Coleraine AI 41-0 Regent House: Gordon’s flash display sees Coleraine triumph
Coleraine Inst advanced to the quarter-finals of the Danske Bank Schools' Cup with a six-try victory over Regent House at Ballycairn Road.
In some ways the scoreline was rather flattering as Regent did put up some stout opposition in the first half but as the tie progressed the home team took control.
They went in front after seven minutes when Conor Shiels chipped over the defence, gathered and ran past a couple of defenders to go over close to touch.
The visitors responded quickly and took play into the home 22 and exerted some pressure. They were awarded a few penalties, one of which was kickable but they elected to go for the corner and Coleraine eventually cleared their line.
After a number of phases Inst showed some enterprising play and Mark Gordon was held up just short before No 8 Joel Stanbridge crashed over for Shiels to convert and make it 15-0 at the interval.
Two minutes into the second half and Shiels once again showed his class.
He took a good line and danced through the opposition to go under the posts to also add the points.
At this stage Coleraine were really dictating the terms and following a forward surge Callum Smith off-loaded to Gordon who scored his second which was again goaled.
Next it was the turn of Davy McAllister to charge up the pitch and who was there to take his
pass — Gordon of course who weaved through for his third which was again goaled.
With four minutes remaining replacement Alross Alejo made the final score. He showed his speed on the wing, kicked through and gathered to run past a couple of defenders for second row forward Thomas Pethick to dive over.
Shiels again converted to bring his points tally to 18 points.
Coleraine coach Richard Beggs was a happy man.
“For most of the first quarter Regent took the game to us but we never appeared to lose control,” he said.
“We played possession in the first half and territory in the second. We have gained plenty of experience from our first game in the competition at Banbridge and now look forward to the quarter-finals with confidence.
It doesn't really matter who we play as long as we have home advantage. I thought our outstanding player was Mark Gordon, who was a wing forward last year and is now in the centre.
“He has improved leaps and bounds and it is surprising that he has been overlooked by the Ulster selectors.”
Regent coach John West thought his young team played to the best of their ability. “I don't think Coleraine were 41 points better than us but we didn't take our chances in the first half. They were very strong in the midfield with plenty of speed and skills.
“Our Matthew Johnston at No 6 played well and our front row containing Rhys Thompson and Tom Arthur-Donnan matched the opposition.
“Second row Tommy Scullion also showed his class. I feel we have an encouraging future as only three of this year's squad will not be returning.”
Coach Beggs got his wish with a home draw and fortunately for his team they steered clear of Campbell, RBAI and Methody but face Ballyclare High. Inst have already recorded a win against them but that was earlier in the season and Ballyclare are seeded above them.