Schools Cup: Dalriada 13 Enniskillen Royal 15

Published Categorised as 2021-22, Dalriada School, Enniskillen Royal Grammar School, Schools Cup, Schools Senior Tagged , , , ,
Enniskillen Royal Grammar squeeze past Dalriada in a tight Schools Cup game in Ballymoney on Saturday morning.

On a nippy morning in Ballymoney, Dalriada hosted Enniskillen in the 3rd Round of the Schools Cup.

Report and pictures by Nick Murray

The hosts took early control, with all the play being in the Enniskillen half for the first 10 – 15 minutes. The line was threatened a couple of times in that period, but the Enniskillen defence repelled the attacks well to keep the scoreboard blank. This was to prove crucial as they came back into the game.

The first score went to the hosts with Gabriel Stubbs-Carton slotting over a penalty 18 minutes in.

Enniskillen Royal Grammar squeeze past Dalriada in a tight Schools Cup game in Ballymoney on Saturday morning.

The restart was the first time Enniskillen had been in their opponent’s half, such was the early territorial advantage enjoyed by Dalriada. The first pressure on the Dalriada line from the visitors leads to nothing as Dalriada win a penalty and clear to touch. However, within a couple of minutes Enniskillen are on the attack again and the ball is fed out to the right wing to Tim Harte who retains well having been tackled, cuts inside and offloads to Myles Graham who runs it across to the posts to make it an easy conversion for Tadhg Hambly, pushing the score to 3 – 7

Dalriada hit back straight away, but the Enniskillen defence was proving a hard nut to crack. The visitors eventually succumbing when Dalriada captain Hugo Clarke went over just left of the posts. Stubbs-Carton swept the conversion over to take the hosts back into the lead, and so it remained until half-time with the teams turning round with Dalriada defending a 10 – 7 lead.

Enniskillen Royal Grammar’s Tim Harte is congratulated after scoring against Dalriada.

With a much more even contest at the start of the second half as compared to the first, it was Enniskillen who edged ahead with a well-deserved try from the excellent Harte, who was a thorn in Dalriada’s side the whole match.  No conversion, but it was still enough to put ‘Skins in front with the score now at 10 – 12.

As previously, Dalriada immediately bounced back, and a great steal saw them win a penalty inside the Enniskillen 22, with Stubbs-Carton coolly slotting over to give the hosts a 13 – 12 lead going into the final quarter.

It was Enniskillen’s turn to respond and the pressure from the visitors remained constant, eventually leading to a penalty about 15 metres out. Having missed an earlier attempt, Hambly proved he could keep his head under pressure and with only 4 minutes remaining, put his team back in front at 13 – 15.

Despite a valiant effort from Dalriada in the final minutes, they were left ruing their lack of points in that very dominant first quarter, and Enniskillen go through to the fourth round where they will face Cup Favourites Methodist College in a home tie on or before the 29th January.

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