For the second year running Dalriada 1st XV have made a major Schools’ final.
The Ballymoney lads forced their way into a showpiece final against Rainey Endowed School from Magherafelt with a 19-11 victory over Banbridge Academy. Making a final looked a far off possibility back in September, but gradually over the season as players came back from injury and returned to form along with gradually embedding structures and routines this team had developed into a highly effective unit.
There has been notable improvement over each game and now can approach the Final with a degree of confidence. With no real injury problems the team will train this week to try to iron out some of the areas from Saturday’s match that were not consistent throughout the game.
Three well-worked second half tries turned a half time deficit into a winning position in the semi-final, but they will have to be at their very best to defeat the strong running threat of a resurgent Rainey. The Magherafelt team will offer a very different oppostion to set piece orientated Banbridge and Dalriada will have to be especially careful of the game management skills of out half Mark Rooney.
Victory next week would be a fitting way to finish off this season and with both the 2nd XV and the 3rd XV both still involved in their own competitions, Rugby in Dalriada continues to be in good health with strong Junior teams all coming through.
The final will be played today at Ballymena Rugby Club. A big support is required if the Dalriada boys are to land another trophy for what could be the second in two seasons.