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Schools' Cup final: Methody soar to seven try success over old rivals Campbell College

Campbell College 17-45 Methodist College

Methody lift the Schools' Cup trophy for the first time since 2014.
Methody lift the Schools' Cup trophy for the first time since 2014.
18/3/19: The Methodist College captain Kevin McNaboe celebrates after beating Campbell College to win the Schools' Cup Final. Picture: Robbie Cooper
18/3/19: The Methodist College captain Kevin McNaboe celebrates after beating Campbell College to win the Schools' Cup Final. Picture: Robbie Cooper
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 18th March 2019 - Danske Bank Schools' cup rugby final, Campbell v Methody. Methody celebrate their victory Photo by Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 18th March 2019 - Danske Bank Schools' cup rugby final, Campbell v Methody. Methody's captain Kevin McNaboe celebrates his teams victory along with Kevin Kingston, Danske Bank. Photo by Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 18th March 2019 - Danske Bank Schools' cup rugby final, Campbell v Methody. Methody's captain Kevin McNaboe Photo by Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Methody's Thomas Armstrong celebrates his second half score.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 18th March 2019 - Danske Bank Schools' cup rugby final, Campbell v Methody. Methody's Thomas Armstrong celebrates scoring Photo by Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 18th March 2019 - Danske Bank Schools' cup rugby final, Campbell v Methody. Methody's Thomas Armstrong celebrates scoring Photo by Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 18th March 2019 - Danske Bank Schools' cup rugby final, Campbell v Methody. Methody's Callum Davidson celebrates scoring Photo by Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 18th March 2019 - Danske Bank Schools' cup rugby final, Campbell v Methody. Methody's Callum Davidson celebrates scoring Photo by Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 18th March 2019 - Danske Bank Schools' cup rugby final, Campbell v Methody. Methody's Callum Davidson celebrates scoring Photo by Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 18th March 2019 - Danske Bank Schools' cup rugby final, Campbell v Methody. Methody's Callum Davidson celebrates scoring Photo by Matt Mackey / Press Eye
PACEMAKER BELFAST 18/03/19 Campbell College v Methody School - Danske Bank Schools Rugby Final Methody's Callum Davidson during todays game at the Kingspan Stadium. Photo Andrew McCarroll/Pacemaker Press
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 18th March 2019 - Danske Bank Schools' cup rugby final, Campbell v Methody. Campbell fans Photo by Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 18th March 2019 - Danske Bank Schools' cup rugby final, Campbell v Methody. Methody fans Photo by Matt Mackey / Press Eye
18/3/19: Fans at the Schools' Cup Final between Campbell College and Methodist College. Picture: Robbie Cooper
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 18th March 2019 - Danske Bank Schools' cup rugby final, Campbell v Methody. Methody's Thomas Armstrong celebrates scoring Photo by Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 18th March 2019 - Danske Bank Schools' cup rugby final, Campbell v Methody. Methody's Thomas Armstrong celebrates scoring Photo by Matt Mackey / Press Eye
PACEMAKER BELFAST 18/03/19 Campbell College v Methody School - Danske Bank Schools Rugby Final Campbell’s Harry Owens and Methody's Ethan Mciroy during todays game at the Kingspan Stadium. Photo Andrew McCarroll/Pacemaker Press
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 18th March 2019 - Danske Bank Schools' cup rugby final, Campbell v Methody. Campbell fans Photo by Matt Mackey / Press Eye
18/3/19: Fans at the Schools' Cup Final between Campbell College and Methodist College. Picture: Robbie Cooper
PACEMAKER BELFAST 18/03/19 Campbell College v Methody School - Danske Bank Schools Rugby Final Campbell’s Tobi Olaniyan and Methody's Max Lytte during todays game at the Kingspan Stadium. Photo Andrew McCarroll/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 18/03/19 Campbell College v Methody School - Danske Bank Schools Rugby Final Campbell and Methody during todays game at the Kingspan Stadium. Photo Andrew McCarroll/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 18/03/19 Campbell College v Methody School - Danske Bank Schools Rugby Final Campbells Conor Rankin during todays game at the Kingspan Stadium. Photo Andrew McCarroll/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 18/03/19 Campbell College v Methody School - Danske Bank Schools Rugby Final Campbell’s pupils during todays game at the Kingspan Stadium. Photo Andrew McCarroll/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 18/03/19 Campbell College v Methody School - Danske Bank Schools Rugby Final Campbell during todays game at the Kingspan Stadium. Photo Andrew McCarroll/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 18/03/19 Campbell College v Methody School - Danske Bank Schools Rugby Final Campbell during todays game at the Kingspan Stadium. Photo Andrew McCarroll/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 18/03/19 Campbell College v Methody School - Danske Bank Schools Rugby Final Campbell during todays game at the Kingspan Stadium. Photo Andrew McCarroll/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 18/03/19 Campbell College v Methody School - Danske Bank Schools Rugby Final Campbell during todays game at the Kingspan Stadium. Photo Andrew McCarroll/Pacemaker Press
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 18th March 2019 - Danske Bank Schools' cup rugby final, Campbell v Methody. Campbell's Patrick McAlpine in action with Methody Photo by Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 18th March 2019 - Danske Bank Schools' cup rugby final, Campbell v Methody. Campbell's Ben Rainey in action with Methody's Matthew Hunter Photo by Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 18th March 2019 - Danske Bank Schools' cup rugby final, Campbell v Methody. Campbell's Ben Rainey in action with Methody's Matthew Hunter Photo by Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 18th March 2019 - Danske Bank Schools' cup rugby final, Campbell v Methody. Campbell's Ben Rainey in action with Methody's Matthew Hunter Photo by Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 18th March 2019 - Danske Bank Schools' cup rugby final, Campbell v Methody. Photo by Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 18th March 2019 - Danske Bank Schools' cup rugby final, Campbell v Methody. Photo by Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 18th March 2019 - Danske Bank Schools' cup rugby final, Campbell v Methody. Campbell celebrate scoring their opening try Photo by Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 18th March 2019 - Danske Bank Schools' cup rugby final, Campbell v Methody. Campbell in action with Methody Photo by Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 18th March 2019 - Danske Bank Schools' cup rugby final, Campbell v Methody. Campbell fans Photo by Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 18th March 2019 - Danske Bank Schools' cup rugby final, Campbell v Methody. Campbell fans Photo by Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 18th March 2019 - Danske Bank Schools' cup rugby final, Campbell v Methody. Campbell fans Photo by Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 18th March 2019 - Danske Bank Schools' cup rugby final, Campbell v Methody. Methody fans Photo by Matt Mackey / Press Eye
18/3/19: Fans at the Schools' Cup Final between Campbell College and Methodist College. Picture: Robbie Cooper
18/3/19: Fans at the Schools' Cup Final between Campbell College and Methodist College. Picture: Robbie Cooper
18/3/19: Fans at the Schools' Cup Final between Campbell College and Methodist College. Picture: Robbie Cooper
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 18th March 2019 - Danske Bank Schools' cup rugby final, Campbell v Methody. A minutes silence to remember the the 3 teenagers who lost their lives in Cookstown Photo by Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 18th March 2019 - Danske Bank Schools' cup rugby final, Campbell v Methody. A minutes silence to remember the the 3 teenagers who lost their lives in Cookstown Photo by Matt Mackey / Press Eye
18/3/19: The Campbell College dressing room before the Schools' Cup Final game against Methodist College. Picture: Robbie Cooper
18/3/19: The Campbell College dressing room before the Schools' Cup Final game against Methodist College. Picture: Robbie Cooper
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

Methody cruised to a 28 point victory over rivals Campbell College to win the Danske Bank Schools' Cup for the first time since 2014.

The rampant tournament favourites scored seven tries on route to the biggest scored a team has managed in a Schools' Cup final since RBAI's 57 points in 1998.

The most successful side in the tournament's history were phenomenal in the second half, with full-back Ethan McIlroy superb with the ball in hand and off the tee, helping them add a 37th Cup success to their glittering trophy cabinet.

"It was absolutely fantastic - something we've been thinking about for five, six, seven years now, watching past Methody teams do it and especially going out in the semi-final last year," said captain Kevin McNaboe.

Methody have won the Schools' Cup for the first time since 2014 and captain Kevin McNaboe says it's a relief to finally...

Posted by Belfast Telegraph Sport on Monday, March 18, 2019

"It's a weight off our shoulders to get it done now. The first half was was very even. We defended and the big boys put in some big hits. It opened up for us at the end and we managed to take advantage of it.

"The title of favourites is something you can either embrace or get scared by. I think we have embraced it but in cup rugby, it doesn't matter what scores you racked up during the year, it's all on the day.

"Being such a tight-knit group is such a big factor in everything as well, spending so much time with each other outside school. There are 13 Upper Sixths in our starting XV so we're all best mates and there's nothing better than doing it out there with them.

"I'll definitely miss it but it's unbelievable to get it done in our final year."

From early on it seemed like it would be one-way traffic as Methody lock Ben Gourley opened the scores with an early try, driving over from close range after a maul was stopped short, with McIlroy adding the extras from out wide.

But Campbell instantly struck back and levelled through their own blistering driving maul as hooker Harry Jackson piloted it over, Conor Rankin grabbing a superb touchline conversion.

Indeed, it looked like it would be a tight affair when Rex Tinsley's break resulted in McIlroy being sin-binned for a tip tackle on the Campbell centre, and Rankin slotted the resulting penalty for the lead.

But Methody lock Max Lyttle's try had the favourites ahead 14-10 at half-time, the second row blasting through and under the posts after captain Kevin McNaboe's surge from the back of a scrum.

A tight affair at the interval was anything but in the second half. 35 seconds after the restart, Robbie Armstrong found the gap in the defence and had namesake Thomas Armstrong on his shoulder to take it the rest of the way for an 11-point lead.

Nine minutes later, scrum-half Callum Davidson added a fourth try for the rampant favourites, another maul stopped just shy of the line but the Methody half-back was alert to snipe through a gap for the try.

It had looked as if that was game over, but Campbell No.9 Dara Gaskin emulated his opposite number, the scrum-half finishing off a nice move that saw good drives from Tinsley and Patrick McAlpine to reduce the gap back to nine points.

But any nerves on the Methody side were quashed as they closed the game out in style with three late tries.

David Boden got the first, barreling over from a short line-out, and Tom Millar piloted over another maul for the sixth shortly after, with Campbell openside flanker Ben Rainey yellow carded in the build-up.

Although victory was assured at this stage, Methody saved the best for last as winger Chris Larmour danced his way majestically down the line to set up the inside pass for fly-half Thomas Armstrong, the stand-off bounding over for the seventh score to put the gloss on a wonderful Schools' Cup victory.

Here's the game as it happened:

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