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Sam Bothwell pulls out ace for Dromore

By Ronnie Ingram

Dromore HS 34 Fivemiletown HS 3: Top tennis prospect Sam Bothwell stepped up yesterday to help Dromore High land rugby's High Schools' Trophy for the ninth time in 10 years with a 34-3 win over Fivemiletown SS at Upper Malone.

Bothwell, who is expected to join brother Peter at the Soto Tennis Academy in Spain this year, scored a try in the comprehensive victory.

Once ranked in the top 100 in Europe at under-14, Bothwell will now turn his attention to climbing the ITF under-18 rankings.

The Dromore forwards dominated the final and a line-out and maul resulted in Adam Cromwell scoring the first try. They then increased the tempo and following a couple of phases Adam Walker created space to touch down for Alex Walker to convert.

A penalty into the corner set up the third try and Cromwell's second to put them 17-0 ahead at the interval. Dromore then played into the wind and a piercing back move saw Bothwell score before the strong running centre Marcus Heath added the fifth. Matthew McMaster completed the scoring, under the posts, for Walker to goal.

Fivemiletown coach Stephen Clarke thought his team played better than the bare scoreline.

"We held them for quite a time but were unable to score points. They had a big pack and a couple of strong centres. The boys never stopped playing but I feel the three games that we had to play in the last week left us a bit fatigued," he said.

Jacques Benade, the Dromore coach, had special praise for his back row.

He said: "Matthew Cromwell, Matthew McMaster and Luke Fitzsimmons all had tremendous games. Marcus Heath also made a big impression in the centre."

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