Ballyclare High School’s superior strength and experience proved to be too strong for Bangor as the County Antrim boys secured a place in the quarter-finals of the Northern Bank Schools’ Cup.
HIGH FIVE: Nathan Laughlin (above) goes over for a try in Ballyclare High’s rout of Bangor Grammar.
Bangor Grammar players (right) are dejected at the final whistle. |MATT MACKEY/|PRESSEYE
Although Bangor did manage to restrict their opponents to a 7-0 interval advantage in the game — re-arranged to take place at Larne Grammar — Ballyclare had just too much power and they went on to win by a landslide, scoring four tries in the process.
Bangor, with seven fifth formers in their line-up ,were physically out-performed in most aspects of the game. Ballyclare dominated the lines-out and set pieces and in the first half Bangor, who played their best in the loose, rarely threatened their opponent's line.
Ballyclare took an early lead when their captain Adam Best scored under the posts for Jordan Annett to convert.
Just after the re-start good forward play resulted in Matthew Hopper being driven over and as the tie progressed Ballyclare became more dominant.
More forward advancement from the '22' resulted in Best adding his second try for Annett to convert.
The next try was the best of the afternoon when play was taken down the 'blind side', then into the middle and with plenty of inter- passing, winger Nathan Laughlin took the final pass to go over in the corner for Annett to again convert.
The fourth try came after nine phases with Harry Glover crashing over.
Best took the man-of-the-match honours, as not only was he involved in most of the action, he topped off his performance by scoring two tries.
After the game the Ballyclare coach Daniel Soper commented: “It was a much improved performance since our two ties with Grosvenor. We set out to play better rugby and were physically dominant. Once we got in behind the tries flowed.”
David Kennedy,in charge of Bangor, had no complaints, as he said: “My players have come so far since the start of the season, but I would like to mention two in particular. Michael Apsley, a fifth former, was outstanding in the centre while Josh Togneri excelled at full-back.”
Ballyclare High: J.Dailly, S.Reid, M.Lok, M.Johnston, N.Laughlin, J.Annett, W.Stevenson, B.Wilson,M.Hopper, S.Forbes, A.Best (capt), A.Neill, F.Beickhorasani, H.Glover, R.Tweed.
Bangor Grammar: J.Togneri, P.Anderson, M.Apsley, J.Henly, C.Harpur, B..Coulter, S.McCluskey, J.Harrison, T.Hagen, W.McGaughey, J.Wright (capt), B..Galvin, D.Kelly, M.Coey, G,Irvine
There will be two re-arranged Northern Bank Schools’ Cup games up for decision today. RBAI welcome Banbridge Academy, Campbell College are at home to Ballymena Academy and Larne Grammar travel to Portora Royal.