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Banbridge Academy stand up to the elements to progress in Schools Cup

Danske Bank Schools’ Cup


Dalriada’s Rab Gregg. Credit: Jonathan Porter

Dalriada’s Rab Gregg. Credit: Jonathan Porter

Dalriada’s Rab Gregg. Credit: Jonathan Porter

Banbridge Academy adapted better to the wet and windy conditions to defeat Friends’ 15-5 to secure a third round away tie at Dromore High in the Danske Bank Schools’ Cup.

Banbridge had the elements in their favour in the first period and took the lead after seven minutes with a long range Ryan Matthews penalty.

Excellent phase play led to a try from hooker Connor Magee before a pick up from a scrum by No 8 and captain Ben Bradshaw allowed Ronan Quinn to crash over in the corner for Matthews to goal.

Banbridge coach Brian Leslie felt his team coped well against the second-half pressure.

“There was some dogged defence nullifying most of the Friends’ attacks and Marcus McNeill put in an outstanding performance” he said.

The visiting coach Stephen Robinson thought Banbridge performed better in the trying conditions.

“It was a game of two halves. They capitalise in the first and we we unable to do so in the second. Our captain Alex Murphy scored the try and Tom Rowlatt McCormick, No 8 Peter Brown and Angus Crawford also showed up well,” he saided.

After a tense start there was plenty of physicality when Dalriada eliminated Cambridge House 15-0.

Pressure exerted by Dalriada resulted in the ball being spilt which was kicked through for Owen Boyd to chase down for a try. The visitors fought back but were unable to break through the stout defence and Gabriel Stubbs-Carton added a penalty to make the score 8-0 at the halfway stage.

The home back three, with strong tackling by Andrew Gilmore, kept the visitors at bay before a Stubbs-Carton penalty attempt rebounded off a post. As the game drew nearer to the final whistle Dalriada regained the upper hand and were rewarded when Charles Werner got over the line for a converted try. Home coach Rab Gregg thought that it was an evenly matched contest with his defence being the difference.

“This was our seventh Cup win in a row and now look forward to the visit of Enniskillen Royal” he said.

Second round results: Strabane Grammar 0 Grosvenor Grammar 43, Limavady Grammar 17 Lurgan College 0, Regent House 24 Carrickfergus Grammar 3, Belfast High 27 Portadown College 14, Dalriada 15 Cambridge House 0, Banbridge Academy 15 Friends’ School 5.

Third round: Foyle College v Belfast HS, RS Armagh v Belfast RA, Grosvenor Grammar v Omagh Acad., Limavady Grammar v Coleraine Grammar, Dalriada v Enniskillen Royal, Rainey End v Down High, Dromore High v Banbridge Acad, Regent House v Bangor Grammar. Matches to be played on January 15.

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