CAMPBELL COLLEGE 17 METHODIST COLLEGE 8
A try either side of half time was enough for Campbell College to book their place in the Danske Bank Schools Cup final at the expensive of their Belfast rivals Methodist College.
The East Belfast School will meet the winners of today’s second semi final between holders RBAI and Royal School and will have a chance to lift the trophy for a 24th time on March 19th at Kingspan Stadium.
Campbell were clinical when they got into the scoring zone while their defence stood strong as Methody had possession for long periods in their 22.
Methody took the lead on 16 minutes with a penalty from full back Ethan McIlroy following a high tackle on the 22.
Methody should have extended their lead on 22 minutes as Tom O’Doherty cut open the Campbell defence but full back Conor Rankin made a last ditch try saving tackle, the ball was moved wide but despite an overlap Nick Wells side wasted the opportunity.
Winger Rex Tinsley had Campbell’s first chance to score when he made a sufficient line break carrying deep into the Methody 22 but inside on looking for the support on his inside he took the ball into contact and got turned over.
Rankin levelled the scores on 31 minutes as he slotted over a simple penalty from in front of the posts following a sustained period of pressure by Campbell in the Methody 22.
Campbell took the lead in the final minute of the first half with a try from Tinsley.
Lock Oisin Kiernan and prop John McKee had probing runs at the Methody defence, the ball was spun wide Rankin was stopped short, Campbell quickly moved the ball from east to west to create an overlap and Tinsley slid over in the corner.
Rankin’s conversion from the touch line gave Campbell a 10-3 lead at the interval.
Campbell increased their lead on 50 minutes with a try with a try from prop and captain John McKee.
Following a tap penalty in the 22 the forwards had numerous darts at the line before finally the loose head barged over from close range with Rankin converting.
Methody finished the game strongly creating a number of chances but they couldn’t breach a well drilled Campbell defence which was strong at the breakdown.
The 35 time champions eventually got over for a late consolation, following a sustained period on pressure on the Campbell line scrum half Matthew Neill wriggled over to touch down but McIlroy failed with the touch line conversion.
Campbell: C Rankin, W Davis, J Macartney, B Power, R Tinsley, O Yandall, D Gaskin,
J McKee, H Jenkins, P McAlpine, O Kiernan, J Harrison, J Stinson, S Robinson, T Olaniyan
J Gildea, M Carlisle, M Poor, J Johnston, J Brennan, L Yandall, J McAllister, K Robertson
Methody: E McIlroy, C Scollan, K McNaboe, J Fletcher, C Larmour, T Armstrong, M Neill
D Morelli, D Humphreys, B Crangle, M Lyttle, B Gourley, C Kelly, S Bernard, J Bingham
P Johnston, T Millar, L Sullivan, A Reid, J Waston, L Lowry, T O’Doherty, R Armstrong
Ref C Busby
The second semi-final between holders RBAI and Royal School Armagh will be played on Wednesday, again at Kingspan Stadium, 2.30pm kick-off