Wallace High School on new high after impressive Subsidiary Shield triumph over Down High School
Wallace HS 21-5 Down HS
Wallace High secured their first ever outright Subsidiary Shield at the Kingspan Stadium yesterday afternoon with a 21-5 victory over Down High School.
With the Lisburn outfit having shared the title with Omagh Academy back in 1986 - and finishing as runners-up on two other occasions - impressive captain Jonny Stewart and his side delivered the Shield thanks to a two-try performance.
Having lost in the final of this competition last season, Down High were aiming for their first piece of silverware since a 2006 Schools' Trophy win and had the first chance for points only for an early penalty from play-making centre Charlie Power to drift wide.
With Stewart - one of three players in the line-up who featured in last season's Schools' Cup final defeat - pulling the strings, Wallace took control with the skipper providing three points when Down High transgressed at the breakdown.
The scrum-half missed an opportunity to double the lead minutes later when the Downpatrick school failed to release after the tackle.
Gary Dillon led a promising break that looked set to bring the first try but a knock-on curtailed the attack. The breakthrough was not long in coming, however, Stewart darting through a gap after the forwards had racked up the phases.
Converting his own try, Wallace led 10-0 but Down High answered with a period of sustained pressure.
Power sent a penalty to the corner, only for Wallace lock Jack Brown to steal a key turnover, but with the clearing kick landing in the arms of Marcus Graham, Down lost little ground.
With Wallace pinged for not rolling away, they were soon back in the corner and hard-carrying forwards Zac Ward, Claytan Milligan and William Martin all made plunges for the line.
Ward, son of Ulster's European Cup winning hero Andy, was held up and, as they attacked from the ensuing scrum, a penalty for holding on saw their best period of the half come to an end without points.
When Wallace full-back Kyle Hayes led a break and sent Jonny Hunter over the line just before the break, the swing in momentum loomed large.
This time Stewart could not convert but Wallace held a sizeable advantage at the turn.
Down High looked to move the ball at a greater pace but Wallace extended their lead seven minutes after the restart.
Stewart punished what was deemed a dangerous tackle with a successful penalty before repeating the trick with 20 minutes remaining after an offside.
With a quarter of an hour to play, Down High scored through prop Harry McCormick.
The conversion came back off the post and both sides had their chances for further scores but it was ultimately a deserved win for Wallace.
Wallace High: Kyle Hayes; Josh Cardosi, Jonny Hunter, Ben Finlay, Toby Kerr; Adam Heaps, Jonny Stewart (capt); Nicky Woods, Michael Smyth, Matthew Millar; Ben Morrison, Jack Brown; Ryan Malley, Ben Parker, Gary Dillon
Replacements: James Hayes, Sam Cardosi, Nico Blaine, Neil Stewart, TL Bradley, Matthew Smyth, Tom McKendry, Jonny Warke
Down High: William Annett; Marcus Graham, Paddy Browne, Charlie Power, Harry Hitchens; Jack Carlisle, Lewis Finlay; Aaron Chambers, Claytan Milligan, Harry McCormick; Christopher Beattie, Thomas Martin; Matthew Porter, William Martin (capt), Zac Ward
Replacements: Aaron Haslett, Chris Scurfield, Michael Harper, Callum Dunn, Lewis Canning, Daniel Peters, Robin Wilson, Jonny McCoubrey