Belfast High School kept their run in the Schools Cup going with a 7 – 19 win against Larne Grammar on Saturday morning. A first half try from Matt Huntley and second half tries from Ryan McGonigle and Aaron Blair were enough to see them home against a second half try from Larne’s Aaron McBride.

Larne Grammar started this game in a determined mood putting the visitors under pressure for large stretches of the opening quarter. The home side should have went in front when awarded a penalty after a series of infringements but unfortunately fullback Philip Andrews pushed his attempt wide.

Larne continued to press but the Belfast side were beginning to get on top in the set and the loose but it was still against the run of play when full back Matt Huntley broke from the left to go under close to the posts. Out half Robbie Fryers converted taking the score to  0 – 7.

Larne worked hard to get back in the game with centres Jamie Johnston and Aaron Carter making some strong runs but the High School’s defence held firm and the teams turned round without any further score.

With a slight wind behind them in the second half Belfast High enjoyed early territorial advantage and after a series of plays close to the Larne line the High’s Ryan McGonigle made a typical bruising run and appeared to be tackled just short by Larne’s Callum Patton. However McGonigle had the composure to stretch out and made the line by his fingertips and with the conversion missed the visitors looked fairly secure leading 0 – 12.

Larne had other ideas and straight from the restart the home side went straight up field to score with outhalf Aaron McBride making a break to score under the posts. Andrews converted and Larne were back in the match with the score reading  7 – 12.

Larne enjoyed a good period of play for the next ten minutes pushing hard for an equalising score. Outhalf McBride controlled the game well making several sniping breaks and bringing others into the game. Unfortunately for the home side the High School’s defence held firm and after a series of powerful scrums the visitors worked their way back down into the Larne half.

McGonnigle and big second rows Chris Taylor and Ryan McKay came into their own in the closing quarter and it was no surprise when, after a series of close calls, hooker Aaron Blair forced his way to the line for a well deserved try. Fryers added the extras giving the visitors a comfortable 7 – 19 lead.

Despite trailing by 12 Larne continued to press for a score but the High School were able to close out the game fairly comfortably.

Belfast High now face Sullivan Upper next Saturday in Round Four.

Larne Grammar: John Eland, Ryan McAllister, Marc Robinson, Marc Eastop, L Brownlee, Ross Williamson, Ethan Kerr, Billy Brown, Robert McKinley, Aaron McBride, Bryan Hamill, Jamie Johnston, Aaron Carter, Nathan McCullough, Philip Andrews, Josh Bell, Sam McIlwaine, C Kerr, Callum Paton, Houston Saunderson, M Beggs, C Burleigh.

Belfast High: Jake Toan, Aaron Blair, Adam Gibney, Chris Taylor, Ryan McKay, Henry Atkinson, Ethan Clarke, Ryan McGonigle, Guy Bell, Robbie Fryers, Ross White, Adam White, Ryan Elliot, Philip Snoddy, Matt Huntley, Matt Boyd, Ben Love, Jonny Greenlees, Jonny Whitley, Tom McConkey, Stephen Godfrey.


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