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Resilient Friends march on in Shield after sealing win

Friends 15-11 Cambridge House

By Ronnie Ingram

Friends reached the third round of the Danske Bank Schools' Medallion Shield with a 15-11 triumph over Cambridge House in their replay yesterday following the 8-8 draw at Ballymena last week.

Friends had the better of the play at the start without troubling the scoreboard but a ruthless Cambridge House soon roared into an 11-point lead.

Two Rory McCandless penalties, in the 11th and 14th minutes, were followed by a try from Curtis Henry who had started on the wing before moving to No.8.

At that stage the bigger visiting pack looked stronger but Friends retorted with a brilliant try following a break from prop Cameron Loan. He linked with out-half Reece Malone, who cross-kicked for Stuart Patterson to gather and dash over.

It was now the Friends side's turn to force the pace. Malone registered a solo try after he broke through a few tackles from his own '22' and 10 minutes later, No.8 Sam Greer put the Lisburn team in front for the first time following some forward pressure.

Cambridge House took control once again towards the close and the result was in doubt until the end.

They took up a position close to the home try-line for the final 10 minutes and in fact had a five-metre scrum right at the end but the game was over once that was lost.

Friends coach Jamie Artt praised forwards Sam Gunn, Benji Matthews and Max Espie, who came on at the interval, after the victory.

He said: "Matthew Chapman and Reece Malone were also match winners. It was a second tough tie against the formidable Ballymena team and now we have only four days to recover before we travel to Ballymena Academy in the third round."

Belfast Telegraph


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