Banbridge Academy and Limavady Grammar School met in the Medallion Bowl Final at Ballymena Academy on a wet and windy Wednesday afternoon.
The Academy started the game strongly and after a couple of carries down the right Banbridge’s No 8 Ryan Hanna battled over the line for the opening score. Captain Andrew Jackson added the conversion to give Banbridge a 7 – 0 lead after 5 minutes.
As the rain came down horizontally Limavady looked for a response and kept Banbridge pinned in their own half for a fair amount of time though the boot of Jackson and the rugged tackling of Hanna brought the Academy some relief.
A break from deep from centre Elijah Dempsey put Banbridge in the right part of the pitch and after a few phases Jonny Howard twisted over the line for Banbridge’s second score and with Jackson adding the extras Banbridge led 14 – 0 after 25 minutes.
Limavady continued to press and a late penalty saw the teams turned round with the score at 14 – 3 in Banbridge’s favour.
With the wind now at their backs Limavady were looking for an early score but the match degenerated pretty quickly with multiple stoppages as the physical hits began to take their toll.
Despite being under pressure for most of the half Banbridge defended resolutely but were deemed by the referee to be over eager and they lost two players to the bin throughout the half.
A succession of penalties saw Limavady camped in the Banbridge 22 but it took them some time to break through the determined defence. The Grammar finally made their break through with a converted try a good hour and 20 minutes after the game started but with so many stoppages there was still approximately 10 minutes to play with the game at 14 – 10 in Banbridge’s favour.
However, the restart was taken on by Banbridge’s Hanna and Jackson to send Alfie Geoghegan over for the Academy’s third try to take the score to 19 – 10.
Limavady, who had shipped a few injuries to key players, finally ran out of steam and the game ended without further score, the Banbridge players celebrating at the final whistle.