Ballymena Academy edged out by Methodist College in Medallion Shield final

Ballymena Academy with Methodist College during the Medallion Shield Final
Ballymena Academy with Methodist College during the Medallion Shield Final
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Ballymena Academy and Methodist College produced an entertaining finale to the Medallion Shield at Kingspan Stadium.

In a close affair it was the Belfast boys who took the honours 17-12 to lift the Shield.

Johnny O'Kane and his team celebrate winning the 2019 Ulster Schools Medallion Shield Final against holders Ballymena Academy

Johnny O'Kane and his team celebrate winning the 2019 Ulster Schools Medallion Shield Final against holders Ballymena Academy

Holders Ballymena got off to a flying start, scoring a try just two minutes into the game.

Playing with the aid of Storm Gareth at their backs, they chased their own kick-off, regained possession then the forwards went through a number of phases before second row Andrew Chesney powered over from close range.

Methody grew into the game and responded with a try of their own on 12 minutes.

After a series of pick and drives, hooker Johnny O’Kane eventually punched through to score.

Ryan Lindsay added the conversion to give his side a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.

MCB continued to build pressure in the opening period of the second half and added another try five minutes after the restart.

Fullback Joe Dickson was on hand to finish in the right corner after an initial break by Lindsay and a neat offload by centre Lorcan Hanratty. Linday then fired over a superb touchline conversion.

On 48 minutes Lindsay pushed Methody’s lead to 17-5 with a penalty

Ballymena rallied and fought right to the end.

Their efforts were rewarded with an excellent try from flanker Robbie Wilson, who drove over beside the posts.

Jordan Millar quickly added the conversion, but, following a knock-on from the restart, the referee blew for the full-time whistle.

The win marks a first Medallion Shield success since 2012 for Methody, and their 37th overall victory in the final

Ballymena Academy: Jordan Millar, Lewis Wharry, Alex McBurney, Andrew Donald (Capt), Theo Thompson, Connor Drain, Ben King; Connor louw, James Cameron, Harry Marcus, Sam McDonald, Andrew Chesney, Christian Drennan, Robbie Wilson, Adam Thompson.

Replacements: Joel Ballantine, Callum Gatt, David Surgeoner, Sam Booth, Matthew Connelly, Ben Laverty, Peter Bristow, George McAteer.

MCB: Joe Dickson, Fakhri Faisal, Jonathan Riddell, Lorcan Hanratty, Liam Black, Ryan Lindsay, Reuben Austin; Ruben Murray-Twinn, Johnny O’Kane (capt), Finn McAdam, Cristian Cummings, Patrick Fullarton-Healey, Michael Crothers, Jack McCrum, Peter O’Hagan.

Replacements: Jack Lambe, Callum White, Matteo McLaughlin, Christopher Bradley, John-Joe Millar, Cameron Nannery, Jacob Kelly, Lorcan Binding.