It seems odd to be reporting on a Schools Final in mid November but yesterday saw the final of the Schools U16 Cup. Ballymena Academy and Methodist College proved the best two teams from the round robin games and met at the Kingspan Stadium.
Report and images by Bob Given Photography
The game was only minutes old when a brace of Sean McKay tries, both, of which he converted, gave Ballymena Academy a commanding 14 – 0 lead.
Methody were unable to impose themselves on the game and were further disadvantaged when Tyrese Abdarin received a yellow card for a dangerous tackle.
Ballymena took full advantage when Michael McClean scored midway out. Another McKay conversion gave Ballymena a 21 – 0 halftime lead.
A McKay penalty goal 5 minutes into the 2nd half moved the scoreboard along to 24 – 0 in Ballymena’s favour.
Methody worked their was back into the game and following a series of forward drives Lewis Doherty touched down for an unconverted try to reduce the deficit to 24 – 5.
When Harry McNeice got in in the corner, it appeared that the momentum had swung in Methody’s favour. Jack Tindal’s conversion made the score 24-12.
But Ballymena came back and pressurized a Methody lineout in their ‘22’. When a clearance kick was charged down, Joshua Harvey powered over to consolidate Ballymena’s lead at 29 – 12.
Methody had the last say with an unconverted try with the final move of the game, leaving Ballymena with a well deserved 29 – 17 victory.