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Gaskin inspires holders Campbell through a Royal rumble while Armagh roar back to win

Scrum-half Dara Gaskin with two tries was the man of the match as holders Campbell College eliminated a young and talented Enniskillen Royal 38-22 in the quarter-final of the Danske Bank Schools' Cup
Scrum-half Dara Gaskin with two tries was the man of the match as holders Campbell College eliminated a young and talented Enniskillen Royal 38-22 in the quarter-final of the Danske Bank Schools' Cup

By Ronnie Ingram

Scrum-half Dara Gaskin with two tries was the man of the match as holders Campbell College eliminated a young and talented Enniskillen Royal 38-22 in the quarter-final of the Danske Bank Schools' Cup.

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Gaskin, who scored in last season's final, has immense talent having moved from out-half. His break from outside the '22' resulted in the first touchdown under the posts for Conor Rankin to goal. Hooker Jack Boal took the short side for the second before Oli Ralston beat a couple of defenders to give the home team a 21-3 half-time lead.

Numerous phases led to No8 Toni Olaniyan crossing and pressure resulted in John Gildea scoring the fifth. Gaskin again showed his class for the last when Kieran Robertson gathered to allow the scrum-half to set off from 70 metres out, chip ahead and touch down. Rankin had four conversions.

Enniskillen came back towards the end with three tries by their talented No8 Callum Smyton with Eddie Keys goaling two after kicking an earlier penalty.

Campbell coach Johnny Cupitt was full of praise for the efforts of the inexperienced opposition, saying: "They played well but we had a lot of possession and our defence was good. We were 38-8 ahead and decided to bring on the whole bench to give them needed game play."

Armagh Royal had to withstand some late pressure before emerging victors over Ballymena Academy, 14-10. They had the wind and the slope in their favour in the first period but failed to win enough ball so Ballymena took a 10-7 interval advantage.

Armagh started strongly and deservedly took the lead after eight minutes when pressure resulted in centre Charlie Worth charging over following a scrum. He added the points before the home side immediately responded with a Ross McKay penalty.

Armagh regrouped but were held up over the opposition line. At the five-metre scrum the referee adjudged that the visitors had gone early so a free kick allowed the line to be cleared.

Ballymena then broke out of defence when No8 Adam Lamont picked up from the base of a scrum and made ground. After a number of phases and Armagh's inability to deal effectively with the bouncing ball, scrum-half James Wright crossed for McKay to add the points.

"We showed a lot more fire after the restart," commented Armagh coach Willie Faloon. "We had more front line tackles, won more possession and Ballymena gave away a lot of penalties which led to our second try when Jonny Agnew crashed over."

Worth converted and then it was the turn of Ballymena to gain the upper hand with Patrick Hargy, Frank Andrews and Matthew Corr much in evidence. Despite the continuous pressure around their line, Armagh held out and a turnover allowed them to end the tie.

In the other match, Wallace High were too strong for Rainey Endowed, 36-12. Ahead 29-0 at the interval, Kyle Patton, Ben Carson, Joel Dundas, Jack Bailie and Harry McMeekin were their try scorers for Nathan Doak to convert four and add a penalty. Harry Evans goaled one of the tries by the home team's Bryn Davies and Tim Campbell.

Subsidiary Shield quarter-finals: Bangor Grammar 42 Ballyclare High 24; Sullivan Upper 28 Cambridge House 7; Down High 18 RS Dungannon 19; BRA 7 Dalriada 22

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