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Campbell make progress though fail to convince

Campbell College 23 - 3 Grosvenor GS

By Ronnie Ingram

In a physical encounter it was Campbell College who flexed their muscles against Grosvenor and powered into the last eight of the Schools’ Cup.

They had an 18-3 interval advantage but too many basic mistakes restricted their superior second half effort to only five points.

Grosvenor came to Belmont full of confidence after their 12-8 win over Sullivan but the home team soon took the lead. Left wing Harry Howard rounded his opposite number to go in for an unconverted try.

Ulster's Rob Haldane kicked a penalty and then Ulster and Irish Schools' Mark Best dropped a goal.

Grosvenor pressure was rewarded with a David Davidson penalty but Campbell came back with an excellent try. Good work by another Inter-Pro winger Ben Sloan set up a centre attack and Jack Owens went in for Haldane to goal.

Grosvenor had given their all in the first half but their opponents were superb in the line-outs and loose with Kyle Adair much in evidence.

Tiernan Dillon had a good game while Inter-Pro Orran McIlwaine and captain Jack Cooke carried well and were strong in defence.

In the second period the visitors’ forwards gradually weakened under the sustained Campbell effort but, despite their superiority, they were not clinical enough and squandered a number of scoring opportunities.

Eventually, after a number of phases, quick ball from a ruck allowed second row forward Josh Fullerton (pictured) to pick up and go through a gap to touch down.

Campbell College will now face a sterner test when they travel to Ballymena Academy in the quarter-finals in a fortnight's time.

The holders, who have won the cup twice, and were defeated twice in the Subsidiary Shield final in the last decade, have improved immensely after a disappointing start to their season.

Ballymena also have a strong tradition in the competition having won the Cup in 2010 and, after losing to Armagh Royal 6-3 last year, went on to lift the Subsidiary Shield which they also won in 2006, 2007 and 2009.

There is also bound to be a close contest between RBAI and Ballyclare High at Osborne Park.

Inst, beaten in last year's final, have only recently been at full strength after a disappointing season by their standards.

When these two met in October Ballyclare had a 20-15 success but this time Inst are at home.

Methodist College, four times winners in the last 11 years, will have far too much power for Banbridge Academy.

This season they have been beaten at Pirrie Park twice and those were the first occasions since 07-08. Full credit to Banbridge for eliminating Foyle at Londonderry 3-0 and Cambridge House 30-3 but Methody are in a different league.

Wallace High will also be expected to overcome Bangor Grammar.

The Lisburn team have a number of representative players and their all-round strength should be too much.

Bangor are rather unfortunate as, after defeating Belfast High 6-0 and Dalriada 11-6 they are away from home for a third time.

Belfast Telegraph


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