Methodist College came out on top by 17 – 12 against Ballymena Academy in the Medallion Shield Final at Ravenhill yesterday afternoon.
Defending champions, Ballymena Academy got off to the best of starts with second row Andrew Chesney being dragged over the line for the opening score after two minutes.
Methody worked their way into the game and ten minutes later their industrious hooker, Johnny O’Kane, barged over for the equalising score. Ryan Lindsay converted from close range to give Methody a two point lead.
The Belfast side enjoyed territory and possession for the bulk of the first half, with Ballymena restricted to breaks from deep, but both defences held firm and the teams turned round with the score reading 7 – 5 in Methody’s favour.
With the gusting wind now at their back, Methody continued to apply pressure on the Ballymena line at the start of the second half and a well worked move, initiated by the impressive Lindsay, ended with full back Joe Dickson sneaking over in the corner for their second try. Lindsay walloped over the difficult conversion with consummate ease to push the score out to 14 – 5.
Lyndsey added a penalty, towards the end of the third quarter, to extend Methody’s lead to 17 – 5, but despite being two scores behind the Academy players refused to give up.
Their hard work was rewarded towards the end of the game when Robbie Wilson drove over close to the posts. Fullback Jordan Millar knocked over the conversion to take the score to 17 – 12.
Any hopes of a thrilling finale were dashed pretty quickly, a knock on from the restart seeing the referee blow for full time.
Methodist College: Joe Dickson, Fakhri Faisal, Jonathan Riddell, Lorcan Hanratty, Liam Black, Ryan Lindsay, Reuben Austin, Ruben Murray-Twinn, Johnny O’Kane (C), Finn McAdam, Cristian Cummings, Patrick Fullarton-Healey, Michael Crothers, Jack McCrum, Peter O’Hagan. Replacements: Jack Lambe, Callum White, Matteo McLaughlin, Christopher Bradley, John-Joe Millar, Cameron Nannery, Jacob Kelly, Lorcan Binding.
Ballymena Academy: Jordan Millar, Lewis Wharry, Alex McBurney, Andrew Donald (C), Theo Thompson, Connor Drain, Ben King, Connor Louw, James Cameron, Harry Marcus, Sam McDonald, Andrew Chesney, Christian Drennan, Robbie Wilson, Adam Thompson. Replacements: Joel Ballantine, Callum Gatt, David Surgeoner, Sam Booth, Matthew Connelly, Ben Laverty, Peter Bristow, George McAteer.