SCHOOLS’ CUP RUGBY: Holders RBAI edge tight Belfast derby against Campbell College

RBAI's Charlie Cloke is tacked by Campbell's Oisin Kernan and Tom O'Toole
RBAI's Charlie Cloke is tacked by Campbell's Oisin Kernan and Tom O'Toole
0
Have your say

CAMPBELL COLLEGE 3 RBAI 10

The Belfast derby at Foxes Field was a tight affair as Campbell College and RBAI battled out a repeat of last year’s final.

RBAI's Joseph Finnegan runs in a try, tacked by Campbell's Ben Power

RBAI's Joseph Finnegan runs in a try, tacked by Campbell's Ben Power

Inst were again to come out on top, winning the tie 10-3 to keep alive their hopes of a third successive Danske Bank Schools’ Cup success.

A large crowd had gathered to watch these two experienced Ulster Schools’ Cup campaigners go head-to-head in this quarter-final game.

Early Inst pressure, with players such as Michael Lowry, James Hume and Callum Reid to the fore presented the holders to take an early lead with a penalty attempt. The opportunity was missed and the Campbell College team recovered strongly.

Matthew Crowther, Jamie McCartney and Oscar Yandall all asked questions of the Inst defence but could find no way through.

RBAI's Michael Lowry (c) is tacked by Campbell's Lucas Yandall.

RBAI's Michael Lowry (c) is tacked by Campbell's Lucas Yandall.

Campbell did, however, pressurise the Inst defence into conceding a penalty, which Will Davis goaled for a 3-0 lead midway through the first half.

Inst recovered and went into attack mode. Rhys O’Donnell, Michael Lowry and Paddy Finnegan combined to send Joe Finnegan in for an unconverted try to give his team a 5-3 lead at the break.

The early stages of the second half saw Campbell launch wave after wave of attacks. John McKee, Ben Webb and Ben Power all came close but somehow the Inst line remained intact.

With ten minutes to go it seemed the RBAI might have sealed their victory only for the ball carrier to lose possession over the Campbell line. With just minutes of the game remaining Yasser Omar and Charlie Cloke teamed up with David McCann to present quick ruck ball for the Belfast Inst backs.

Good work from Michael Lowry presented Joe Finnegan with the opportunity to run in for an unconverted try. This was sufficient to secure their 10-3 victory.

The holders will now meet Ballymena Academy in a repeat of last year’s semi-final at Kingspan Stadium on Monday, February 27.