We caught up with Friends School Lisburn this week when they played Larne Grammar on a blustery Saturday morning at the Grammar Playing Fields. Friends had given us quite a few exciting matches last year in their Schools Cup run including a win at this very venue in the opening rounds last season.
It was the Grammar who had the best of a stuttering first half as both teams struggled to cope with the officious referee. Playing with the wind it was Larne who went into an early lead with two well taken penalties from outhalf Phil Andrews and with the referee blowing frequently the match degenerated into a series of set plays in the middle of the park. Both defences performed well adding to the stop start nature of the game.
Friends eventually started to string a few moves together and coming up to the break they managed to send outhalf Paul Anderson clear on the right to score in the corner to bring the half time score to Larne 6 Friends 5.
The second half was more entertaining and despite a much improved performance from the home side it was Friends who eventually pulled clear. Two penalties from winger Desmond Eastwood put the visitors in the lead and with the wind behind them Friends kept Larne pinned in their own half for the bulk of the second period.
Despite some tenacious defence from Larne, with Aaron McBride featuring strongly, Friends eventually managed to break through with Anderson again crossing after a period of sustained pressure on the Larne line. Eastwood added the extras taking the final score to Larne 6 Friends 18.
Larne Grammar School: Josh Bell, Ryan McAllister, Sam McWhirter, Ross Williamson (C), Mark Easton, Matt Alcorn, Brian Hamill, Callum Patton, Rob McKinley, Phil Andrews, Robbie Burns, Billy Brown, Aaron McBride, Sam McIlwaine, Nathan McCullough.
Friends’ School Lisburn: Simon Harris, David Seeds, Jonny MacCorkell, Jamie Robinson, Mathew Patterson, Joe Murphy, Paddy Ferguson, Dean Howes, Jack Ravey, Paul Anderson, Desmond Eastwood, Paddy Pringle, Michael Cochrane, Ben McMullan, Chris Hill, Aaron Basset, Brice Baillie