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Schools' Cup semi-final: Campbell College cruise past Wallace High School to set up St Patrick's Day decider against rivals Methody

Campbell College 28-6 Wallace High School

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Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final 2 | Wednesday 2nd March 2022

Henry Johnson scores for Campbell during the Danske Bank Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final between Campbell College and Wallace High School at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Photo John Dickson/DICKSONDIGITAL

Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final 2 | Wednesday 2nd March 2022 Henry Johnson scores for Campbell during the Danske Bank Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final between Campbell College and Wallace High School at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo John Dickson/DICKSONDIGITAL

John Dickson

Campbell College celebrate their semi-final win in front of their supporters. 

Photo John Dickson/DICKSONDIGITAL

Campbell College celebrate their semi-final win in front of their supporters. Photo John Dickson/DICKSONDIGITAL

John Dickson

Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final 2 | Wednesday 2nd March 2022

Joe Hopes is tackled by Mathew Halliday and Cameron Doak during the Danske Bank Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final between Campbell College and Wallace High School at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Photo John Dickson/DICKSONDIGITAL

Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final 2 | Wednesday 2nd March 2022 Joe Hopes is tackled by Mathew Halliday and Cameron Doak during the Danske Bank Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final between Campbell College and Wallace High School at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo John Dickson/DICKSONDIGITAL

John Dickson

Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final 2 | Wednesday 2nd March 2022

Joe Hopes is tackled by Mathew Halliday and Cameron Doak during the Danske Bank Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final between Campbell College and Wallace High School at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Photo John Dickson/DICKSONDIGITAL

Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final 2 | Wednesday 2nd March 2022 Joe Hopes is tackled by Mathew Halliday and Cameron Doak during the Danske Bank Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final between Campbell College and Wallace High School at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo John Dickson/DICKSONDIGITAL

John Dickson

Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final 2 | Wednesday 2nd March 2022

Joe Hopes is tackled by Zac Solomon and Mathew Halliday during the Danske Bank Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final between Campbell College and Wallace High School at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Photo John Dickson/DICKSONDIGITAL

Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final 2 | Wednesday 2nd March 2022 Joe Hopes is tackled by Zac Solomon and Mathew Halliday during the Danske Bank Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final between Campbell College and Wallace High School at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo John Dickson/DICKSONDIGITAL

John Dickson

Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final 2 | Wednesday 2nd March 2022

Joe Hopes is tackled by Zac Solomon during the Danske Bank Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final between Campbell College and Wallace High School at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Photo John Dickson/DICKSONDIGITAL

Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final 2 | Wednesday 2nd March 2022 Joe Hopes is tackled by Zac Solomon during the Danske Bank Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final between Campbell College and Wallace High School at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo John Dickson/DICKSONDIGITAL

John Dickson

Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final 2 | Wednesday 2nd March 2022

Campbell College Belfast celebrate with their supporters after they defeated Wallace High School in the Danske Bank Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Photo John Dickson/DICKSONDIGITAL

Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final 2 | Wednesday 2nd March 2022 Campbell College Belfast celebrate with their supporters after they defeated Wallace High School in the Danske Bank Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo John Dickson/DICKSONDIGITAL

John Dickson

Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final 2 | Wednesday 2nd March 2022

Joe Hopes is tackled by Mathew Halliday and Cameron Doak during the Danske Bank Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final between Campbell College and Wallace High School at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Photo John Dickson/DICKSONDIGITAL

Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final 2 | Wednesday 2nd March 2022 Joe Hopes is tackled by Mathew Halliday and Cameron Doak during the Danske Bank Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final between Campbell College and Wallace High School at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo John Dickson/DICKSONDIGITAL

John Dickson

Joe Hopes impressed for Campbell College during their win over Wallace High School. 

Photo John Dickson/DICKSONDIGITAL

Joe Hopes impressed for Campbell College during their win over Wallace High School. Photo John Dickson/DICKSONDIGITAL

John Dickson

Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final 2 | Wednesday 2nd March 2022

Oliver McCauley is tackled by Cameron Doak during the Danske Bank Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final between Campbell College and Wallace High School at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Photo John Dickson/DICKSONDIGITAL

Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final 2 | Wednesday 2nd March 2022 Oliver McCauley is tackled by Cameron Doak during the Danske Bank Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final between Campbell College and Wallace High School at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo John Dickson/DICKSONDIGITAL

John Dickson

Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final 2 | Wednesday 2nd March 2022

Henry Johnson scores for Campbell during the Danske Bank Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final between Campbell College and Wallace High School at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Photo John Dickson/DICKSONDIGITAL

Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final 2 | Wednesday 2nd March 2022 Henry Johnson scores for Campbell during the Danske Bank Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final between Campbell College and Wallace High School at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo John Dickson/DICKSONDIGITAL

John Dickson

Ulster Rugby's Kingspan Stadium is playing host to the Danske Bank Schools' Cup semi-finals.

Ulster Rugby's Kingspan Stadium is playing host to the Danske Bank Schools' Cup semi-finals.

©INPHO/Bryan Keane

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Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final 2 | Wednesday 2nd March 2022 Henry Johnson scores for Campbell during the Danske Bank Ulster Schools Cup Semi-Final between Campbell College and Wallace High School at Kingspan Stadium, Ravenhill Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo John Dickson/DICKSONDIGITAL

It will be an all-Belfast Danske Bank Schools’ Cup final on St. Patrick’s Day after Campbell College beat Wallace High School in the second of the last four ties at Ravenhill.

Not blessed with the benign weather conditions in which Methody overcame RBAI 24 hours prior, the east Belfast school had to roll up their sleeves to make it to a fourth final in seven seasons.

But brilliantly led by a pack that featured a host of strong performances, they would muscle their way to a 28-6 win on a sodden pitch.

In what became something of an first-half pattern, Campbell made all the pressing in the early stages with Wallace having to be heroic in defence to stop their Belfast opponents from working their way over from close range.

As a score looked inevitable, Wallace did excellently to force a knock-on in the shadow of their own posts while a charging Charlie Beattie advanced the ball away from danger after the ensuing scrum.

While Wallace showed the teeth of a ferocious maul themselves, it was a set-piece rumble from Campbell that created the opening score of the game. Driven to the very edge of the whitewash, man of the match hooker Zac Solomon was stopped just short of the line. As Wallace continued to hurl their bodies into tackles, the breakthrough came when Campbell put a degree of width on the play and outside centre Matthew Booth muscled his way over.

Despite the conditions, full-back Peter Caves knocked over the conversion for a 7-0 lead after 15 minutes.

An electric burst by a charging Oliver Topping brought Campbell to the cusp of a second score but increasingly this was a half where the story was one of the 2018 champions’ attack being met with dogged Wallace try-line defence.

There was nothing they could do, though, to stop Henry Johnston from adding the second 12 minutes from the turn.

Counter-attacking after Solomon had alertly snaffled a loose ball, Campbell worked it smartly through the hands before Johnston stepped sharply back against the grain to break the line and score under the posts.

Again, Caves provided the extras.

Yet more determined play without the ball from Wallace saw Callum Florence held up over the line after Luke Johnston’s athletic charge down.

Another meaty Wallace maul advanced them as deep into Campbell territory as they’d been all afternoon but a rip in the tackle from Alexander Brennan ended the threat and the score would remain 14-0 at half-time.

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With Cameron Doak, son of Campbell coach Nathan Doak and brother of Ulster scrum-half Nathan, leading the charge, Wallace were starting to make inroads and, five minutes after the turn, a pair of quick-fire offsides allowed Matthew Halliday to register his side’s first points.

As the third-quarter quickly became a flip of the territory from the first-half, Halliday would add another three-pointer from the tee soon after but when Wallace were penalised for holding on off the restart, Campbell struck back.

Going for the corner rather than the posts, the choice paid dividends when Solomon, having a really prominent game, burrowed over from the maul for what was his third consecutive game in this competition with a score.

A great conversion in what was now a really testing wind made it a three-score game with twenty minutes to go.

With just five minutes left, Wallace launched one final roll of the dice, going to the corner when Campbell were caught off their feet but Joe Hopes did superbly on the choke tackle to force the turnover.

And the victory would be complete in the final minute when, as the game looked to be drifting towards its conclusion, Oliver Topping popped up with an intercept score to put the icing on the cake.

Campbell College: Peter Caves; Oliver Topping, Matthew Booth, Callum Florence, Henry Johnston; Tom Crowther (joint-captain), Johnny McCracken; Cameron Hillis, Zac Solomon (joint-captain), Darragh Hanlon; Alexander Brennan, Joe Hopes; Oliver McCauley, Luke Johnston, Flynn Longstaff.

Replacements: Christopher Massey, Lucas Perez de Leza, Matthew Murphy, Reece Bell, Cameron Faith, Matt Rea, Stuart Johnson, Jake Daly.

Wallace High: Charlie Beattie; Ben Armstrong, Finn Rankin, Zac Lindsay, Noah McCluskey; Matthew Halliday, Ethan Patterson; Cameron Doak, Ethan Gilliland, Nicholas Macklin-Copeland; Philip Kennedy (captain), Fraser Harrower; Michael Waite, Adam McClean, Matthew Crowe.

Replacements: Harry Wright, Josh Hanna, Fionn McCloskey, Aaron Baillie, Daniel Hearne, Lewis Stevenson, Ethan Dunbar, Jacob Longley.

Referee: Jonny Erskine

Man of the match: Zac Solomon (CCB)

Match rating: 7/10

Here's how it happened on Gareth Hanna's live blog:


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