There were eight ties played in Round 4 of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup on Saturday morning.
Enniskillen Royal Grammar School 19-3 Down High School
The Enniskillen RGS team took a 7-0 lead in the first half when a clever inside pass from John Allan resulted in Ryan Phair making a line break. Ryan was tackled but the ball was recycled quickly and a flowing Enniskillen RGS attack was finished off when Alex Parke ran in for the try. Eddie Keys added the conversion with an excellent kick. Down High School had a number of opportunities to reduce the arrears and one of these was successfully completed when Greg Hutley converted a penalty kick to leave the scoreboard reading 7-3 in favour of the Enniskillen Royal Grammar School team at the break .
The second half saw the game hang in the balance for the first twenty minutes. That was until an Enniskillen RGS maul was driven from the 10m line and stopped just short of the Down High School line. From the ensuing ruck Callum Smyton got the ball in his hands and he barged his way over the Down High School line for the try. Eddie Keys added the conversion to see his team into a 14-3 lead. With just minutes remaining John Allan took full advantage of good work from his team mates before touching down for an unconverted try in the corner which secured the 19-3 victory for the Enniskillen Royal Grammar School team.
Royal Belfast Academical Institution 38-0 Royal School Dungannon
The Royal Belfast Academical Institution team ran in six tries through Max Preston, Bradley McNamara, Jude Postlethwaite, Jared Waite, Rory Adair and Josh Patterson. Robin McIlveen added three conversions with Ronan Boyle adding a fourth.
Royal School Armagh 66-12 Bangor Grammar School
The RS Armagh team had built up a commanding 31-7 lead by the break with tries from Nicholas Jennings, Peter Taylor, Benji Boyd and Ryan Finlay. Charlie Worth converted all four tries as well as a penalty. In reply the Bangor Grammar School team scored a penalty try on the stroke of half time.
The Royal School, Armagh team started the second half strongly. With Charlie Worth and Benji Boyd dictating the course of play they scored three tries early in the half through Aaron Woods, Peter Taylor and James Brown. Charlie Worth added all three conversions to extend the RS Armagh lead to 52-7. A brief respite from constant attacks allowed the Bangor Grammar School team to break out of defence and their endeavours were rewarded with an unconverted try scored through their winger, Michael McCreery, which reduced the Royal School, Armagh lead to 52-12. However, the Royal School, Armagh team had not finished with their try scoring exploits. Michael Campbell and Jonny Agnew both touched down for one try apiece before the end of the game. Romain Morrow added the conversions to both tries to see the Royal School, Armagh team finish the game as impressive 66-12 winners.
Sullivan Upper School 13-19 Campbell College
Sullivan Upper School made Campbell College, Belfast work hard for their victory which secured a place in the draw for the 1/4 Finals of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup for the current holders of the Ulster Schools’ Cup. The Campbell College, Belfast team started the game in the best possible way. They took a 7-0 lead with only one minute on the clock when Harry Owens slipped off a couple of tackles before touching down for a try. Conor Rankin added the conversion to see the Campbell College team into the 7-0 lead. Midway through the half the Sullivan Upper team came back into the game when Conor McKee charged down an attempted Campbell College clearance kick. Conor regathered the ball and touched down duly for a try in the corner. With a superb touchline conversion Conor drew the scores level at 7-7. Further Sullivan Upper pressure forced the Campbell College team into conceding a penalty. Up stepped Conor, once again, to slot the kick successfully through the Campbell College posts and see the Sullivan Upper School team into a 10-7 lead; a lead they held until the break.
The teams turned round and the Sullivan Upper team now had any wind advantage there might have been. However, it was the Campbell College team that started the second half the stronger of the teams. Danny Williamson touched down for an unconverted try in the corner to give the Campbell College team a 12-10 lead early in the second half. This seemed to spur the Campbell College team and Conor Rankin crossed the Sullivan line for a try following a series of phase plays from the Campbell College team. Conor added the conversion to his try to extend the Campbell College lead to 19-10. Conor McKee gave the Sullivan Upper team a glimmer of hope when he converted a penalty opportunity, to reduce the Sullivan Upper arrears to 19-13, going into the final quarter of the game. However, that was to have been the last score of the game and it was the Campbell College, Belfast team that celebrated their hard earned 19-13 win at the no-side whistle.
Cambridge House Grammar School 7-55 Wallace High School
Cambridge House Grammar School played Wallace High School in the 4th Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup. The Cambridge House team worked very hard but there was little they could do to prevent the impressive Wallace High School team from recording a well-deserved 55-7 victory. Two tries from Luke Allison, one try each from Ben Carson, Dillon Sedge, Joel Dundas, Jack Dillon, Scott Wilson and Harry Long, plus a penalty try and four Nathan Doak conversions, accounted for the Wallace High school points.
The Cambridge House Grammar School points came through a first half try from Reece Ervine which converted by Rory McCandless.
Ballymena Academy 17-12 Belfast Royal Academy
Ballymena Academy hosted Belfast Royal Academy and had to work hard before recording their 17-12 win at the end of this Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup 4th Round game. The Ballymena Academy team started the game with the wind in their backs and good game management by their half back pairing of James Wright and Ross McKay kept them on the front foot. Their attacks forced the Belfast Royal Academy into conceding penalties and Ross McKay was successful with kicks in the fifteenth, twentieth and thirtieth minutes to see the Ballymena Academy team into a 9-0 lead. Just before the break it might have been more when the outstanding Ballymena Academy full back, Matthew Corr, cut through the Belfast Royal Academy defensive line. However, a great tackle from his opposite number, Brendan Hasson, denied Matthew the opportunity of scoring and the teams turned around with the Ballymena Academy team 9-0 ahead at the break.
The Ballymena Academy team started the second half well with big carries from Harry Andrews and Adam Lamont taking them deep into opposition territory. Ross McKay added another penalty to see the Ballymena Academy team into a 12-0 lead. Then, following a well organised driven maul, the ball was recycled and released to Alex McKinney. Alex then powered over the Belfast Royal Academy line before touching down for an unconverted try which increased the Ballymena Academy lead to 17-0. The Belfast Royal Academy team then came into the game when they started to display more attacking options. Daniel Logan scored an unconverted try to reduce the arrears for the Belfast Royal Academy team to 17-5. This seemed to inspire the BRA team and they got some reward for their endeavours when Ollie Parkes ran in for a try, which was converted by Harry Warke late in the game, to reduce the deficit to 17-12. However, time was running out and it was the Ballymena Academy that went through to the draw for the 1/4 Finals of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup following their 17-12 victory against Belfast Royal Academy.
Dalriada School 7-47 Methodist College Belfast
Dalriada School hosted Methodist College, Belfast, the team that most people would see as favourites to lift the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup this season. Despite the best intentions of the Dalriada School team it was the Methodist College team that emerged as 47-7 winners. The Methodist College team had built up a 28-7 lead by the break with tries from Chris Larmour, David Boden, Dan Humphries and Thomas Armstrong. Ethan McIlroy converted all four tries. In reply the Dalriada School team scored a try through the impressive James McCormick which was converted by Paddy Carson.
The Methodist College team went on to dominate proceedings in the second half. They scored three tries to through Ethan McIlroy, Dan Humphries and Stephen Millar, two of which were converted by Ethan McIlroy, to secure their 47-7 victory.
Rainey Endowed School 15-12 Ballyclare High School
The Ballyclare High School team took a 5-0 lead twenty minutes into the game when Ethan Crawford crashed over for an unconverted try following a clever play off a 5m lineout. The reponse from the Rainey ES team was swift and they levelled the scores at 5-5 when Callum Donnelly crashed over the Ballyclare HS line for an unconverted try. The Ballyclare team might have scored again just before the break but good Rainey Endowed defence ensured their line was not crossed.
Rainey started the second half well and Harry Evans gave them an 8-5 lead when he converted a penalty kick opportunity. Rainey continued to dominate but it took some time before they were able to outwit a resolute Ballyclare High School defence. However, going into the last quarter of the game, Bryn Davies took advantage of a line break from Bryan Hall and he powered over the Ballyclare line for a try. Harry Evans added the conversion to put the Rainey Endowed School team into a 15-5 lead. With little time remaining the Ballyclare High School team scored a try through Jack Gamble. Adam Clarke added the conversion to take the score board to 15-12 in favour of the Rainey Endowed School team. No further scores ensured it was the Rainey Endowed School team that went into the draw for the 1/4 Finals of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup.