Academy 1st XV lose out in Schools Trophy Final
Banbridge Academy 1st XV lost 15-11 to Foyle College in the final of the Schools Trophy played at Royal School, Dungannon on Wednesday 22nd February.
It was a keenly contested game, played out in front of a sizable crowd, but despite leading for three quarters of the game the Academy were unable to hold out in the second half and the Londonderry school claimed the spoils.
Playing with the wind in the first half the Academy were first on the scoreboard when Out Half Tom Flanagan slotted a tenth minute penalty. Further pressure from the Academy yielded a great team score by Prop John Wilson after 20 minutes. Flanagan was wide with the difficult conversion. On thirty minutes Foyle took full advantage of a rare foray into the Academy half and scored following a maul in the corner. This conversion was also wide. The Academy responded well and with the last kick of the half Flanagan slotted a second penalty to leave the score 11-5 at half time in the Academy’s favour.
With the strong wind now at their backs Foyle came out firing after the interval and only valiant defence repelled them in the opening exchanges. On fifty five minutes, after some good midfield play from the Academy, a loose ball was hacked on twice by Foyle and their player won the foot race and dotted down the bouncing ball. This score was converted and moved Foyle into a 12-11 lead. They followed this up with a penalty on sixty minutes to stretch out to 15-11. The Academy responded bravely after this and applied their first real pressure of the half in the last ten minutes but the Foyle defence held firm and their players were understandably ecstatic when the final whistle sounded.
While it was not the victorious ending to the season the Academy had hoped for they can take some crumb of comfort from their excellent performance on the day and after what has been a hugely difficult season they should be proud of their efforts in reaching the final.
Well done to the U12 players involved in the mini-blitz today at the Academy with Friends & Wellington College.
1 win, 1 loss & 1 draw!
u13 lost 19-17 to RSD.
Junior results v Killicomaine:
U13s won 15-7
U14s lost 20-12
Banbridge Academy’s 1st XV progressed to the final of the Danske Bank Schools Trophy with a fine 10 – 5 win over Antrim Grammar School in a hard fought semi-final on Saturday. The Academy started the game well and always looked the more likely to score first and after 13 minutes Centre Ross Cartmill crashed through from a set piece and stepped the last defender to score under the posts. Outhalf Tom Flanagan slotted the conversion. The Academy were in the ascendancy for the rest of the first half but were unable to extend their lead until the 33rd minute when Flanagan converted a penalty. The halftime score was 10-0 In the second half, playing into the slight breeze, the Academy found themselves under a bit of pressure. Their defence however was resolute and despite Antrim’s best effort’s they were unable to cross the line until the final minute of the game when they drove over it in the corner. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful and the Academy were able to play out final two minutes of the game in the Antrim half. The Banbridge men deserved their win as they were the better team on the day but it was a close game with little between the two teams. It was a good team performance but mention must go to flanker Jonathan Macintosh who had a great game in both attack and defence.
The Academy now play in the final of the schools trophy for the second year in a row where their opponents will be for Foyle College from Londonderry and the game will take place on Wednesday, 22 February at Royal School Dungannon with a 2:30 PM kick-off
Medallion XV lost 21-10 v Omagh Academy in Medallion Shield 3rd Rd.
U13XV won 41-5 v Friends
3rd XV lost 43-12 v Ballymena Academy in the 3rd XV Plate
Midweek results v Wallace High:
U14XV won 20-19
U13XV won 38-27
U12XV lost 5-49
Medallion Shield Round 3
Dromore High School 21 – 35 Banbridge Academy
Banbridge Academy made the short trip to Dromore RFC to play their local rivals in a cup match for the second time in 24 hours. On the previous afternoon it was Dromore HS 1ST XV who came out on top in a hard fought Schools’ Cup Round 2 tie. This time however it was the away side that came away with the bragging rights in an equally hard fought Medallion Shield Round 3 tie.
Banbridge captain Adam Hanna won the toss and decided to play with the strong wind at their backs in a decision that proved pivotal to the final result. Within the first 10 minutes Hanna had touched down twice with centre David Douglas adding the extras to give Banbridge a 0-14 lead. Dromore however came back strongly with poor Banbridge defending allowing them to touch down underneath the posts to close the gap to 7-14.
With the first half coming to a close the away side knew they needed another score to take full advantage of the conditions and that duly came again in the form of Captain Hanna. The No. 8 shrugged off the attentions of several Dromore defenders to complete a remarkable first half hat-trick. Centre Douglas again added the extras to leave the half time score 7-21.
With Banbridge now playing into a strong wind in the second half they knew they had to rely on the halfback pairing of Alex Ferguson and Philip Hayes for field position and the strong ball carrying abilities of forwards Hanna, Peter Coughlin and Adam Brown. It was however the midfield pairing of Korey Knox and Douglas who combined well for Banbridge’s forth score early in the second half with flanker Coughlin touching down and Douglas again adding the extras to leave the score 7-28.
With the wind at their backs the home side started to assert themselves on the game and all their pressure finally paid off when they managed to score two converted tries in quick succession to close the gap to 21-28.
Banbridge knew now that they had to dig deep in the final 10 minutes to secure the result and the all important score came from replacement flanker Jake Houston after excellent work from Thomas Walmsley and Conor Hodgett. Douglas completed a fine afternoon off the tee by adding the extras to leave the final score 21-35 in favour of the away side.
The Academy coaching trio of Tim Baxter, Matthew Bell and Brian O’Shaughnessy were understandably delighted with the result. In a game of fine margins it was Captain Adam Hanna who picked up the Man of the Match award not just for his outstanding hat-trick but for his ability to lead from the front when his team needed him the most.
The draw for the 4th Round of the Medallion Shield takes place this week with the Academy hoping for a home tie to pick up where they left off against a spirited Dromore HS side.
Team; Reid, Hodgett, Douglas, Knox, Gordon, Hayes, Ferguson, Jardine, Russell, Walmsley, Brown, Crozier, Coughlin, Middleton, Hanna.
Replacements; Smith, Houston, Doyle, Eliopoulos.