The Danske Bank Schools Cup Semi Finals have been completed and Campbell College will play Royal School Armagh in the final at the Kingspan Stadium on Monday 19th March.

Campbell College 17 Methodist College 8

Campbell College ground out their 17 – 8 win against Methody on Tuesday afternoon with a gritty display.

The match was far from a thriller with neither side really opening up as the well coached defences dominated. Methody enjoyed the bulk of territory and possession in the opening quarter but the bulk of play was confined to the middle of the park. Ethan McIlroy opened the scoring for MCB with a penalty on the 15 minute mark.

Campbell came more into the game during the second quarter and they were able to make more of their chances with a 28th minute penalty by Conor Rankin followed by a 33rd minute try from winger Rex Tinsley who looked threatening throughout. Rankin added the conversion from out wide to give Campbell a 10 – 3 lead at half time.

Methody looked for a response at the start of the second half but the Campbell pack were able to turn over ball at critical times. After soaking up early pressure the boys in black were able to convert their chances with John McKee finding the line after a period of play in the Methody 22. The assured Rankin again converted and the game looked over with the score reading 17 – 3 in Campbell’s favour on the 50 minute mark.

A late rally saw Matthew Neill cross for Methody, for an unconverted try, but it was too little too late as Campbell held on to book their appearance in the final with an 17 – 8 win.

Campbell College: Conor Rankin, Will Davis, Jamie Macartney, Ben Power, Rex Tinsley, Oscar Yandall, Dara Gaskin; John McKee (C), Harry Jenkins, Patrick McAlpine, Oisin Kiernan, John Harrison, Jack Stinson, Sam Robinson, Tobi Olaniyan. Replacements: John Gildea, Matthew Carlisle, Matthew Poor, James Johnston, Jamie Brennan, Lucas Yandall, Jack McAllister, Kieran Robertson.

Methodist College: Ethan McIlroy, Conor Scollan, Kevin McNaboe, John Fletcher, Chris Larmour, Thomas Armstrong, Matthew Neill (C); Daire Morelli, Daniel Humphreys, Ben Crangle, Max Lyttle, Ben Gourley, Conor Kelly, Samuel Bernard, Jonah Bingham. Replacements: Patrick Johnston, Tom Millar, Luke Sullivan, Adam Reid, Jack Watson, Louis Lowry, Tom O’Doherty, Robbie Armstrong.

Pictures below by Bob Given Photography & John McMurtry
(Click the pic to start slideshow or view full gallery here  


Royal Belfast Academical Institution 22 Royal School Armagh 26

Wednesday afternoon’s semi final was a much more thrilling affair with Royal School Armagh holding on to secure a deserved 22 – 26 win in a raucous Ravenhill.

The Armagh team started the match in some style and raced to a 14 – 0 win thanks to early tries from Matthew Reaney and captain Jack Treanor, both converted by Zac Thompson.

A shocked RBAI, who were pushing for a 100% win season, responded with a 26th minute penalty from Robin McIlveen before scrum half Niall Armstrong nipped over, close to half time, for try off the back of a scrum. McIlveen added the conversion to take the score to 10 – 14 in Armagh’s favour at the break.

Armagh extended their lead at the start of the second half with Ryan O’Neill crossing after a period of sustained pressure. Thompson converted to rattle the scoreboard along to 10 – 21.

RBAI came storming back with an unconverted try from Jude Postlethwaite to take the score to 15 – 21 but Armagh once again opened up a two score gap when Nicholas Jennings found the line to give Armagh a 15 – 26 lead with 15 minutes remaining.

Connor McCormick crossed and McIlveen converted, with 5 minutes left, to set up a barnstorming finish from the Belfast side but the Orchard County boys held on to record a 22 – 26 win in this thrilling encounter.

RBAI: Bradley McNamara, Jamie Mullan, Robin McIlveen, Angus Adair, Jude Postlethwaite, David Lyttle, Niall Armstrong; Ethan Sloan, Connor McCormick, Jared Wait, Daniel Eakin, Tim Lyons, AJ Hussell, Jack Magee, David McCann (C). Replacements: Rory Adair, Robert Curry, Stuart McAuley, Tom Lavery, Alexander Weir, Marco Manso, Kyle McComiskey, James Heyburn.

RS Armagh: Michael Campbell, Oliver Webb, Zac Thompson, Matthew Reaney, Nicholas Jennings, Romain Morrow, Charlie Worth; Jack Chapman, Jack Treanor (C), Jonny Agnew, Ryan Finlay, Samuel King, Aaron Woods, Graham Crawford, Ryan O’Neill. Replacements: Sam Rainey, Adam Edgar, Archie McAlpine, Jude Roberts, Josh King, Alex Johnston, Callum Whiteside, Peter Taylor.

Pictures below from Bob Given Photography
(Click the pic to start slideshow or view the full gallery here


The Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Final between Campbell College and Royal School Armagh will take place on Monday 19th March, 3.00pm at Kingspan Stadium.

It should be a thriller as it sets up the clinically coached Campbell College against the free flowing Royal School Armagh.

We’d predicted Campbell’s progression despite their comparatively poor season in the Front Row Union Rugby Rankings this season. They are a well drilled side and always looked to be holding something in reserve throughout the season.

However, Royal School Armagh have been a joy to watch this season and, though we didn’t find the courage to predict their win against the, previously, undefeated RBAI, we are delighted that they have progressed to the final which should be all the more enjoyable with their presence. They remind us a lot of the wonderful Ballymena Academy side of 2010 and they must now be the favourites to go on and lift the trophy.


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