SCHOOLS’ RUGBY: Ballymena Academy lift Medallion Shield after win over Campbell College

l''Ballymena Academy captain Adam Lamont and his team celebrate winning the 2018 Medallion Shield Final against Campbell College at Kingspan Stadium
l''Ballymena Academy captain Adam Lamont and his team celebrate winning the 2018 Medallion Shield Final against Campbell College at Kingspan Stadium

A composed kicking performance from fly-half Ross McKay saw Ballymena Academy win the Medallion Shield for the first time in 48 years with a 10-8 triumph over Campbell College at Kingspan Stadium.

The stand-off landed two excellent touchline kicks that proved the difference between the two sides in a tightly contested final.

It was Campbell fly-half Ollie Ralston who put his side ahead with an early penalty, however Ballymena put the first try on the board when bruising No.8 Harry Andrews crashed over in the corner.

McKay landed the stunning conversion from out wide, but Campbell led at the break when their No.8 Luke Collins muscled his way over from close range.

The Belfast school nearly saw their lead extended soon after the restart only for Ballymena centre Jordan Millar’s excellent last-ditch tackle forcing them to drop the ball over the line to end the threat.

It was an error-strewn second half, but it was all set up for McKay’s late penalty from the touchline and, after Ralston saw an effort of his own drop just short, Stephen Johnston’s students held out for the victory.

“The boys are over the moon,” Johnston said. “They’re a super group of boys but I have to commend Campbell College too because it was a great game. It was certainly one that could have gone either way.”