Schools’ Cup Rugby: Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Fourth Round Review

RABI prove to strong for Royal School Dungannon
RABI prove to strong for Royal School Dungannon

It is down to the last eight in the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup after the fourth round games were completed.

Holders Campbell College negotiated a tricky away tie at Sullivan Upper to go through.


Sullivan's Harry Sheridan in action with Campbell's Patrick McAlpine

Sullivan's Harry Sheridan in action with Campbell's Patrick McAlpine


Enniskillen took a 7-0 lead in the first half when a clever inside pass from John Allan resulted in Ryan Phair making a line break.

Phair was tackled but the ball was recycled quickly and a flowing attack was finished off when Alex Parke ran in for the try. Eddie Keys added the conversion with an excellent kick.

Down High had a number of opportunities to reduce the arrears and one of these was successfully completed when Greg Hutley converted a penalty kick to trail 7-3 at the break .

Elaine Haire, Knock branch manager along with Chris Peel Sullivan Upper Principal who made the quarter-final draw

Elaine Haire, Knock branch manager along with Chris Peel Sullivan Upper Principal who made the quarter-final draw

The second half saw the game hang in the balance for the first 20 minutes.

Then an Enniskillen maul was driven from the 10m line and stopped just short of the Down line.

From the ensuing ruck Callum Smyton got the ball in his hands and he barged his way over for the try. Keys added the conversion for a 14-3 lead.

With just minutes remaining John Allan took full advantage of good work from his team mates before touching down for an unconverted try in the corner which secured the 19-3 victory



Royal Belfast Academical Institution team ran in six tries through Max Preston, Bradley McNamara, Jude Postlethwaite, Jared Waite, Rory Adair and Josh Patterson. Robin McIlveen added three conversions with Ronan Boyle adding a fourth.



Armagh had built up a commanding 31-7 lead by the break with tries from Nicholas Jennings, Peter Taylor, Benji Boyd and Ryan Finlay.

Charlie Worth converted all four tries as well as a penalty.

In reply Bangor scored a penalty try on the stroke of half time.

Armagh started the second half strongly. With Worth and Boyd dictating the course of play they scored three tries early in the half through Aaron Woods, Taylor and James Brown.

Worth added all three conversions to extend the RS Armagh lead to 52-7.

A brief respite from constant attacks allowed Bangor to break out of defence and their endeavours were rewarded with an unconverted try scored through winger, Michael McCreery, which reduced the Royal School, Armagh lead to 52-12.

However, Armagh had not finished with their try scoring exploits. Michael Campbell and Jonny Agnew both touched down for one try apiece before the end of the game.

Romain Morrow added the conversions to both to complete the rout.



Sullivan made holders Campbell College work hard for this victory.

Campbell got off to the best possible start when they took a 7-0 in the first minute.

Harry Owens slipped off a couple of tackles before touching down for a try. Conor Rankin added the conversion.

Midway through the half Sullivan came back into the game when Conor McKee charged down an attempted Campbell clearance kick.

McKee regathered the ball and touched down duly for a try in the corner. With a superb touchline conversion he drew the tie level at 7-all.

Further Sullivan pressure forced Campbell into conceding a penalty. Up stepped McKee, once again, to slot the kick successfully through the visiting posts and go in at the break leading 10-7.

Sullivan had any wind advantage there might have been in the second half.

However, it was Campbell that started the second half stronger.

Danny Williamson touched down for an unconverted try to put his side back in front 12-10.

This seemed to spur Campbell and Conor Rankin crossed the Sullivan line for a try following a series of phase plays. McKee converted and the lead was 19-10.

McKee gave Sullivan a glimmer of hope when he converted a penalty opportunity, to leave six points between the sides going into the final quarter.

However, that was to be the last score.



Cambridge House worked hard but there was little they could do to prevent an impressive Wallace High from recording a comfortable and well deserved win.

Two tries from Luke Allison, one each from Ben Carson, Dillon Sedge, Joel Dundas, Jack Dillon, Scott Wilson and Harry Long, plus a penalty try and four Nathan Doak conversions, accounted for the Lisburn school points.

Cambridge House’s points came through a first half try from Reece Ervine, converted by Rory McCandless.


BRA 12

Ballymena started the game with the wind in their backs and good game management by their half back pairing of James Wright and Ross McKay kept them on the front foot.

Their attacks forced the Belfast Royal Academy into conceding penalties and McKay was successful with kicks in the 15th, 20th and 30th minutes for a 9-0 lead.

Just before the break it might have been more when the outstanding Ballymena fullback, Matthew Corr, cut through the BRA defensive line.

However, a great tackle from his opposite number, Brendan Hasson, denied the score and it was 9-0 at the break.

Ballymena started the second half well with big carries from Harry Andrews and Adam Lamont taking them deep into opposition territory.

McKay added another penalty for a 12-0 lead.

Then, following a well organised driven maul, the ball was recycled and released to Alex McKinney. He then powered over the BRA line before touching down for an unconverted try.

BRA came into the game when they started to display more attacking options.

Daniel Logan scored an unconverted try to reduce the arrears to 17-5.

This seemed to inspire the BRA team and they got some reward for their endeavours when Ollie Parkes ran in for a try, which was converted by Harry Warke late in the game, to reduce the deficit to 17-12.

But they had left it too late and Ballymena closed the game out.


MCB 47

In spite of the best intentions of the Dalriada School it was pre-tournament favouties Methodist College who proved too strong in what was a comfortable and straight forward win at the Ballymoney venue.

MCB had built up a 28-7 lead by the break with tries from Chris Larmour, David Boden, Dan Humphries and Thomas Armstrong. Ethan McIlroy converted all four tries.

In reply Dalriada scored a try through the impressive James McCormick which was converted by Paddy Carson.

MCB went on to dominate proceedings in the second half.

They scored three tries to through McIlroy, Humphries and Stephen Millar, two of which were converted by McIlroy, to secure their victory.



Ballyclare took a 5-0 lead 20 minutes into the game when Ethan Crawford crashed over for an unconverted try following a clever play off a 5m lineout.

The reponse from Rainey was swift and they levelled at 5-5 when Callum Donnelly crashed over the Ballyclare line for an unconverted try.

Ballyclare might have scored again just before the break but good Rainey defence ensured their line was not crossed.

Rainey started the second half well and Harry Evans gave them an 8-5 lead when he converted a penalty kick opportunity.

The Magherafelt boys continued to dominate but it took some time before they were able to outwit a resolute Ballyclare defence.

However, going into the last quarter of the game, Bryn Davies took advantage of a line break from Bryan Hall and he powered over the Ballyclare line for a try.

Evans added the conversion to give Rainey a 15-5 lead.

With little time remaining Ballyclare scored a try through Jack Gamble. Adam Clarke added the conversion to take the score board to 15-12.

Rainey held out in the few minutes remaining to secure the win.

quarter-final draw

There is no doubting the stand-out tie in this season’s Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup quarter-final draw.

The meeting of Belfast sides, MCB and RBAI at Pirire Park on February 23, is sure to draw a huge crowd.

Pre-tournament favourites Methody will be glad to have home advantage for the city derby, but Inst will also relish the opportunity to put one over on their rivals.

Holders Campbell College came through a tricky fourth round tie at Sullivan Upper and will now welcome Enniskillen Royal Grammar to Fox’s Field for the last eight match.

Another eye catching tie will be the meeting of Ballymena Academy and last year’s beaten finalists Royal School Armagh and the line-up is completed with Rainey Endowed at home against Wallace High School.