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Defence to thank for victory, insists RBAI coach Soper

RBAI 17-0 Ballyclare High

By Ronnie Ingram

Danske Bank Schools' Cup holders for the past three seasons RBAI marched into the quarter-finals with a 17-0 win over Ballyclare High at Osborne but the scoreline was not a fair reflection of the play.

Coach Daniel Soper thought it was a tight game and gave credit to his defence.

"When we were reduced to 14 players twice and Ballyclare were firmly encamped on our line we managed to keep them out," he said.

"We were under a lot of pressure early on due to stupid errors but after 20 minutes we spread the ball wide and centre Robin McIlveen kicked ahead and gathered to go in and add the conversion."

On 28 minutes David McCann was yellow carded for a high tackle but despite the Ballyclare efforts the home defence held firm.

The visitors kept the ascendency after the restart but after they were reduced to 14 players McIlveen kicked a penalty in the 18th minute to make it 10-0.

From the drop out Inst kicked into their opponent's territory and following a series of forward carries McCann crossed for another converted score.

Soper added: "There will need to be a big improvement before we face Sullivan."

Ballyclare coach Mile Orchin-McKeever was pleased with his team's effort.

"Inst defended excellently and their discipline was superb," he said.

"I thought our fifth former Jack Gamble was outstanding at No 8 and Josh Young and James Nelson excelled in the second row, while winger Ross Patterson made a few line breaks."

Another Belfast team with a home quarter-final draw is Methodist College following their 38-3 success at Coleraine Grammar.

They went 19-3 ahead by the interval after Conor Kelly was driven over for Ethan McIlroy to goal.

Chris Larmour had the second which was followed by a Pierce Crowe penalty for Coleraine. Just on half-time Kevin McNaboe charged over from close range for McIlroy to convert.

Marty Neill bulldozed in from five metres out for another converted try and Connor Scanlon scored two more towards the close, the latter being goaled.

Campbell College are also at home again after a 50-0 win over Dalriada. There was little between the teams in the first half after which Campbell led 10-0 when Conor Rankin kicked a penalty and goaled a Oisin Kieran try.

Just after the restart Jamie McCartney added the second try and after that the strength of Campbell told with further scores from Oscar Yandall, Rex Tinsley, John Harrison, Kiernan and Kieran Robertson for Rankin to convert five.

Coach Johnny Cupitt knew Dalriada would bring a challenge.

"They certainly did at the start and it took some time for us to gain the upper hand," he said.

Visiting coach Rab Gregg thought Campbell were too good and too big and the try at the start of the second half was the real turning point.

Belfast Telegraph

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