Belfast High’s cup run came to an end at the hands of a powerful Sullivan Upper with the Holywood side scoring four tries in their 16 -27 win on Saturday morning.
The home side enjoyed a bright start to this fourth round fixture putting Sullivan under pressure for large periods of the opening quarter. Two beautifully struck penalties from Belfast’s out half Robbie Fryers put the home side into a 6 – 0 lead but with another penalty striking the post the six point lead was sparse reward for their territorial advantage.
Sullivan eventually found their game and started moving the ball well and early in the second quarter centre Oliver Matthews and wing forward Ollie Loughead made good ground on the left taking play deep into the High School 22. From a resulting line out the ball was fed to Matthews who made the line for the visitors opening score. Fullback Ross Adair converted and the visitors were in front 6 – 7.
The High School hit back and Fryers landed another long range penalty to put the Belfast side back in the lead at 9 – 7 and it looked as though the teams would turn round with the home side in front. Sullivan had other ideas and ended the half on the attack. A nice sleight of hand by Sullivan’s Harry Eves wrong footed the defence, and our camera man, and the feisty scrum half darted over the line for an unconverted try giving the Holywood side a crucial 9 – 12 lead at the break.
Sullivan started the second half as they’d left off the first and put Belfast High under intense pressure for most of the third quarter. A penalty from Sullivan’s Adair edged them into a 9 – 15 lead and the full back put further daylight between the teams when he ran in to score close to the posts. Adair converted his own try and the High School were struggling with the score reading 9 – 22.
Roared on by the home support the High School pushed themselves to get back in the game and a strong run by Fryers put them deep in the Sullivan half. Hooker Aaron Blair and prop Adam Gibney came close to scoring but it was the hugely impressive Ryan McGonigle that made the line giving the home side a glimmer of a chance. Fryers converted and it was a six point game with the score reading 16 – 22.
Unfortunately for the home crowd, Sullivan were able to impose their control on the remainder of the game and a second try by Matthews put them well in command with the game ending Belfast High 16 Sullivan Upper 27.
Sullivan Upper were rewarded with a home quarter final against, cup favourites, Ballyclare High on 19th February.
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 Elliott, Philip Snoddy, Matt Huntley, Matt Boyd, Ben Love, Jonny Greenlees, Jonnie Joffroy, Joe Whitley, Tom McConkey, Ruairi Langhammer.
Sullivan Upper: Ryan Loughead, Robbie Montgomery, Tom Stevenson, Owen Glenn, Adam Wood, Jonny Tullin, Ollie Loughead, Mike Scott, Harry Eves, Charlie Preece, Rory Foy, Andrew Kerr, Ollie Mathews, Dan Floyd, Ross Adair, S McKelvey, T McClelland, S Finlay, J Haliday, O Fearon, T Macartney, Rory Barton.