DALRIADA MEDALLION 26 BANBRIDGE ACADEMY 24
Dalriada Medallion hosted Banbridge Academy on Saturday in the semi-final of the Medallion Trophy.
Dalriada started well with a lot of possession and it was dynamic centre Denis Posternak who opened the scoring with a trademark bulldozing run, touching down close to the posts to allow for a successful conversion.
Dalriada allowed Banbridge back into the game through their own mistakes and some quick counter-attacking saw them score three tries, two from their left wing to leave the half-time score at 7-17.
Dalriada began the second half well immediately putting Banbridge under pressure only to get held up over the line twice. The pressure eventually told when number eight Andrew Stevenson crashed over from close range to leave the score at 12-17.
The Dalriada back line started to stretch Banbridge from side to side, finding space and making good yards when substitute wing Gavin McCaughern got his first touch of the ball, running like a steam train through several would be tacklers to score below the posts to take Dalriada into the lead at 19-17. Dalriada let their guard down again and in the resulting kick-off, had the ball turned over and the Banbridge number ten found a gap, scoring to take Banbridge back into a 19-24 lead with only minutes to go.
Dalriada immediately went on the attack, desperate to score before the final whistle. The Dalriada back line somehow found themselves in space and some excellent link up work from Alan Montgomery allowed McCaughern to score in the right hand corner to level the score at 24-24.
Patrick Elliot stepped up to take the difficult conversion from the right hand touch line and under immense pressure, steered the ball between the uprights.
The referee blew the final whistle and an almighty cheer went up from players and support alike as Dalriada snatched victory from the jaws of defeat!