Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

Methody just too strong for Wallace

Methody delivered a dominant first-half performance to overcome Wallace High at Pirrie Park and advance to the Danske Bank Schools' Cup semi-finals.

The holders led 22-0 at the turn and, after the early onslaught, their opponents rarely looked capable of progressing.

Methody coach Nicky Wells said: "I'm really pleased with the first-half in particular. Wallace are traditionally a strong Schools' Cup team but I thought we were very clinical out there and took our chances when they came.

"To break them down and get the points we needed before the break was great to see," he added.

"We had a shock back at Christmas time against Blackrock, it was a bit of a horror show if we're honest, but that made us realise that maybe we haven't put as much emphasis on our defence this season and it was something we needed to put right.

"Since then it is something we've really worked on and I think that is paying dividends."

He added: "We're always going to be confident here at Pirrie, it's always a big ask when you have to go away in this competition, and Wallace at their place would have been a different proposition but we're just happy to be in the next round."

Echoing the sentiments of his coach, captain Ross Kane added: "We're really pleased with the performance and I think the first-half was probably as well as we have played all season.

"We were up against a really good Wallace side so it was a great win and we can just look forward to a big semi-final now."

Having defeated Campbell College 12-0 in the last round, Methody came into the contest as the form team in the province and quickly set about justifying their billing as favourites for the competition.

With just four minutes on the clock, Josh Bingham kicked the home side into an early three point lead and it was to prove the beginning of a productive day for the Methody fly-half.

As Methody dominated both possession and territory in the early stages, a burst from Connor Kelly gained good ground and his clever offload found Bingham who was able to touch down in the corner.

From a testing position, the number 10 was unable to add the extras but it was to be a rare mistake.

After a quarter of an hour Methody put themselves in a commanding position with another try from Bingham.

Following a well worked line-out, the impressive James Gallagher worked the ball to Bingham who was able to evade the desperate lunges of Derek Suffern's battling side and notch his second score of the day.

Wallace's already sizeable task became even more daunting soon after with a relentless Methody adding another converted try, this time from skipper Kane.

The Ireland Under 19 prop displayed an impressive physicality as he barged through a number of attempted tackles and powered over the whitewash in a central position.

The Bingham conversion proved to be straightforward and Methody were quickly into a 22-0 lead.

Wallace had a rare spell of possession as the interval approached but could not capitalise on their best scoring opportunity after Ryan Moore's pass cannoned off the body of captain Zack McCall and gave Methody a scrum.

After the turn, the game would prove to be more even although the visitors could still find no way to breach a staunch Methody rearguard.

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