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Portora Royal thrilled to bits with first Bowl success

Grosvenor 7-20 Portora

By Ronnie Ingram

Published 10/03/2016

Portora Royal won the Danske Bank Schools’ Bowl for the first time following a 20-7 victory against Grosvenor Grammar
Portora Royal won the Danske Bank Schools’ Bowl for the first time following a 20-7 victory against Grosvenor Grammar

Portora Royal won the Danske Bank Schools' Bowl for the first time following a comfortable 20-7 victory against a disappointing Grosvenor Grammar at RS Dungannon.

Despite playing into the breeze in the first-half, the Enniskillen team opened up a 12-point advantage at the interval and added a further eight before the Belfast side retorted with a converted try.

Grosvenor coach Andy Gibson thought his side didn't play to their usual standard.

He said: "Portora were very physical and punched a lot of holes in our defence. We allowed them to break too many tackles and we lacked possession as our line-out failed to function."

Portora full-back Robert Baloucoune and centre Conor Keys had a large part to play in their team's success.

Baloucoune was always a danger making yards and kept the ball tight when necessary.

The forwards set up the first try when, following a number of phases, flanker Jack Rutledge crashed over for Keys to convert.

Soon after, flanker Andy Crawford broke through the middle and was tackled on the '22' but the ball was recycled and Keys linked with Baloucoune, who dived over.

Keys added a penalty five minutes into the second-half before Jack Rutledge scored his second try.

It was probably one game too many for the Belfast boys but they were rewarded with a late Daniel Martin try, which Adam Skelton goaled.

Portora coach Rhys Botha said: "The forwards had been working well together and Rutledge took a good line off Keys and touched down to the left of the posts. After this I brought on all our substitutes as they have had a part in the team's success.

"It was an excellent effort and I thought our captain and No.8 Josh Kennedy organised well and was evident in the line-outs and the back of the scrum. The Bowl is a just reward after travelling to Regent House and losing by only one point in the Schools' Cup."

In the Subsidiary Shield semi-final replay, Wallace High beat Coleraine Academy 22-7 and now meet Down High in the final at the Kingspan next Monday.

Belfast Telegraph

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