[pullquote]Report and pictures by Richard Owens. [/pullquote]
Another grey wet morning in Belfast for the second encounter in only a matter of weeks between these Tier 1 squads with RBAI narrowly winning that match at Foxes’ field.
The match sputtered into life on the twelfth minute when CCB were penalised for a high tackle and Inst’s place kicker Ronan Boyle landed the goal.
CCB has a chance to equalise the scores 6 minutes later with a penalty shot at the posts from Dara Gaskin just going wide. There followed a long period of kicking with each team’s back three punting the ball deep into opposition territory whilst the packs milled about in centre field.
In the slippery conditions there were multiple knock-ons and turnovers and it was CCB who blinked first giving away another penalty which was again confidently converted by Boyle from some way out.
RBAI looked a bit more composed in possession and the left wing had a piercing run through the midfield before CCB’s defence forced a knock on to relieve the pressure. Unfortunately RBAI lost their lively back Boyle with an injury as he gave away a penalty in an attempted tackle.
Better territory allowed CCB back on the attack and when Inst were caught lying over the ball in front of their own posts Gaskin made no mistake and CCB were off the mark. 6-3 on 32 minutes.
Perhaps CCB dropped their guard as from the restart when Jude Postlewaite at full back collected a kick and set off with his wing down the narrow side. Some skilful one – two passing and great pace saw him land a try in the corner, again with a superbly struck conversion, taking the score to 13-3 in favour of the home team.
The second half saw CCB lay siege in Inst’s 22 with the defending team barely able to get out of their own territory and testing the ref’s patience conceding penalty after penalty one of which was a missed shot at the posts.
Campbell kept coming, with one attack lasting 28 phases, before forcing a line out 5m out from the inst try line. The resultant maul was collapsed again and with a free play CCB did not waste their chance with Paddy McAlpine blasting over after the ball was worked back and forth across the Inst line. Conversion good and now Inst looked on the ropes.
Could CCB convert all this dominance into a win?
The restart was cleanly collected and CCB felt they might have a run out from their own half but the slippery ball was dropped and now RBAI had a scrum centre field on CCB’s 22m line. A couple of pick and go phases sucked in the CCB defence and the ball was spun wide to the grateful wing Jack Trusdale, who finished off any hope of a CCB comeback . Conversion missed as the ref blew the final whistle.
Another close encounter between these two quality teams with RBAI coming out on top 18-10.
RBAI: 1 Stewart Mccauley, 2 Rory Adair (c), 3 Liam Green, 4 Ben Gallagher, 5 Alex Weir, 6 Paddy Eames, 7 Johnny Eagleson, 8 Ben Cooke, 9 Josh Patterson, 10 Ronan Boyle, 11 Jack Leatham, 12 Oliver Metcalfe, 13 Hugo Ellerby, 14 Jack Trusdale, 15 Jude Postlewaite, 16 Jack Dickson, 17 Ryan Stewart.
Campbell College: 1 Jack Boal, 2 Zac Solomon ,3 Luke Collins, 4 Kyle Gill, 5 Tom Robinson, 6 Archie Gillies, 7 Connor McAuley, 8 Paddy McAlpine, 9 Arthur Johnson, 10 Dara Gaskin, 12 Finlay Parks, 13 Cal Florence, 14 Tom Crowther, 11 Danny Williamson, 15 Hugh Minford.