[pullquote]Report and images by Richard Owens[/pullquote]
There was a sizeable crowd in Holywood for this Group D Schools Cup clash between Sullivan and Grosvenor and with the weather finally dry there was an expectant air of some running rugby amongst the supporters in both camps.
Grosvenor kicked off and there were some early forward tussles followed by some kicking exchanges until the ball landed in the arms of Sullivan’s right wing, Thomas Leitch who accelerated and at full tilt weaved his way past Grosvenor’s covering defence before offloading you his outside centre Peter Camlin who ran in unopposed under the posts. Extras added.
The following ten minutes saw Sullivan give away 3 penalties in short succession and Grosvenor’s talented out half advanced their position up field with some long accurate kicking to touch.
However, Sullivan disrupted and advantage was lost. Then one kicking mistake straight into touch allowed Sullivan good territory and they drove a maul from the line out towards the Grosvenor line. From the back of the maul the ball was shifted to the blind side and the big lock Harry Sheridan powered over for their second try. Conversion missed.
Sullivan wanted to play this match at a fast pace and, having won a line out just inside Grosvenor’s half, the ball was quickly thrown in before the defending team were organised. Cue a surging run from the other second row, Baird, who was eventually dragged to the ground. However there was a dangerous clear out in the ruck and the ref had no choice but to send the offending Sullivan player to the bin.
A temporary relief, as it was only a few phases later that Sullivan were back in Grosvenor’s 22. This time the forwards discipline was good and quick ball was sent out to Leitch, who had burst in from wing, and Sullivan had their 3rd try with a straight forward conversion.
Half time 19-0
Three minutes into the second half it was Sullivan’s left wing, Moore, who showed his pace after some neat handling, from Sullivan’s out half, Whiteside, landed his teams fourth try, again converted.
Sullivan maintained the pressure and soon again were in Grosvenor’s 22. From a scrum set piece Leitch again demanded the ball and went over for his second. Extras added.
Grosvenor made some substitutions and then had their best spell of the match. They competed for each ruck and started to dominate the break down which finally gave their back some decent possession.
The visitors were unlucky not to be awarded a try after a skilful grubber from their excellent out half saw the right wing just reach the ball before the dead ball line. He got his fingertips to it but the ref judged it knocked on rather than downward pressure and the frustration on the Grosvenor’s players faces was plain to see.
In the final moments of the game Sullivan landed a final blow with another try from the full back, Zac Moraghan who converted his own touch down.
Final score: Sullivan Upper 40 Grosvenor Grammar 0
Match gallery below.