SCHOOLS’ CUP RUGBY: Campbell College power past Sullivan Upper into last eight

Campbell College John McKee      and Sullivan Upper Matty Moran
Campbell College John McKee and Sullivan Upper Matty Moran
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CAMPBELL COLLEGE 29 SULLIVAN UPPER 5

A large crowd had turned out for this match between the close neighbours at Belmont and conditions ensured both teams could play with great spirit in this Danske Bank Schools’ Cup fourth round tie.

Campbell College  Josh Newell tackled by  Sullivan Upper Michael Houston (6) and  Charlie Shannon

Campbell College Josh Newell tackled by Sullivan Upper Michael Houston (6) and Charlie Shannon

It may have been a close affair in the first half, but Campbell pressed ahead in the second half to score an unanswered 22 points having led 7-5.

The quarter-final draw favoured Campbell with another home draw, but they will be up against back-to-back Cup holers, RBAI. Sullivan also face a tough away assingment in the Subsidiary Shield quarter-finals, facing Ballyclare High. Both ties will be played on Saturday, February 18.

Tom O’Toole opened the scoring for the Campbell when he carried the ball strongly before touching down for the try. Will Davis added the extras for a 7-0 lead.

Just before the break Sullivan lost their inspirational captain, Ruairi Meharg, to a knee injury. However, his team mates did manage to garner some reward for their first half endeavours when their industrious blindside flanker, Mike Hooper, scrambled his way over the whitewash to touch down for an unconverted try to leave the Holywood boys trailing 7-5 at the interval.

Campbell College  John McKee scores the opening try against Sullivan Upper

Campbell College John McKee scores the opening try against Sullivan Upper

The second half saw Campbell take control of the game in spite of the best intentions of Sullivan’s Matty Moran, Rory Kilpatrick, Jules Storey and Shaun Tyler.

Campbell dominated territory and possession for long periods of time.Ulster Schools’ U18 player, John McKee, displayed some impressive skills with his ball carrying ability. He made four clean breaks in behind the Sullivan defence which gave his side front foot ball.

Matthew Crowther, Jamie Macartney, Oscar Yandall and Harry Owens all thrived on the supply of quality possession. John McKee scored two second half tries with the elusive Ben Webb and the hard working Ben Power touching down for one try apiece. Will Davis added one conversion.

Sullivan Upper Cameron Gillanders tackled by Campbell College Harry  Owens and  Ben Power

Sullivan Upper Cameron Gillanders tackled by Campbell College Harry Owens and Ben Power