Wellington College pulled away in the forth quarter to win this Schools Cup 1st Round match 27 -12 against a gutsy Lurgan College. Wellington’s name now goes into the hat for the 2nd Round draw which takes place on Wednesday morning at Ravenhill.
Wellington College played their best rugby of the first half in the opening three minutes forcing the visitors back on their own line from the kick off. A few darts at the Lurgan line eventually resulted in a penalty under the posts and Wellington full back Stephen Marshall stepped up to slot over the kick giving the home side a 3 – 0 lead.
Despite Wellington looking dangerous with the ball in hand – particularly the close quarter stuff with their big pack – they chose to move the ball wide too early running out of space or becoming isolated and being turned over by their hard working visitors.
Lurgan worked their way into the game, with their defence outstanding, and were rewarded with a series of penalties with the big boot of Josh McKay slotting over the first two from distance Taking the score to 3 – 6. McKay was unlucky not to add further to his tally with a further two penalties going narrowly wide.
The home side upped their effort as the half time break approached with No. 7 David Marshall featuring strongly, however the visitors managed to keep their line intact thanks largely to their impressive tackle count and as the half time whistle blew the teams turned round with the score unchanged at 3 – 6.
Lurgan started the second half well and when they were awarded another penalty, slotted over by McKay, to take the score to 3 – 9 they looked to be favourites to go into the second round draw.
Trailing by six points the home side realised they were going to have to up their efforts and with the back row of Lee Graham, David Marshall and Gareth McGaughey combining well they forced their way up to the Lurgan line. After a period of pressure the hard working McGaughey forced his way over for the opening try, much to the delight of the home crowd. Wing Adam Webb added the extras taking the score to 10 – 9.
The pressure seemed to drop of the shoulders of the Wellington team and driven on by scrum half, and captain, Kyle Agnew they worked their way back up into the Lurgan 22. Keeping things tight they pounded the visitors defence and after good work by David Marshall they eventually worked their way over the line for their second score with second row Kyle Walker getting the touchdown. Webb was again successful with the kick and the home side looked a lot happier with the score reading 17 – 9.
Lurgan refused to lie down and drove play deep into the Wellington half and were unlucky not to be awarded a try of their own with the ball being held up over the line. They did manage to come away with a penalty from the reliable boot of McKay but it was quickly cancelled out with Webb adding a penalty for the home side taking the score to 20 – 12.
Wellington’s captain Agnew added the icing to the cake with a solo effort of his own sprinting clear to score under the posts. Webb again converted taking the final score to Wellington 27 Lurgan 12.
Wellington College: Danny Mowbray, Jonny Glover, Matthew Gowen, Ali Lavery, Kyle Walker, Lee Graham, David Marshall, Gareth McGaughey, Kyle Agnew, Conor Mackay, Michael Hamilton, Freddie Birt, Keir Patterson, Jak Devaney, Stephen Marshall, David Cuffey, Ben Stewart, Curtis Galbraith, Matthew Gilliland, Jordan Donaldson, Karl Vidamour, Adam Webb, Jacob Halliday.
Lurgan College: Gregor Aitken, Luke Thompson, Adam Carson, Aaron Carson, Nicky Moore, Andrew Campbell, Andrew Wilson, Logan Wilson, Stephen Buckley, Josh McKay, Greer Ines, Chris Claglie, David Stanczak, Matthew Gilbert, Robin Carson, Tommy Patterson, Neil Adamson, Peter Keys, Josh Taylor, Matthew McClune.