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Neil Hinds wants to leave a lasting Schools' Cup legacy

By Jonathan Bradley

Wallace High may have overcome the substantial hurdle of Methody in yesterday's Danske Bank Schools' Cup semi-final at the Kingspan Stadium, but their head of rugby Neil Hinds has stressed that the hard work is still to come ahead of a final showdown with RBAI.

The Lisburn outfit have never won the trophy, and no school has ever lost more finals without being crowned champions, but the aim of this highly-touted squad has always been to be celebrating come St Patrick's Day.

"We've been there so many times and now we have to kick on," said Hinds.

"We've been there four times before and never won it so we set our goal at the start of the year that we wanted to win the final, that we wanted to leave a lasting legacy, but we still haven't reached that goal.

"We understand that, and we're humble about it, and we've a lot of work to do because Inst are a good side who will be confident playing against us."

Yesterday's 12-10 win came courtesy of a late try from Ben Finlay, and an even later penalty miss from Methody with the last kick of the game, and Hinds admits that he thought his side were set to fall at the final four stage to the south Belfast school for a second year in succession.

"I thought our chance had gone," he confirmed. "We'd made too many errors, we were struggling to put phase play together, but again it's that confidence and belief. There is a belief in the team and a never-say-die attitude that we're very proud of.

"They've always had it. I've been at Wallace for 18 years and there's been a lot of defeats to Methody in Schools' Cup games but it's a credit to our boys. They work so hard."

Going up against Inst, who got past Coleraine AI in Tuesday's semi and beat Wallace to lift the trophy in 2003 and 2007, Hinds has called for an improvement on yesterday's performance and knows that on another day Methody could have been preparing for a fourth consecutive final.

"We've got a bit of work to do if we want to compete in the final and win," he reflected. "Nicky (Wells, Methody coach) has done a great job and they possibly deserved more but our defence stood up, especially at the end.

"Certainly some of our systems let us down. We have a lot of issues to deal with, we didn't perform well. We're very happy, we're not content, but such is life."

For Hinds and Wallace, you feel that contentment is just one win away.

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