Down High welcomed Sullivan Upper to Downpatrick on Saturday morning for the Semi Final of the Medallion Plate.
It was a rare Saturday morning without rain though there was still a stiff wind blowing down the pitch. Sullivan, with the wind at their back, enjoyed the best of the opening 10 minutes with Down restricted to the occasional break out.
The visitors finally managed to break the enthusiastic Down defence 15 minutes in when Jack Law went over in the corner, for an unconverted try, after a period of pressure on the Down line. This was quickly followed by a run in from full back Max Readman, converted by Brett Russell to give Sullivan a 0 – 12 lead after 18 minutes.
Four minutes later Sullivan’s Harry Thallon barged over for their third score, again converted by Russell, and after a few injury assessments Readman ran in his second to take the score to 0 – 26, after Russell’s conversion, just past the half hour mark.
Given the strength of the wind, Down were by no means out of it and they hammered at the Sullivan line for the closing minutes of the extended first half. Sullivan worked hard in defence and, despite a couple of close calls, the teams turned round with no further score.
Down needed an early score but they were unable to break through the Sullivan defence and when Hamish Johnston intercepted and ran clear, from the half way line, for Sullivan’s fifth try, mid way through the half, the game was beyond doubt. Russell’s conversion moved the score to 0 – 33 which seemed a harsh reflection of Down’s efforts.
To their credit, Down kept plugging away looking to breach the Sullivan defence but they were picked off again by the clinical Sullivan with their big second row Thallon finding the line for the second time to give Sullivan a convincing 0 – 38 win setting up a Plate Final against Rainey Endowed on 12th March.