Inst on a high after sealing Medallion Shield hat-trick against Wallace High
RBAI 22-18 Wallace High
RBAI secured their third consecutive Medallion Shield title with a 22-8 win over Wallace High at the Kingspan Stadium yesterday.
The scoreline flattered the victors somewhat, their Lisburn opponents having had a good spell either side of half-time, but it was a deserved triumph for Gavin Monteith's team who swept away all before them in the competition this season.
Wallace, who have now lost four of the last five finals, were left to rue not making the most of some eye-catching breaks.
In a rematch of last year's decider, it was Inst who made the early running but a penalty at the breakdown allowed Nathan Doak to kick for touch.
The maul couldn't make much headway and when the ball went loose, the holders were on the counter-attack. As a hack through held up just over the try line, full-back Simon Jackson was just beaten to the ball to prevent the try.
A line-out steal from Andrew Hussell halted another Wallace attack but the first points arrived just before the 20 minute mark.
Inst centre Robin McIlveen, who was the game's most influential player, showed impressive pace as he forced his way over.
Converting his own try, Inst led but Wallace came storming back. A break from fleet-footed Conor Rankin pressured Inst into conceding a penalty which Doak sent to the five-metre line.
Kyle Patton claimed the lineout and the Lisburn school's forwards drove for the line.
While Inst repelled the pick and goes, Wallace moved the ball wide to exploit space on the left and Dillon Jones went over. The conversion was missed.
As half-time loomed however, they were reduced to 14 men.
While Wallace believed that Inst had secured the ball from an offside position, an intentional knock-on brought a penalty and Dillon Sedge was binned for not retreating 10 metres.
Despite the disadvantage, Wallace started the second period with intent and moved the ball well but their failure to score a try during the spell was key.
Captain Rankin had ensured they took the lead during their ascendancy with a confident penalty but McIlveen cancelled out the kick with 10 minutes left.
Leading by two points, prop Reece Anderson capped off a physical outing when barging over after determined work from the pack while speedy full-back Simon Jackson gave the scoreline added gloss with a late effort.
With their firsts gunning for a second successive Danske Bank Schools' Cup title next week, the 'double double' remains on.
RBAI: S Jackson; J Stewart, R McIlveen, E Magee, B Campbell; A Adair, C Walsh; C Todd, J Wait, R Anderson; D Eakin, T Lavery; S Cameron, J Magee, A Hussell.
Replacements: M Johnston, R Curry, C Hayes, R Smyth, M Cleland, B McNamara, J Milligan, J Hetherington.
Wallace: C Rankin; C Quinn, J Dillon, B Carson, D Jones; N Doak M Manso; J Baillie, H Long, N Thompson; P McRoberts, K Patton; J Dundas, D Sedge, N Robinson.
Replacements: D Kilpatrick, S Redmond, C Neill, S Hayes, B Allison, R Crothers, L Montgomery, L . Williams