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Schools' Cup results: Coleraine can get even better, vows coach after sinking Banbridge

 

Bank on it: Pictured at the launch of the 2019-20 Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup are the 1st XV captains of the participating teams along with Richard Caldwell, Managing Director of Personal Banking and Small Business at Danske Bank; Adam Reid, captain of reigning champions, Methodist College; and Philip Gregg, IRFU Ulster Branch Senior Vice-President
Bank on it: Pictured at the launch of the 2019-20 Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup are the 1st XV captains of the participating teams along with Richard Caldwell, Managing Director of Personal Banking and Small Business at Danske Bank; Adam Reid, captain of reigning champions, Methodist College; and Philip Gregg, IRFU Ulster Branch Senior Vice-President
Here we go: Pictured at the launch of the 2019-20 Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup are the 1st XV captains of the participating teams along with (from left) Richard Caldwell, Managing Director of Personal Banking and Small Business at Danske Bank; Adam Reid, captain of reigning champions Methodist College; and Philip Gregg, IRFU Ulster Branch Senior Vice-President
Rory Telfer

By Ronnie Ingram

The first of three series of games in the new-look Danske Bank Schools' Cup saw the 12 teams involved produce nearly 600 points, including 92 tries.

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The winners of each of the six groups plus the four best runners-up will join the six seeded teams to enter the last 16 draw in January.

There were some high scoring encounters with Enniskillen Royal running in 13 tries against Portadown College and Dungannon Royal scoring 11 against Larne Grammar in Group F. It will be an interesting clash when these two meet as will the encounter in Group E when Coleraine Grammar face Belfast Royal Academy on November 16.

It was a free flowing, high tempo game at Banbridge Academy where Coleraine emerged 64-7 victors after claiming the try bonus point after only 20 minutes with two scores by speedy winger Callum Wallace and one each from centre Rory Telfer, flanker Shaw Fleck and impressive full-back Cameron Leighton.

Banbridge continued to work hard and were eventually rewarded when front row Alex Porter barged over for Harry Patterson to convert.

The visitors responded straight away and a well worked try by winger Ryan O'Kane made it 40-7 at the interval with out-half Harry Caskey converting five of the six tries.

After the restart the visitors remained patient and more tries followed from O'Kane, prop Nathan Ogborne, scrum-half Wallace and centre Tom Curry.

Caskey, who orchestrated proceedings, was the man of the match with two more touchline conversions in an excellent performance by the Coleraine boys who moved the ball well and played expansive rugby.

Banbridge gave their all right to the end and can take plenty of positivity before their meeting with Belfast High.

Coleraine will now focus their efforts on that home game against Royal Academy who also earned five points at Belfast High.

Head coach Richard Boyd reflected on his team's success, saying: "Banbridge is a tough place to come to after the long journey and their coach Brian Leslie keeps his sides well drilled so we had to be focused.

"We still have plenty of areas to improve upon and it is essential we keep our feet on the ground as BRA will be a big challenge after Halloween. They are a well balanced outfit that like to move the ball around and play with plenty of enthusiasm so it should be a good game."

Schools' Cup results

Group A: Friends' School 45 (5 League points) Limavady Grammar 0 (0), Rainey Endowed 22 (4) Dromore High 10 (0) .

Group B: Regent House 0 (0) Bangor Grammar 36 (5), Foyle College 7 (0) Down High 45 (5) .

Group C: Ballyclare High 36 (5) Omagh Academy 17 (0), Cambridge House 29 (5) Lurgan College 12 (0).

Group D: Dalriada 34 (5) Sullivan Upper 7 (0), Strabane Grammar 5 (0) Grosvenor 22 (5).

Group E:- Banbridge Academy 7 (0) Coleraine Grammar 64 (5), Belfast High 7 (0) Belfast Royal Academy 38 (5).

Group F: Enniskillen Royal 83 (5) Portadown College 0 (0), RS Dungannon 61 (5) Larne Grammar 5 (0)

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