The Grosvenor pack dominated this Northern Bank Schools’ Cup tie and earned a narrow but deserved success over Down High at Downpatrick
It was never an entertaining game with both teams having to contend with the strong wind.
Grosvenor took the lead following a defensive mistake when a clearance kick did not find 'touch'.
This gave the visitors the incentive to attack and after a scrum and a couple of rucks they scored the game’s only try. No.8 forward Andrew Kelly gathered and linked with Martin Irvine. The scrum-half found winger Philip Patterson who ran down the 'blind side' to score an unconverted try.
Towards half-time Matthew Little kicked a penalty to give the visitors a merited 8-0 half-time advantage.
Down were seldom out of their opponent's half in the second half but the Grosvenor defence was superb and never really looked in real danger.They played to a game plan and their pack were sharper and more dangerous.
They succeeded in keeping Down 'off the ball' and the few opportunities that came the home team's way were squandered with poor handling.
Admittedly the conditions did not lend themselves to open, attractive rugby but they deserved some points 'on the board'.
It was a competent display by Grosvenor who have the luxury of a home tie in the next round against Ballyclare High on Saturday week.
If Matthew Little, Cathal Quinn, Pierce Jamieson and Andrew Kelly can repeat this form Grosvenor have an excellent chance of progressng further in the competition
After the game their coach Kyle McCallan said: “Our pack, led by Andrew Kelly and Pierce Jamieson, were magnificent in the second half into such a strong wind. We made the best of the few chances that came our way and to win away from home gives added pleasure.”
Ivor Monaghan, the home coach, admitted Grosvenor were the better team.
“They played a more tactical game and were very aggressive up front,” he said.
Down High: Y.McNeill, A.Curran, M.Eccles, M.Kennedy, B.Hilary, C.Kerr, S.Sterling, G.Hunter, F.Lockhart, S.Orr, J.Donnan, S,Ruddell, J.Graham, J..Partridge, M.Scott
Grosvenor Grammar: M.Little, P.Patterson, C.Quinn, L.Klimacki, D.Jackson, J.Taylor, M.Irwin, P.Jamieson, D.Fullerton, J.Kennedy, P.Dawson, P.Stoops, C.Steele, A.Kirkpatrick, A.Kelly