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Schools Cup rugby: Armagh beat RBAI - video, pictures and report

Royal School Armagh 26-22 RBAI

By Adam McKendry

Royal School Armagh will face Campbell College in the final of the 2018 Danske Bank Schools’ Cup after they held on at the death against defending champions RBAI to win 26-22 at Kingspan Stadium.

Having led by 11 points with ten minutes to go, RBAI staged a dramatic comeback, but a stellar defensive set at the end saw the Armagh boys hold out to book their place in the March 19 showpiece.

It was they who burst into an early lead, backed by a strong wind, as Matthew Reaney crossed off first phase ball before captain Jack Treanor spun through a couple of challenges to score.

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RBAI hit back through a Robin McIlveen penalty, and they got their first try just before the break when scrum half Niall Armstrong sniped over.

But the second half was a scoring procession as attacks reigned supreme and it was Ulster U18 flanker Ryan O’Neill who extended Armagh’s lead seven minutes after the restart.

Jude Postlethwaite then went over for RBAI after good work by McIlveen to reduce the deficit, but when winger Nicholas Jennings scored Armagh’s fourth try it looked to have made the game safe.

But RBAI threatened a stunning comeback when Connor McCormick went over with five minutes remaining and they nearly completed the reversal with their incredible drive toward the end of the game, but Armagh’s defence held firm to seal a thrilling win.

Here's the match as it happened:

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