwell and Jonny Quigg touched down for the Regent team with Nathan Burns adding two conversions.

The Friends’ team scored tries through Matthew Patterson, Michael Cochrane, Ben McMullan and Paddy Pringle who touched down twice. Paul Anderson converted four of the tries in a game that was very useful as the Friends’ team put the final touches to their preparations for the forthcoming Northern Bank Ulster Schools’ Bowl final against the much vaunted and talented Rainey Endowed team. This game is scheduled to take place at Dungannon Rugby Club on Wednesday 9th March at 2-30pm. The Lisburn team was grateful to the Regent House team for providing midweek opposition for this training game.

In the Northern Bank Ulster Schools’ Medallion Shield quarter-final games Royal Belfast Academical Institution defeated Belfast High School by 39-16, Limavady Grammar School defeated Down High School by 17-7, Campbell College defeated Wallace High School by 16-5 and Sullivan Upper defeated Royal School, Armagh by 39-15.

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In the semi-finals Limavady Grammar School will play Royal Belfast Academical Institution on Saturday 12th March at Ballymena Academy with an 11-00am kick off. Sullivan Upper will play Ballymena Academy on Saturday 12th March. Venue and kick off to be confirmed.

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