Dalriada reached the semi-finals of the Schools’ Cup courtesy of a 17-5 victory over Bangor at St James’ Road.
Dalriada started strongly and controlled possession during the opening exchanges, however, ill-discipline by the home team allowed Bangor back into the game.
There was little Bangor could do to prevent Dalriada from taking the lead. Sustained pressure saw a series of “pick and go” attacks launched at the Bangor line. Dalriada hooker, Jack Dowey, took advantage of some slack Bangor defence and scrambled over for a try. Stewart Moore converted to give Dalriada a 7-0 lead.
Bangor came back at Dalriada using their big ball carriers to create pressure. However, the Dalriada defence proved too strong and they held out to clear the danger. They turned the Bangor ball over on a number of occasions and gained territory through the good tactical kicking of Matthew McConaghie and Angus Johnston.
They came close to scoring on a couple of occasions but handling errors and poor decisions ensured there were no further scores in the first half.
The start of the second half saw Matthew Ferguson and Fergal Wiseman carry well allowing Dalriada to set up field position in the Bangor “Red Zone”.
Good work from Jack Horseburgh frustrated Bangor attempts to employ good exit strategies from their lineouts and the pressure on their defence started to frustrate their defence. They gave a penalty away but the kick was missed by the home team.
Good tactical awareness took play deep into Dalriada territory and Bangor eventually got some reward when Connor McKee crashed over the line for an unconverted try to reduce the deficit to 7-5.
Dalriada came straight back and managed to force an error from the Bangor defence. They were awarded a penalty in front of the Bangor posts which Stewart Moore converted to give them a 10-5 lead.
Dalriada, made inroads into the opponent’s defence with very strong runs from Dennis Posterax and Alan Montgomery. Bangor were equally committed but they couldn’t do enough to hold out Jack Horseburgh who ran in for the decisive try which was converted by Thomas Hunter which gave Dalriada the winning margin of 17-5.