Methodist College, Belfast welcomed Blackrock College, Dublin to Pirrie Park on Saturday morning for an entertaining game in difficult conditions.
The visitors from Dublin dominated most of the first half as their backs made light of the conditions. A first minute penalty was missed but Rock took the lead in the first ten minutes when their out half finished off a break form the scrum half, the ball moving through six pairs of hands at close quarters to create space near the Methody line.
The out half added the conversion and minutes later the same player scythed through the Methody midfield to send their wing forward over for a second converted try.
It looked like it was going to be a long morning for the Methody players when Rock’s left wing and fullback combined to send over their second row for an unconverted try to give the visitors a 0 – 19 lead on the half hour mark. However, the home side regrouped, looked to their forwards and ground out a try just before the break, Matthew Humphreys bagging the score after a bit of misdirection at a lineout.
Having found the recipe for success Methody tightened things up in the second half and looked to control possession and territory. Their change in tactics certainly worked and it was helped by early tries from Adam Reid and Callum Davidson to take the score to 15 – 19.
Starved of possession the visitors weren’t able to recapture the free-flowing rugby of the first half and the the game descended into a midfield arm wrestle for much of the remainder. However, it was a battle that suited the hosts and one last effort saw their maul brought down as it raced towards the line for referee Chris Elliott to award a penalty try with the last play of the game.
Final score: Methodist College 22 Blackrock College 19