Coleraine Academical Institution had to work hard before they emerged as 10-9 winners against Ballyclare High School when the teams met in the Quarter-Final of the Schools’ Cup at the Castlerock Road venue.
The Ballyclare team had the wind advantage in the first half and controlled the game in the opening quarter.
Matthew McDowell was successful with a penalty kick to give his team a deserved 3-0 lead.
From the restart Coleraine put in a sustained effort which proved difficult for the Ballyclare side to compete with.
Multiple powerful runs from Coleraine drew in the Ballyclare defence which allowed Jake Scott, Brad Dempster and Johnny Crowe the opportunity to make good ground.
Some great handling from the home back line resulted in number eight, Joel Stanbridge, making hard yards.
He drew the last Ballyclare defender to great effect and passed to Mark Gordon who ran in to touch down for an unconverted try to give his Colerane AI team a 5-3 lead.
The Ballyclare HS team captain, Matthew Brolly, asked his team for an all-out effort and they certainly did not disappoint.
McDowell was successful with his second penalty of the game to give the Ballyclare HS team a 6-5 lead.
McDowell was then successful with his third penalty kick to see his team into a 9-5 lead at the break.
A great run from Conor Shiels, in which he was stopped only a matter of feet from the Ballyclare line, led to a powerful carry from the supporting Coleraine AI prop Andy Moore.
Andy took a number of Ballyclare players with him as he touched the ball down to put his team into a 10-9 lead.
Ballyclare recovered from this set back and laid siege on the Coleraine AI line. However, some great defending followed from Coleraine AI, with the pick of the tackling coming from Mark Gordon.
Coleraine had done enough to record a hard earned 10-9 victory at the end of this tense Cup match.