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Schools' Cup: Royal School Armagh come from 17 points down to stun Inst and reach final

RS Armagh 29-22 RBAI

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Royal School Armagh celebrate their astounding Schools' Cup semi-final success.

Royal School Armagh celebrate their astounding Schools' Cup semi-final success.

Photo by John Dickson / DICKSOND

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI

Armagh fullback Ethan McAtarsneyÊraces clear to score the final Armagh try during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI Armagh fullback Ethan McAtarsneyÊraces clear to score the final Armagh try during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Photo by John Dickson / DICKSOND

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI

Armagh hooker Sam Rainey on the attack during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI Armagh hooker Sam Rainey on the attack during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Photo by John Dickson / DICKSOND

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI

Rory Adair during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI Rory Adair during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Photo by John Dickson / DICKSOND

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI

Paddy Eames during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI Paddy Eames during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Photo by John Dickson / DICKSOND

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI

RBAI out half Josh Patterson is tackled by Ryan Finlay and Niall Carville during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI RBAI out half Josh Patterson is tackled by Ryan Finlay and Niall Carville during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Photo by John Dickson / DICKSOND

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI

Armagh players celebrate Ethan McAtarsneyÕs match winning try during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI Armagh players celebrate Ethan McAtarsneyÕs match winning try during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Photo by John Dickson / DICKSOND

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI

ArmaghÕs Charlie Worth during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI ArmaghÕs Charlie Worth during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Photo by John Dickson / DICKSOND

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI

ArmaghÕs James Agnew during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI ArmaghÕs James Agnew during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Photo by John Dickson / DICKSOND

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI

ArmaghÕs James Allen races clear to score during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI ArmaghÕs James Allen races clear to score during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Photo by John Dickson / DICKSOND

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI

Armagh wing Sam Cunningham passes inside during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI Armagh wing Sam Cunningham passes inside during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Photo by John Dickson / DICKSOND

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI

Armagh scrum half Charlie Worth clears his line during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI Armagh scrum half Charlie Worth clears his line during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Photo by John Dickson / DICKSOND

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI

Armagh scrum half Charlie Worth scores during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI Armagh scrum half Charlie Worth scores during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Photo by John Dickson / DICKSOND

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI

RBAI fullback Ronan Boyle scores during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI RBAI fullback Ronan Boyle scores during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Photo by John Dickson / DICKSOND

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI

RBAI fullback Ronan Boyle beats Sam Cunningham to score during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI RBAI fullback Ronan Boyle beats Sam Cunningham to score during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Photo by John Dickson / DICKSOND

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI

RBAI fullback Ronan Boyle beats Sam Cunningham to score during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI RBAI fullback Ronan Boyle beats Sam Cunningham to score during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Photo by John Dickson / DICKSOND

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI

RBAI fullback Ronan Boyle races clear to score during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI RBAI fullback Ronan Boyle races clear to score during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Photo by John Dickson / DICKSOND

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI

RBAI second row Alex Weir on the attack during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI RBAI second row Alex Weir on the attack during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Photo by John Dickson / DICKSOND

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI

RBAI second row Sam McLarnon is tackled by James Agnew during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI RBAI second row Sam McLarnon is tackled by James Agnew during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Photo by John Dickson / DICKSOND

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI

RBAI centre Jude Postlethwaite is tackled by Romain Morrow during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI RBAI centre Jude Postlethwaite is tackled by Romain Morrow during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Photo by John Dickson / DICKSOND

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI

RBAI centre Oscar Lowe is tackled by Ross Taylor and Nicholas Bothwell during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 | RSA vs RBAI RBAI centre Oscar Lowe is tackled by Ross Taylor and Nicholas Bothwell during the Ulster SchoolsÕ Cup Semi-Final between Royal School Armagh and RBAI at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Photo by John Dickson / DICKSOND

Royal School Armagh celebrate their astounding Schools' Cup semi-final success.

Royal School Armagh produced a stunning late comeback from 17 points behind to beat RBAI and reached the Schools' Cup final for the 14th time.

Armagh scored four tries in a devastating final 25 minutes to overturn a 22-5 deficit and win 29-22.

Nicholas Bothwell, the inspirational Charlie Worth, influential replacement James Allen, Josh King and lively full-back Ethan McAtarsney all touched down on a momentous day for the school.

While their backs showed exactly what they're capable of in those breath-taking final 25 minutes, it will have been incredibly tough to take for a shell-shocked Inst, whose yellow card proved the turning point.

Armagh will now face either Wallace HS or Methody in the final at Kingspan Stadium on March 17.

Inst had flown out of the starting blocks and were camped inside the Armagh 22 for the opening quarter of the game.

RBAI's wind advantage showed as Armagh's kick-off was returned over their heads and into their own half, where they would remain until long after Ronan Boyle kicked over the opening points for Inst just three minutes in.

Armagh finally escaped to assert their own pressure midway through the half and got their rewards when an Inst clearance fell into the hands of full-back McAtarsney. He burst back into the 22 and after the ball moved through James Agnew and Sam Cunningham, Nicholas Bothwell finished off.

Inst, with the wind at their backs, went in 8-5 ahead at the break thanks to a well-worked move off the back of a scrum. Oscar Lowe shifted it quickly to outstanding man-of-the-match Jude Postlethwaite, who played in Ronan Boyle to finish.

However, it was in the second half that the game really sprang into life, beginning with a breathless Inst burst from the restart.

Within six minutes, they had scored two tries and opened up a 17 point gap, threatening to run away with success.

First, wing Oliver Metcalfe ran in superbly on the right flank after his side had seized on an Armagh fumble.

No sooner had Boyle added a sparkling conversion from out wide than he had the ball on the tee again after Paddy Eames had touched down another try created by Postlethwaite, who was fed by fly-half Ellerby and made the line break.

That put Inst 22-5 ahead.

However....

Then came the turning point with around 25 minutes remaining. Inst picked up a yellow card and, as Armagh had a scrum inside the opposition 22, they were buoyed by the opportunity to breathe life into their ailing efforts.

They did so immediately, working inside from the scrum for Charlie Worth to duck inside and pick out the space to touch down beside the posts.

That would be the first of three tries in a devastating eight minute burst that would ultimately win the game.

Sam Cunningham set up the next score with a lightening run down the right before looping a pass inside for Allen to finish. There were several jaw-dropping tries throughout the most thrilling of encounters but none topped Allen's score, largely down to Cunningham's efforts.

Morrow again added the extras and all of a sudden that 17 point gap was down to just three.

Even that didn't last long as Josh King finished off a relentless maul from a lineout to put Armagh from down-and-almost-out to game leaders at 24-22 ahead.

Willie Faloon's side never looked like surrendering their advantage, winning the turnover the only time Inst penetrated the 22.

They even finished with a flourish as Allen fed Ethan McAtarsney to touch down his side's fifth and final try and send Armagh into the Schools' Cup final.

Here's the phenomenal game as it happened:

📺 Live coverage of the Danske Bank UK Ulster Schools' Cup Semi-Final from Kingspan Stadium (kick-off 2.30pm): The Royal School Armagh v Royal Belfast Academical Institution

Posted by Ulster Rugby on Tuesday, March 3, 2020


Belfast Telegraph