DALRIADA gave their all but in the end were knocked out of the Danske Bank Schools’ Cup by ‘big guns’ RBAI.
With the game a doubt right up to kick up due to heavy overnight rain there was a real desire to play the game from both teams.
In first half RBAI played with the wind advantage, it really was going to be a battle in the forwards.
Dalriada absorbed early pressure and indeed coped admirably forcing several turnovers.
That pressure allowed Dalriada to force play up the RBAI tryline and were awarded a scrum 5.
However they tried to force a play and were penalised for obstruction, this allowed RBAI to relieve the pressure.
The game continued to be ‘an arm wrestle’ with the Dalriada scrum and line out really functioning well
RBAI picked up a penalty close to half time and maybe with a slight drop concentration, the visitors tapped and ran the ball and the initial wave was held up the second line of attack bulldozed over to score under the post.
With half time blown Dalriada disappointed to have concerned the right on the break, but would now have the opportunity to use the breeze. Right from the ko, Dalriada set up camp in the RBAI half and strove to build pressure off strong driving play from lineout.
With a lot of play in the area with the worsing underfoot conditions Dalriada maybe were not able to take advantage.
They maybe could have been awarded a try in the second half but the referee was unable to see the grounding.
Captain and fly half Timmy Emerson kept his team going forward with a lot of variety in his kicking and distribution.
With only about 7 mins left a clearing kick from RBAI forced a simple mistake that allowed them position for the first and only time in Dalriada’s half.
From the possession after a few phases of play another strong run by their forwards resulted in a score under the posts.
Faced with 14 0 scoreline and only 5 minutes to go, Dalriada did not lie down.
Timmy Emerson put up a testing kick and it was Peter Dunlop coming from a wide angle caught the ball in the air and with momentum cut thought the RBAI defence to score under the posts.
Despite regaining possession, time was up leaving it 14 7 to the visitors. As a scoreline it did not reflect how close the game was.
The Dalriada players were obviously disappointed but they can immensely proud of their performance which certainly demonstrated that they are able to compete with schools who are annually regarded as favourites for this prestigious competition.
Soon after the game news filtered though of the draw for the Subsidiary Shield which pits Dalriada against Rainey in the quarter final.
This keeps alive the hope of a day at Ravenhill, which is something this team certainly deserve and would be real reward for this talented bunch of players.
The game is due to be played on the 22nd of February and for the fourth time Dalriada have a home draw.
The Medallion are now also in the quarter final of the Plate competition and will travel to Omagh this Saturday to play the Academy. With a 11 am ko.
* Great win for Dalriada’s U14 Team
Last Saturday Dalriada Under 14 team travelled to play Ballymena Academy and after a game of entertaining rugby returned home with a magnificent 26-12 victory.
Dalriada started in determined mood and immediately put the home team under pressure.
The superb ground conditions suited the Ballymoney lads first rucking game.
They scored within five minutes when dynamic prop Xanders Wilmont powered his way over for a try which Connor Creith converted.
Minutes later Dalriada were further ahead when nippy scrum half Matthew Kennedy sold a brilliant dummy at the base of a scrum and sprinted over the line for a great individual try which Connor again converted.
Ballymena did try and got out of their own half but the rucking of the Dalriada boys denied them any worthwhile possession.
Dalriada went further ahead when impressive out half Adam McCaughern put in an excellent kick ahead and centre Lewis Henry won the race for the touchdown.
Just before halftime Dalriada scored the best try of the game when good ruck ball was passed to William Allen who pipped a beautiful inside pass to back Bruce Johnston who crashed over the line.
In the second half Dalriada made ten changes to the team and Ballymena came back strongly.
As the new players took time to settle, the home team took full advantage and scored two tries.
However, the Dalriada boys had no intention of losing this game and tackled strongly to keep their line intact.
The final whistle blew much to the delight of the Dalriada squad and their coaches who felt that this was probably the teams best performance of the season
Belfast heavyweights Methodist College and Royal Belfast Academical Institution have been paired together in the quarter final draw of this season’s Danske Bank Schools’ Cup.
The two teams met in last year’s final, with Methody winning 20-5 to secure their second successive Schools’ Cup win.
Danske Bank Schools’ Cup Round 3 results:
Rainey Endowed 5 Down HS 6
Methodist College 29 Limavady GS 0
Coleraine AI 41 Regent House 0
Belfast HS 13 Wallace HS 20
Ballyclare HS 10 Ballymena Academy 9
Dalriada School 7 RBAI 14
Campbell College 28 RS Armagh 3
Bangor GS 0 Sullivan Upper 25
The quarter final draw was made at Ballyclare High School by Peter Beattie, Senior Business Manager at Danske Bank and Stephen Black, Headmasters’ Representative on the Ulster Schools’ Committee, and is as follows:
RBAI v Methodist College
Coleraine AI v Ballyclare HS
Down HS v Sullivan Upper
Campbell College v Wallace HS
These fixtures are scheduled for Saturday 22nd February.
The eight losing teams from today’s third round games were drawn in the quarter finals of the Danske Bank Subsidiary Shield:
Dalriada School v Rainey Endowed; Ballymena Academy v Belfast HS;
RS Armagh v Limavady GS; Regent House v Bangor GS