Methodist College lift Schools' Cup with powerful second half display against Campbell College


Monday, 18th March 2019, 5:22 pm
Updated Monday, 18th March 2019, 7:01 pm
Celebration time for the new Danske Bank Ulster Schools' Cup champions, Methodist College, Belfast
Celebration time for the new Danske Bank Ulster Schools' Cup champions, Methodist College, Belfast

A powerful second half display saw Methodist College, Belfast, lift the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup for the first time since 2014 yesterday.Methody dethroned holders Campbell College 45-17 at Kingspan Stadium to extend their record success in the competition to 36.Methody dominated the early exchanges in terms of possession and territory and were rewarded on 11 minutes with the game’s opening score.From a penalty they went to the corner, the forwards set up a driving maul, No 8 Kevin McNabone and winger Tom O’Doherty were stopped on the line before lock Ben Gourley crashed over with full back Ethan McIlroy converting from a tight angle.Campbell replied four minutes later with their first sortie into the Methody 22, from a penalty the defending champions went to the corner.Jack Stinson secured the lineout and set up a powerful drive with hooker Harry Jackson touching down and full back Conor Rankin levelling the scores with the conversion.Campbell took a 10-7 lead on 20 minutes, centre Harry Owens made a surging break through midfield but was illegally stopped by McIlroy which earned the Methody fullback a yellow card and Rankin landed a simple penalty from in front of the posts.MCB wasted a great chance to regain the lead on 26 minutes, from a series on pick and goes they edged their way to the Campbell line but scrum half Callum Davidson ran into his own man causing a turnover.Methody got their second try on the half hour mark, after forcing a penalty in the Campbell ‘22’ they elected to take a scrum.McNabone picked and went from the base but was halted in his tracks, however lock Max Lyttle punched through some weak tackling to touch down with McIlroy adding the conversion.Campbell finished the half strongly but Methody were able to repel a driving maul and it was Nicky Wells’ side that went into the break with a 14-10 lead.MCB increased their lead two minutes after the restart.Centre Robbie Armstrong made a break and carried into the Campbell before putting out half Thomas Armstrong clear to score under the posts with McIlroy knocking over the simple conversion.Davidson got Methody’s fourth try on 45 minutes. Going to the corner again from a penalty, the forwards had a couple of probing darts for the line before the scrumhalf sniped over from close range but McIlroy failed to convert.Campbell responded three minutes later, centre Rex Tinsley charged into the Methody ‘22’, prop Paddy McAlpine drove close to the line before scrum half Dara Gaskin dashed over from close range with Rankin converting.Methody put the game beyond doubt with a fifth try on 58 minutes, a quick piece of thinking by hooker Daniel Humphreys caught the Campbell defence napping as he through a quick lineout to the front and flanker David Boden powered over for an unconverted try.Campbell had flanker Ben Rainey yellowed carded on 64 minutes and replacement Tom Millar charged over from a back of a maul from the resulting penalty for Methody’s six try which McIlroy converted.Armstrong rounded the rout off with a fine individual try at the end.

Campbell College: C Rankin, K Harkness-Robertson, R Tinsley, H Owens, D Williams, Ollie Ralston, Dara Gaskin; John Gilea, Harry Jackson, Patrick McAlpine, Kyle Gill, J Stinson, J Johnston, B Rainey, Tobi OlaniyanReplacements: J Boal, L Collins, M Poor, C McCauley, J Brennan, H Bell, F Parks, H MinfordMethodist College: E McIlroy, T O’Doherty, R Armstrong, J Fletcher, C Larmour, T Armstrong, C Davidson; B Crangle, D Humphreys, T Linton, M Lyttle, B Gourley, D Boden, A Reid, K McNaboe (capt)Replacements: J Watson, P Johnston, M Hunter, T Millar, A Simms, L Simms, L Graham, L MillarReferee: Dan Carson

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Methody's Thomas Armstrong scores
Campbell celebrate Harry Jackson's try