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Shield holders Down line up another final with Ballyclare

By Ronnie Ingram

It's a repeat of last season's Danske Bank Schools' Subsidiary Shield final as the holders Down High defeated Coleraine Grammar 41-7 while Ballyclare High eliminated Dalriada 15-12 in yesterday's semi-finals.

Down High gained more than their share of forward possession and with Lewis Finlay the perfect link at scrum-half, the backs were given plenty of opportunities to show their skills. Winger Ronan Patterson scored the first try following a set-piece move.

Full-back Jack Carlisle finished off a blindside move before Pierce Crowe converted a Hugo Mawhinney try for Coleraine.

An interception try by out-half Robin Wilson allowed Greg Hutley to add his third conversion for a 21-7 interval advantage.

After the restart, Down kept the upper hand and Coleraine had few opportunities to show their capabilities. Hutley kicked a penalty and converted an Alex Martin score.

Down never gave up attacking and further tries followed from centre Andrew McCoubrey and a second from Patterson.

Coach John Gunson was pleased to reach the final again.

"Coleraine were formidable opponents and our confidence soared after the first two tries. Thankfully we have no real injuries so will be at full strength for the final," he said.

Their opponents in next Tuesday's final at Upper Malone are Ballyclare High, who saw off a gallant Dalriada in a close contest.

Luke Pollock and Henry Ross had the home tries for James McCormick to convert the former.

Owen Lockhart touched down twice for Ballyclare for Adam Clarke to goal one and add a penalty.

Belfast Telegraph

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