Round-up of the latest schools’ rugby action, by Ulster Schools’ PRO Barney McGonigle…
There were two midweek fixtures played on Wednesday 25th September in the lead up to a full list of fixtures played on Friday 27th and Saturday 28th September.
On Wednesday 25th Omagh Academy travelled to play Banbridge Academy and, following a closely contested encounter, came away with a 10-5 victory. The Banbridge Academy team, with flankers, Marcus McNeill and Ben Bradshaw to the fore, took a 5-0 lead midway through the first half when Jake Houston ran in for an unconverted try. The Omagh Academy team then took a 7-5 lead with try from Niall Alexander which was converted by Jake Reid. The Omagh Academy team then secured their hard earned 10-5 victory when Jake Reid converted a penalty kick opportunity.
Ballyclare High School travelled to play Wesley College in Dublin and lost a very competitive game by 33-15 against the team that had won the Ian H Graham Trophy following their visit to the Grosvenor Grammar School tournament earlier in the season. Adam Barron, Peter Gillespie and Alex Darragh each scored an unconverted try for the Ballyclare High School team in the course of the game.
The Ballyclare High School 2ndxv played their Wesley College counterparts and lost their game narrowly by 24-22.
On Friday 27th September Dalriada School hosted Cambridge House Grammar School in a game the Cambridge House team won by 26-14. The Dalriada School points came through two converted tries from their Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ hooker, James McCormick.
The Cambridge House team kept up their recent run of good form with tries from Rhys Ervine, Stuart Donald, Jordan McMullan and Micah McIntyre. Josh Caldwell was successful with three out of four conversion kicks.
Meanwhile in Magherafelt the Rainey Endowed School played Foyle and Londonderry College. The Rainey team used the game to play an extended squad of players and recorded a 57-0 victory. The Rainey Endowed School team had built up a 38-0 lead by the break through tries from Abban McCloy, their very impressive winger, Marc Scott, Joel Bell, Marc Seffen and two from Seb Hastings. Josh Johnston was successful with four of his conversion kicks.
The second half saw the Rainey team score three more tries through Sean Drain, Joel Bell and Louis Regan with Josh Johnston adding two more conversions.
On Saturday 28th September quite a number of games were played.
Lurgan College played Antrim Grammar School and Strabane Grammar School in a round robin tournament format which was really enjoyed by all the players involved. The Lurgan College team defeated Strabane Grammar School by 21-0 with tries from Ryan Allen, Justin Burns and Harry Bird. Harry was successful with all three conversion.kicks.
Lurgan College went on to play Antrim Grammar School and recorded a 10-0 victory with Luke Forsythe and Patrick Lappin each touching down for an unconverted try.
Strabane Grammar School then played Antrim Grammar School and won this close encounter by 12-5. The Strabane Academy points came through two tries from Reuben Orr to which Tom Harpur added one conversion.
Ross McKay scored the unconverted try for the Antrim Grammar School team in the course of this game.
Bangor Grammar School played the undefeated Ballymena Academy team in a game which the Ballymena Academy team won comfortably by 55-7. The Ballymena Academy team got off to a great start and had built up a 40-7 lead by the break. Matthew Corr, Matthew French, James Wright with two, Dean Millar and Tyler McNeill scored the tries in the first half with Tyler adding five successful conversions.
The Bangor Grammar School team got some reward for their first half endeavours with a try from Finn Ritchie which was converted by Ben Gibson.
The Ballymena Academy team scored three unconverted tries in the second half through Josh Drain, Paul Gocher and Andrew Donald to secure their 55-7 victory.
Belfast Royal Academy played their cross town rivals from Methodist College, Belfast in a game that saw the Methody team get back to winning ways with a hard earned 31-5 win. Alex Armstrong and Adam McNamee scored first half tries for the Methody team and, with one conversion from Callum Davidson, it was the Methody team that took a 12-0 lead into the half time break.
That lead increased to 19-0 in the second half when Peter O’Hagan scored a try which was converted by Callum Davidson. A Rob Sturgess intercept try then reduced the Belfast Royal Academy arrears to 19-5 before Andrew McMurray and Callum Doherty ran in for tries for the Methody team. Two Callum Davidson conversions then secured the 31-5 victory for the Methodist College, Belfast team.
Campbell College, Belfast entertained a Wallace High School team that was keen to get back to winning ways following their defeat to Castleknock College the previous week. The entertaining game was won by the Wallace High School team by 31-24.
The Campbell College points came through tries from Zac Solomon, Dara Gaskin, and Danny Williamson in the first half and Finlay Parkes in the second half. Jack Bonnar was successful with two of his conversion kicks.
The Wallace High School team scored five tries through Ben Carson, who touched down twice, Reuben Crothers, Zac Lindsay and Jack Dillon. Jack was also successful with three conversions.
Coleraine Grammar School played Regent House School and recorded a comfortable 68-7 victory. Harry Mitchell, Tom Hutchinson and Luke Bell each scored two tries with Harry Caskey, Shaw Fleck, Cameron Leighton and Rory Telford each touching down for one try. Harry Caskey was successful with nine out of ten off his conversion kicks.
Jordan Lewis scored the Regent House School try which was converted by Matty Gibson.
Friends’ School, Lisburn played Dromore High School and got back to winning ways with a 22-0 victory. The Friends’ School, Lisburn team, despite the best intentions of Dromore High School players such as their Year 12 No 8, Curtis Forbes, and their industrious winger Cameron Owens, could do little to prevent the Friends’ School team from running in four tries. Fergus McEwen impressed with his two try performance with Max Gillespie and Joe Anderson each scoring one. A Reece Malone conversion secured the 22-0 victory for the Friends’ School, Lisburn team.
Larne Grammar School played Ballyclare High School and lost the game by 29-0. The Ballyclare High School scores came through tries from Robert Reid, who scored two, Peter Gillespie, Luca Hamilton and Matthew Spence. Mark Jackson was successful with two conversion kicks.
The Larne Grammar School team, despite losing the game, put on a spirited performance with players such as flanker, Caelan Campbell, and centre, Jack Withers, impressing throughout the game.
Portadown College hosted Belfast High School in a game the Portadown College team won by 24-7. The Portadown College team had built up a first lead of 19-0 with tries from Charlie Logan and Jay Lismore, who touched down twice. Adam Speers added two conversions.
Early in the second half the Belfast High School team scored a try through Scott Hutton, which was converted by Aaron Douglas, to reduce the arrears to 19-7 before Jay Lismore capped his Man of the Match performance with an unconverted try to secure the 24-7 victory for the Portadown College team.
Royal School, Armagh played Enniskillen Royal Grammar School in a game the Royal School, Armagh team won by 31-19. Niall Carville, Jude Roberts and Ryan Finlay each scored a try in the first half for the Royal School, Armagh team with Ethan McAtarsney adding all three conversions. Callum Smyton scored a first half try for the Enniskillen Royal Grammar School team, which Eddie Keyes converted, to leave the RS Armagh team 21-7 ahead at the interval.
The Royal School, Armagh team extended their lead to 26-7, early in the second half, when Ethan McAtarsney touched down for an unconverted try. The Enniskillen RGS team then ran in two tries from Sam Balfour and Stuart Brown and, with Eddie Keyes adding one conversion, their deficit was reduced to 26-19. However, the Royal School, Armagh team finished with a flourish and an unconverted try from Sam Harrison left the final score reading Royal School, Armagh 31 Enniskillen Royal Grammar School 19.
Royal School, Dungannon played the Grosvenor Grammar School team in their annual Chico Cup game on the WK Armstrong pitch. The Royal School, Dungannon team retained the Chico Cup following their 47-22 victory. The RS Dungannon team had built up a 26-12 lead by the interval before going on to win this highly entertaining game. Their points came through tries from Jack Lam, Adam Scott, Adam McFarland, Jonny McCammond, Charlie Conroy and Jack Girvan who touched down twice. Jack was also successful with six of his conversion kicks.
The Grosvenor Grammar School team scored four tries through Ethan Robinson, who touched down twice, Lewis Young and Ali Norton. Ben Johnston added one conversion.
Sullivan Upper School played Down High School and recorded a well-deserved 57-13 victory by scoring eight tries in the process. The Sullivan Upper tries were scored by Luke McCabe, who touched down twice, Fergus Doherty, Rory Carson, Harry Baird, Peter Camblin, Zac Moraghan and Max Woods. Zac was also successful with seven conversions as well as one penalty.
The Down High School points came through two Luka Walsh penalties, and a Joe Charles try to which Luka Walsh added the conversion.