Tight for Dalriada against Ballyclare

Captains pictured with the Schools' Cup before the first round draw. (s)
Captains pictured with the Schools' Cup before the first round draw. (s)

Ballyclare High School, currently ranked third in the School rankings, had to work very hard before they secured a 17-10 win against Dalriada scoring at the death to secure a victory.

In a closely contested first half Michael Stevenson opened the scoring for the Ballyclare HS team with an unconverted try to put them 5-0 ahead.

Dalriada reduced the deficit to 5-3 when Aaron sparks converted a penalty opportunity. Matthew Robson then broke away from his half to outpace the Dalriada defence and score a try. The conversion was missed but Ballyclare now had a 10-3 lead. Close after the break Matthew Christie touched down for a Dalriada try. Aaron sparks added the conversion to draw the score level at 10-10.

The game continued to be evenly contested in the second half with little to separate the teams. That was until towards the end of the game when the Ballyclare High School pack presented Jack Black with the opportunity to score a try. Matthew McDowell converted the try to see his Ballyclare High School through as 17-10 winners.

Certainly Dalriada come away from this game with no fear if drawn against Ballyclare in the Cup

The 2nd Xv had a very competitive game against Ballyclare losing out by a slim margin 14-10. Despite leading for quite a proportion of the game two late tries coming when the strength of the side was reduced due to injury in the 1st game, took the game from Dalriada in the final 5 mins. However the performance of the seconds is starting to bring about genuine competition for places in the squad.

The Medallion took on Bangor Grammar in a hastily arranged fixture kicking off after the 1st XV home game. They played outstanding well to secure a 41-3 Impressive win for Dalriada’s Medallion

Last Saturday Dalriada Medallion entertained Bangor Grammar School and recorded an impressive win by 41 points to 3.

Dalriada kicked off but it was Bangor who dominated the first ten minutes of the game with their big forwards trying to punch holes in the home defence. However, the Dalriada boys stood firm and were extremely disciplined in the tackle. All Bangor had to show for their early dominance was a single penalty.

Dalriada scored their first try when prop Xanders Wilmott showed great determination to crash over the line. This settled the nerves of the home team who began to play their normal style of flowing rugby. Minutes later the lead was increased when winger Lewis Henry showed a clean pair of heels to his opposite man to score a try which captain Connor Creith converted. Just before half time Dalriada went further ahead when lively scrum half Matthew Kennedy touched down after some excellent handling between forwards and backs.

In the second half the Dalriada boys played some superb rugby and this resulted in an early try for Griffin Phillipson who was having a brilliant game in the loose. The home team’s dominance continued with Ross Fallows scoring two tries in quick succession to kick off any hopes of a Bangor comeback.

When the visitors did manage a final assault on the Dalriada defence that man Fallows intercepted a loose pass and sprinted fifty metres to score a fine individual try which Connor Creith concerted.

This was a very impressive performance by the Dalriada boys with the forwards dominating scrums and loose play. The backs looked dangerous every time they got the ball and their handling was of the highest order.

Man of the Match goes to hooker William Allen.

who worked tiredlessly throughout the game. His ability to take the pass, draw his man and offload helped create numerous scoring opportunities.

This week Dalriada travel to Bangor posing an interesting challenge in the return fixture and will expect a tougher game. However, in this form, the Ballymoney boys are a match for any team in the country.

The U14s travelled to Ballyclare with high hopes after some tight games with this side last year but disappointingly were under able to hit the high levels of the last few weeks and went down by several tries.

Dalriada U13 travelled to Ballyclare on Saturday and got off to a slow start, allowing the home team to score early on after Dalriada spilled the ball in their own twenty two. Dalriada continued to force play in the wrong half and found themselves under pressure again, defending a five metre scrum. The Ballyclare eight barged his way over to take the score to 12-0. Dalriada were to have the last say of the half after a quick tap and go penalty by number 8, James McCormick who sprinted down the wing and forced his way over in the corner to leave the half-time score at 12-5.

Dalriada began the second half with a renewed determination and immediately were putting pressure on Ballyclare. The Ballymoney men moved the ball wide after some good surges by the pack and Andrew Dysart finished well in the corner to take the score to 12-10. Dalriada then suffered three injuries in quick succession causing disruption to their comeback. The rest of the half was closely contested with both sides creating chances but it was Ballyclare who came away with the win, scoring a decisive try right at the death to leave the final score at 17-10.