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Academy end long wait for trophy success by halting Portadown recovery

Belfast Royal Academy 26-14 Portadown College

By Ronnie Ingram

It's been 13 years since Belfast Royal Academy last won a Senior schools' trophy so their comfortable Danske Bank Bowl final victory over Portadown College was very welcome.

Academy built up an 18 point advantage in the Campbell College showdown but their opponents fought back to reduce the gap to only four points just after the interval.

Full-back Harry Warke had a large part to play in his team's success, kicking two early penalties before adding the points to a Daniel Logan try. This came after Warke broke down the right and made ground before putting winger Logan in.

The second came when the forwards advanced up the middle and scrum-half Aaron Lyons linked with prop forward Nicky Ryan, who crashed over.

Portadown pressure was rewarded when flanker Ryan Neill crossed and then full-back Brett Flack scored the second for Adam Speers to convert both.

BRA would regain the initiative, however, when the forwards worked the ball down into Portadown territory, allowing No 8 Tom Stewart to touch down and ease some nerves.

Later, Warke added a third penalty, much to the delight of coach David Creighton.

"It was a tricky enough trophy to win that involved three games and I felt our performance this afternoon warranted the victory," he said.

In the SONI Ulster Rugby Premiership, meanwhile, Dungannon held out for a 20-17 win over Rainey at Magherafelt. In an entertaining game, Dungannon centre Paul Armstrong followed up a kick ahead to score for Chris Swash to convert.

Michael McCusker crossed for the home team but, following some home pressure, Dungannon broke away and Armstrong had a second converted try. A Jason Bloomfield break led to a Bob Lamberton score for Rainey to make the interval score 10-14.

Swash added a penalty following a home yellow card but Rainey retorted with a Jody McMurray try goaled by Gavin Martin. The teams were level at 17-17 but Swash later added a second penalty and the game ended with Rainey's Bloomfield held up over the visitor's line.

• Former Ulster and Ireland second row Dan Tuohy has joined Stade Francais until the end of the season as a medical joker.

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