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Cambridge House build on Houston lift-off

 

On the ball: Jack Ferguson of Belfast High School in action
On the ball: Jack Ferguson of Belfast High School in action

By Ronnie Ingram

Cambridge House advanced to the third round of the Danske Bank Schools Cup after making full use of the strong wind in the second half to overturn Banbridge Academy's seven-point interval advantage at Eaton Park into an 11-10 win in their favour.

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"It was hard work against the wind but we did take the lead with a Rory McCandless penalty and could have been further in front following breaks by Thomas Bovill and Tom Wharry," stated home coach John Nicholl.

Banbridge responded after 22 minutes when Jake Houston touched down and 10 minutes later Andy Denver took a wide arc to dash in from 40 metres out.

After the restart, Cambridge House were encamped inside the visitor's '22' for long periods but the opposing defence held. Eventually, after winning a number of penalties, McCandless kicked his second to reduce the arrears and this was followed by the winning try.

The pressure continued and, following a brilliant carry by Bovill, scrum-half Tom Wharry scored.

Relieved coach Nicholl added: "Full credit to the Banbridge defence who time and again held us out. It was a close game but I felt we were not clinical enough a few metres from their line."

Banbridge coach Brian Leslie was very pleased with his team's performance after a tough time with injuries, saying: "That was the best we have played for a long time and I thought number eight Niall Thompson, full back and captain Andy Denver and our Ulster Schools prop Adam Hanna were outstanding."

Carrick Grammar's lack of playing strength was cruelly exposed when they lost 55-3 to Down High. Carrick had a Daniel Curley penalty while the visiting tries were scored by Christy Lindsay (3), Jacob Cross, Josh Hanlon (two each), Jonathan Graham and Luka Walsh. Charlie Gibson goaled five.

A courageous effort by Dromore High fell just short as Regent House emerged narrow victors, 10-8. A nervous first half resulted in a Stuart Martin penalty cancelled out by Dromore's Rhys Dale. The home team found it more difficult facing the wind but went ahead when Aaron Lyttle linked with Richard Dickson to touch down. Martin later converted a Samuel Attipoe try for victory.

Belfast High were rather flattered by their 45-12 victory over Strabane Grammar as three of the tries were scored in the final 10 minutes. Cameron McKimm had two, the others coming from Ferguson, Hutton and Doyle. Ben Reid had a try and two conversions while Aaron Douglas also crossed and added three conversions. Strabane's Jamie Browne goaled one of their tries from Tom Harper and Jordan Mealiff.

Lurgan College, after leading Foyle College 10-0 at half-time ,withstood some late pressure to emerge 13-8 victors. Harry Bird converted an Alex Dickson try and added two penalties while Keelan Coyle contributed a try and penalty for Foyle.

Larne Grammar and Limavady Grammar were level before a late visiting try secured Larne a 27-20 victory.

The home team had a penalty try and Lewis Baldrick and John Anderson scores. James Howe kicked a penalty while Euan Glenn had two penalties and conversions to tries from Aaron Gallagher, Caelen Campbell and Jason Ward.

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