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BRA dismiss Leckey eligibility concerns

By Niall Crozier

Suggestions of any wrong-doing on the part of Northern Bank Schools’ Cup finalists Belfast Royal Academy have been dismissed by the organisers and the coach of the beaten semi-finalists.

On Tuesday the Cliftonville Road boys booked their place in the St Patrick’s Day Ravenhill showpiece by beating Wallace High School 16-12.

Centre David Cartmill scored all of the Academy points, his piece de resistance being the dramatic last-minute match-winning try which he converted having earlier booted over three penalties.

But afterwards there were allegations that the winners’ lock forward, Calum Leckey, was ineligible — a claim which cast a shadow over BRA’s delight at having reached another Schools’ Cup final.

Investigations as to Leckey’s age revealed that ill-health had seen him spend additional time at primary school level.

Last autumn all other schools were informed of the player’s circumstances and there were no objections.

He is not ‘a repeater’ and the IRFU was fully aware of his situation, declaring him to be “eligible for all competitions”.

BRA were always confident, then, that Leckey was able to take to the field.

Wallace coach Neil Hinds said: “No, we have no issue with this. If we had a complaint we would have made it before the match, not after it.

“We were beaten by a better side on the day, end of story.”

John Wilson, chairman of the Ulster Schools’ Committee, confirmed: “There have been no complaints at any stage and there is no case to answer.”

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