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In pictures: Campbell show class to sink battling Sullivan and set up huge quarter-final tie

Sullivan Upper 13 Campbell College 19

By Michael Sadlier

For the holders this was a tricky hurdle negotiated, allowing Campbell College to bank the fringe benefit of a home quarter-final with Enniskillen Royal Grammar School.

But this was no easy passage through from round four of the Danske Bank Schools' Cup for Campbell, as their near neighbours Sullivan Upper made them battle every inch of the way at a windswept Holywood.

The quarter-final draw also worked out quite well for Campbell in another way as all the attention will be on Pirrie Park, where a massive clash awaits as Methodist College will host Royal Belfast Academical Institution on February 23.

The two long-standing Belfast rivals, who both played their first games in last weekend's round four, eased their way into the last eight with Methody triumphing 47-7 at Dalriada while Inst swatted aside Royal School Dungannon 38-0 at Osborne Park.

There were also big wins for last year's defeated finalists Royal School Armagh who smashed Bangor Grammar 66-12 and Wallace High School who won 55-7 at Cambridge House.

Royal School Armagh are at Ballymena Academy - the latter getting past Belfast Royal Academy by 17-12 - for their quarter-final while Rainey Endowed host Wallace after the Magherafelt school defeated Ballyclare High School the narrow margin of 15-12.

Enniskillen Royal got through to the quarter final draw at Campbell by winning 19-3 at home to Down High School.

Playing their last eight clash at Fox's Field is clearly a boost for Campbell though assistant coach Johnny Cupitt was just relieved that the squad had come through their first test at Sullivan after coming back to win from trailing 10-7 at half-time.

Two well taken second half tries, scored by Danny Williamson and Conor Rankin, got the holders there after Campbell had opened up in the first minute with a try from centre Harry Owens.

"We're very happy to be in the next round," Cupitt said.

"In the second half we were facing a massive wind so we had to play the way we liked to play by retaining the ball and we then saw more of the standard we expect.

"Getting nine points clear (19-10) gave us that bit of space even though they narrowed that to six," added Cupitt.

"All credit to Sullivan as they were excellent and massively competitive."

Even though they were ultimately outscored by three tries to one, Sullivan could easily have won this contest and the hosts also had game's two most prominent players in scrum-half Conor McKee and impressive hooker William Cave.

McKee scored all of his side's points from a smartly taken first half try, along with an excellent conversion, as well as two further penalties while Cave frequently propelled his team forward.

That was little consolation, though, to head coach Adam Craig as his side now go on to host Cambridge House in the Subsidiary Shield quarter-finals.

"Fair play to Campbell, they played well and they know what to do in the Schools' Cup.

"I suppose we let it slip really, but we move on," said Craig.

With the swirling wind at their backs, Campbell worked Owens over the line before a minute was gone and with Rankin converting it seemed that the visitors might run amok.

However, seven minutes later, a charged down chip ended up with McKee haring down the left wing to score at the corner.

His superb conversion put Sullivan in front and then, towards the end of the half, Sullivan impressively drove up-field into the wind with Cave and McKee doing good work.

The net result was a penalty which McKee landed and Sullivan led 10-7 as the half ended.

Facing the elements, Campbell then scored two quick-fire tries from Williamson and Rankin.

McKee's 33rd minute penalty gave Sullivan hope but it was the last score of the game as Campbell stayed solid.

Belfast Telegraph

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