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.