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Methody into final

Methody 36 Ballyclare HS 3

As expected when the Northern Bank Schools' Cup semi-final draw was made Methody will now face Inst in the St.Patrick's Day final at Ravenhill.

This is Methody's fourth final in five years and they start firm favourites to win the trophy for the 32nd time.

Ballyclare put up stern opposition for most of this semi but were just not physically strong enough to make any real impression on their superior opponents.

Ballyclare, who played much better than the scoreline would suggest, started well and Jordan Annett kicked a penalty in the first minute and they continued to dominate for the first ten minutes before Methody got into their stride.

After 14 minutes Patrick Robinson levelled with a penalty from the ‘22' and before the opposition could recover the Belfast side scored their first try.

A Ballyclare pass went astray on the Methody '22' and they quickly broke away for Michael Allen to cut through and score for Robinson to convert.

Towards the end of the half Methody were awarded a penalty eight metres out and elected to take a scrum. Another scrum followed and Niall Annett picked up and linked with Allen who touched for Robinson to goal.

So the Malone Road team led 17-3 at the half-way stage and within a minute of the restart another try followed.

Out-half Patrick Jackson neatly chipped ahead and, with an awkward bounce, managed to win the touchdown beside the posts for Robinson to convert. Methody were dictating the terms at this stage and with Ballyclare kicking away hard fought possession their fleet footed three-quarters were showing their paces.

In the third quarter the Ballyclare defence was stretched and winger Troy Turkington-Thompson ran around to score between the posts. Robinson again goaled. Ballyclare came back but despite Methody having Blane McIlroy ‘yellow carded' they never really looked like scoring.

In the final minutes McIlroy was given the simple task of running in for the fifth try.

Daniel Soper, the Ballyclare coach was obviously disappointed “I'm pleased with our performance but we gave them three tries by our mistakes.”

Nicky Wells, in charge of Methody commented: “We played well in patches and showed glimpses of what we are capable of but need some fine tuning before the final. I'm happy we've reached the final stage but our penalty count is worrying.”

Methodist College: P. Robinson, T.Turkington-Thompson, M.Allen, D.Martin,

C.Gilroy, P.Jackson, B.McIlroy, R.Harrison, G.Reilly, C.Carey, R.Gilmore, P.McKee, M.Edgar, S.Leckey, N.Annett (capt) Replacements: P..McCluggage, P.Bingham, C.Robinson, C.Long, L.Kernaghan, R.Martin, F.Halliday.

Ballyclare High: J.Dailly, S.Reid, M.Lok, M.Johnston, N.Laughlin, J.Annett, W.Stevenson, R.Henderson, M.Hopper, S.Forbes, A.Neill A.Best (capt), F.Beickhorasani, H.Glover, R.Tweed. Replacements: P.Kennedy, B..Wilson, P.McMechan, T.McClintock, B.Scroggie, L.Bailie, C.Anderson

Referee: J.Peak.

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