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Schools' Cup: Methody and Campbell in third time lucky shot

Methodist College 10 Campbell College 10: Methody missed out on a place in the Northern Bank Schools' Cup semi-finals when a last kick of the tie conversion right in front of the posts was charged down, handing Campbell a third attempt at reaching the decider.

Belfast battle: There was no quarter asked or given as Methody and Campbell College shared the spoils yesterday presseye

It was a close and hard fought encounter at Pirrie Park with the Campbell backs showing their skills while Methody had the better of the forward exchanges.

Campbell started strongly and were in front after only two minutes after Rory Scholes kicked an easy penalty.

They continued to dominate and the home defence was stretched but the visitors gave away too many penalties throughout the tie.

In the first 20 minutes they had at least three opportunities within ten metres but squandered their chances.

Methody, on their first visit to the Campbell ‘22’, took the lead when a gap opened up and full-back Matthew McFall touched down halfway out but the conversion was missed.

Towards the end of the period the home pack exerted pressure and on a couple of occasions managed to push their opponents back 20 metres.

Campbell did well to hold on to half-time.

The Belmont team stormed into the second period and a quickly taken line-out allowed Scholes to give a long pass to Moss Rogers who just made the line. Scholes’ touchline conversion was successful which proved vital in the end.

Gradually the Methody forwards again dictated the pattern of play and this led to Campbell having Charles Gallagher yellow carded with 13 minutes left on the clock.

They absorbed the pressure until the last minute when the impressive James Harrison crashed over between the posts.

The conversion attempt by Mark Gribben was placed too close to the posts and Campbell easily charged it down.

So after drawing at Campbell 14-14 last Saturday they will now meet again at a neutral venue on Monday February 28 to establish which team faces Ballyclare High at Ravenhill on March 7.

Northern Bank Schools' Cup semi-final draw: February 28: RBAI v Coleraine AI (Ravenhill); March 7: Ballyclare v Methodist |College/Campbell (Ravenhill)

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