Information Letter to parents 2020

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IRFU Covid 19 Guidelines

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BA Covid 19 Protocols

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Rugby Resumes! – 2020-21 season

Over the last few weeks we have been slowly and safely getting our rugby program up and running again. We began in mid August with our seniors, got the Medallion started in early September and this week saw the return of Junior rugby.

We have and will continue to follow all School, DE, PHA and IRFU guidelines to ensure that the safety of our players and coaches is never compromised.

It’s great to see the boys out enjoying themselves again and we hope that fixture will resume in the near future once it is safe and responsible to do so.

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2nd XV v Dromore High

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U13 at Grosvenor Tournament

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Junior results v RS Armagh

U14 XV won 45-22

U13 XV won 17-10

U12 A drew 8-8 (tries)

U12 B lost 12-14 (tries)

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1st XV lose to Dromore High in Bowl final

Banbridge Academy lost 33-17 to local rivals Dromore High in the final on the Schools Bowl played at a sunny Banbridge Rugby club on Wed 4th March.

Dromore started the game dynamically and were on the scoreboard with 5 minutes with a converted try. They doubledthis lead after 13 minutes after a series of forward drives ended with a close range try which was also converted. This could have spelled the end for the Academy, but the team galvanised themselves and clawed their way back into the game. Just prior to halftime a Bann free kick on the halfway line was quickly tapped by Scrum Half Harry Patterson who set Captain Adam Hanna away and his deft offload to Ben Bradshaw saw the flanker break the line and step two covering defenders to score a spectacular individual try. Patterson added the extras to leave the halftime score 14-7.

Just 5 minutes into the second half 2nd Row Peter Coughlinwas on the end of some great forward play and powered over to score, the conversion was missed leaving the gap just 2 points. This started a crazy period of the game where both teams applied pressure and alternated scoring. Dromore were first to respond on 50 minutes with a converted try but this was answered immediately by a try from Bann Hooker Marc Murphy. Dromore struck back again with an unconverted try of their own on 60 minutes. Bann then had further chances to reduce the lead to a single score but defiant defence from Dromore kept them out and then with time running out Dromore broke clear to score again to bring the lead out to a comfortable 15 points.

It was a disappointing end to a fantastic Bowl run for the Academy boys but they will take solace from the manner of their performance and the character they showed in coming back from the early deficit. The back row of Adam Hanna, Ben Bradshaw & Marcus McNeill in particular deserve special mention as they were excellent all afternoon and constantly gave the Academy front foot attacking ball.

Well done to both teams on producing an excellent spectacle of Schoolboy rugby and congratulations to Dromore on a well-deserved Schools Bowl victory.

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1st XV defeat Belfast High in Bowl Semi-final

Academy 1
st XV defeat Belfast High in Schools Bowl Semi-final

Banbridge Academy 1st XV progressed to the final of the Schools Bowl with an excellent 27-20 victory away to a strong Belfast High School on a windy Wednesday afternoon in Jordanstown.

The Academy won the toss and elected to play with the strong diagonal wind at their backs. This decision was vindicated when Captain Adam Hanna surged onto a short pass on 13 minutes and dotted down for the try. Scrum Half Harry Patterson added the conversion. While the Academy had some opportunities to score over the next 20 minutes it was Belfast High who scored next. On 28 minutes, after some strong driving play, their flanker surged in for a score. The conversion was missed. This seemed to rattle the Academy and just 3 minutes later, after some uncharacteristically weaktackling, Belfast High scored again after a good individual run from their centre. This time the extras were added to leave the Academy in a precarious position 7-12 down with minutes to halftime. They responded magnificently and 2nd Row DovydasLuitvinas pounced on a looped pass to intercept and go 40 metres under the posts. Patterson slotted the vital conversion.

So a fragile 2 point lead was the Academy’s only reward for the stiff wind and turning round into the in the 2nd half it seemed this may not be enough. But the Banbridge Boys had saved their best rugby for last. After just three minutes of the 2nd half Harry Patterson kicked a penalty but this was quickly cancelled out by a Belfast High penalty. On 45 minutes Patterson kicked another penalty to stretch the lead to 5 points again and this signalled the Academy’s best period of the game. After some strong forward drives Patterson sniped though a gap at the edge of a ruck and jinked his way under the posts. He added the extras and seemed to give the Academy a strong lead however, on 60 minutes, Belfast High rallied and drove over for a further unconverted score to leavethem just 7 points behind. 

The final 10 minutes, plus 7 minutes of injury time, saw some resolute defence from Banbridge. Surge after surge was repelled and the game finished as the Academy held Belfast High up over the line under their own posts.

It was a fantastic performance and all the players should be congratulated on an outstanding display of character and skill.

This sets up a mouth-watering final against local rivals Dromore High who overcame a strong Limavady Grammar in their semi-final. The final is set for Wednesday 4th March at Banbridge Rugby Club with a 1.30pm start. A huge crowd is expected for this local derby and all support would be welcomed by both teams.

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Medallion XV defeat Limavady in Trophy Semi final

Banbridge Academy Medallion Rugby XV progressed to the Final of the Medallion Trophy after a tight 14-10 victory against Limavady Grammar School.
Although the home team started brightly and dominated territory and possession it was the visitors who took a surprising lead when they returned a clearing Kick 30 metres to score an unexpected try. The Academy defence were caught napping, allowing several Limavady backs to link together to score after 15 minutes, a score they also converted to give a 7-0 lead. This score gave the visitors confidence and play that had been previously dominated by the Academy became a tighter contest with both teams industrious in attack. As the half approached Academy centre Jacques McAuley produced a moment of individual brilliance, and from a pre set moved ghosted through the Limavady defence and rounded the full back before out pacing the cover defence. .. the conversion attempt was unsuccessful and so the half finished with Limavady still holding a narrow 7-5.
The Academy had a slight wind at their backs in the second half, and using this advantage produced a more controlled performance. While they were unable to cross the line again for another try they did play in a more controlled manner and just edged the territorial battle. This control put pressure on the Limavady boys to play from deeper and this forced them into several errors. This pressure was rewarded with a series of penalties throughout the half, that allowed Ryan Matthews to build the Academy score with 3 successful penalties and nine points. The Limavady boys did challenge the home line on several occasions but tight disciplined defence meant their only reward was a penalty.
The game finished 14-10 in the Academy’s favour, and sets the boys up for the Medallion Trophy Final with either Cambridge House or Portadown College (Date and venue TBC)

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