With Ballyclare High sitting proudly atop the Schools Ranking League all this season it was somewhat surprising how comfortably they were swept aside by Campbell College who ran in seven tries in their 42-8 win at Ravenhill, setting up a final showdown with RBAI.

The wide open spaces of the Ravenhill pitch certainly suited the Belfast side who brought their pacy and powerful backs into play from the off putting Ballyclare under immediate pressure with an early chance being ruled out when the Campbell player was turned in the process of touching down.

Campbell continued to attack the line and on the five minute mark No 8  went over out wide for the opening try. Rory Scholes converted to make it  7  – 0 to Campbell

Ballyclare hit back straight away when quick hands found Johnny Holmes in space and the out half darted over for Ballyclare’s opening try. Holmes failed to add the extras and the frenetic pace of the opening exchanges continued with Campbell  breaking through the centre and their captain John Creighton crossed for Scholes to again add the points taking the score to 14 – 5.

The end to end action continued and Ballyclare came close to replying only for the final pass to fail to go to hand and the Belfast side were able to clear their lines. As the match settled down it was Campbell who began to get on top at the breakdown.

After a few phases, with Campbell’s Scholes, Best and Farrell prominent, winger Moss Rodgers found himself in space and duly obliged by bagging the third try. Scholes failed to convert leaving the score at 19 – 5.

Scholes made amends with a crucial penalty putting Campbell three scores clear but  Holmes replied with one for Ballyclare right on the break taking the half time score to Campbell 22 – Ballyclare 8.

Ballyclare tried to chase the game after the break but the Co Antrim side were unable to breach a strong defense now brimming with confidence and the Belfast side comfortably closed out the game in the second half.

The impressive Gallagher picked up to go over on the blind side after a rare strike against the head and scrum-half Glenn Baillie nipped over shortly after for the fifth.

Scholes capped a fine personal performance when he ran in on the right and second row substitute Shane Moffett got in on the act with the final score making it a miserable afternoon for the Ballyclare fans!

Final score: Campbell College 42 Ballyclare High School 8

After the match Ballyclare coach Daniel Soper said:

We made too many mistakes, especially in the first half, and you can’t do that against a team like Campbell.

They were better than us on the day but we could have been better. I don’t know if it was lack of match practice or the big occasion but we were seldom in a position to exert pressure on them.

CAMPBELL COLLEGE: Rory Scholes, Moss Rodgers, Christopher Best, Chris Farrell, Rog Haldane, John Creighton (capt), Glenn Baillie, Seb McBrien, Kyle Adams, Ross Taylor, Jack Cooke, Geoffrey Crooks, Mark Best, Jan-Francois Bester, Charles Gallagher. Replacements: Calvin Jordan, Shane Moffett, Richard Greenwood, Elliot Vollands, Thomas Bill, Ben Sloan, Clarke McGlade

BALLYCLARE HIGH: Mitchell McComb (capt), Peter Ferguson, Eddie McKee, Jonny Douglas, Andrew Butler, Jonny Holmes, Chris Millar, Jonny Craig, Marc Logan, Peter Kennedy, Kirk Jamison, Grant Bartley, David Kelly, Peter McMechan, Jonny Darling. Replacements: Conor Shearer, Paddy Reid, Scott Barr, Matt Dailly, Jack Irvine, Simon Beattie, Chris McIntyre


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