Ballymena lift Schools' Bowl after Foster's try-saving heroics
Ballymena Academy won the Danske Bank Schools' Medallion Bowl for the fourth time following a rather flattering 17-5 success against Down High at Roughfort.
Ballymena were outplayed in the first half and their opponents should have been more than five points ahead after that stage. Time and again their half-backs attacked strongly and found gaps in their opponent's defence and, but for three try-saving tackles by full-back Jordan Foster, they would have had more to show for their efforts than a Ronan Patterson score.
Ballymena coach Stephen Johnston said: "After that escape the boys were given a stern talk at half time and with a few changes we then settled.
"Out-half Bruce Houston made ground with his accurate kicking and we were soon in front following a try from Joshua McCauley, converted by Houston.
"Our captain and flanker James McClean was outstanding, centre Mark Thompson made a number of great catches and No 8 Oisin Jordan also put in a lot of work. Good forward play led to Jordan scoring the second converted try and Houston later kicked a penalty.
"In the second half Down suffered a couple of injuries but we played the right game and had control for most of the time," he concluded.