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Strabane coach McDonnell full of pride despite loss to Carrick


By Ronnie Ingram

Carrickfergus Grammar will host Rainey Endowed in the second round of the Danske Bank Schools' Cup after defeating Strabane Grammar 14-12.

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The first half was evenly contested with both teams missing penalties and Strabane coming close to scoring a try, but the final pass to Jamie Browne was adjudged to be forward.

They did go in front after winger Michael Doherty rounded his opposite number to put Browne in at the corner.

Doherty then added the points but, as the home pressure mounted, Strabane started to concede penalties.

From one close to halfway, the ball was kicked to the corner and full-back Jack Leathem crashed over close to touch for out-half Daniel Curley to goal.

Well into the fourth quarter, the rampant home forwards made ground and Josh Irvine crossed for Leathem to again add the difficult conversion.

With the last play following three penalties inside the home 22, Strabane No.8 Jordan Mealiff barged over but the difficult conversion was missed.

Strabane coach Niall McDonnell commented afterwards: "Away from home we were just pipped. We made mistakes with a couple of passes dropped on the line but I'm pleased with the progress rugby has made at the school."

In the Danske Bank Medallion Shield, Belfast High School eliminated Friends School Lisburn on a 22-8 scoreline.

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