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Belfast Royal Academy hit full stride to seal Shield progress

By Ronnie Ingram

It took Belfast Royal Academy some time to settle but once they did they were too strong for Carrickfergus Grammar and they emerged 33-5 winners in the second round of the Danske Bank Medallion Shield.

Academy coach Neil Irwin said: "It was a competent overall performance but despite having the vast majority of territory and possession in the first period, we only led 12-0 at the interval.

"Our scrum-half Aaron Lyons ran in an opportunist try which was converted by Robert Daly and then our explosive centre Shane Martin dashed in from the 22 for the second but we should have been much further ahead.

"We regrouped after the restart and began to put our game together. Lyons crossed for his second which was also goaled and an excellent driving maul resulted in No 8 Jack Plackett crashing over.

"Martin later again showed his capabilities when, following a series of phases, he went under the posts to make it 33-0."

Daly had a total of four conversions. Carrick gave their all right to the end and were justly rewarded when their competent out-half Jackson Smith scored.

Carrick coach Neal Kennedy commented: "We were out hustled at the breakdown but we also made far too many mistakes and Academy were the better team on the day. Our centre Tiernan McGreevy and Jackson Smith were our best players."

Irwin was satisfied with his team's efforts. He added: "If we play as well in the next round and win then we will have the confidence to take on the top seeds."

Other results: Regent House 43 Wellington College 10, Antrim Grammar 0 RS Dungannon 25.

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