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Future's bright for Dromore HS as Mulligan leads the way past rivals Banbridge to win Schools' Bowl


Just champion: Dromore’s Reuben Turner with the trophy

Just champion: Dromore’s Reuben Turner with the trophy

Jack Girvan

Jack Girvan

Just champion: Dromore’s Reuben Turner with the trophy

Dromore High School were the holders of the Danske Bank Schools' Trophy but went one better this year when they overcame Banbridge Academy 33-17 in the more prestigious Bowl final.

A brilliant start saw them take a 14-point lead after only 12 minutes when second row forward Adam Mulligan stormed over before centre Ryan McDowell ran in for the second for Luke Allison to convert both.

"We had hardly touched the ball at that stage," commented Banbridge coach Brian Leslie.

"We did manage to reduce the arrears to 14-7 by the interval when flanker Ben Bradshaw found space and scored for Harry Patterson to convert."

Banbridge kept up the momentum and good forward pressure led to second row Peter Coughlin crashing over.

Then a long pass by Dromore's Zander Lowhan resulted in a converted Allison score before Banbridge came back again when the forwards made ground for hooker Marc Murphy to touch down.

On the hour substitute prop Adam Whitten was driven over to make it 26-17 but then Dromore had to defend stoutly on their own line.

Towards the close the High School made sure with the best try of the afternoon when Reuben Coates made ground from his own territory and winger Taylor Beacom-Hurle finished off for Allison to goal.

Josh Pentland, the Dromore coach, felt that his pack dealt well against Banbridge's Representative players.

"Their pack was strong but I'm delighted with our performance and we showed real character after Banbridge came back to 12-14," he commented.

"We had only three Year 14 boys in the team so the future looks promising".

Coach Leslie was pleased with his team's effort.

"There was plenty of good open rugby but they executed their kicking game better.

"Our flanker Ben Bradshaw showed up well, as did our No.8 Adam Hanna, who was constantly involved" he concluded.

Meanwhile, Royal School Dungannon despite an early set-back proved too strong for Larne Grammar to win the Danske Bank Schools' Trophy 39-14.

Larne captain Stephen Dickey gave his side an early lead with a try converted by Euan Glenn but Dungannon stormed back for a 29-14 interval advantage.

Jamie Allen ran in two unconverted tries before Peter Busby added the third.

Jack Girvan goaled his own try before Larne retorted with a Jack Withers score for Glenn to add the points. After the restart, further unconverted tries came from Michael Tate and Jonny McCammond.

Belfast Telegraph