OMAGH Academy brushed aside the challenge of Rainey Endowed School to lift the Danske Bank Bowls trophy with a 24-0 win in the final contested at Stevenson Park, Dungannon.
Academy crucially won the toss and played with the wind in the first half.
It was through a strong defence that Omagh created their first scoring opportunity. A magnificent tackle from James Catterson forced a knock on and from the scrum, he picked from the base and fed his scrum half, Lloyd Kane. Kane raced through a hole in the defence and side stepped the Rainey fullback to run in for the try and then slotted over the conversion.
Omagh had now settled into the game and started to play for territory, keeping Rainey deep in their half.
With a blustery wind blowing straight into Rainey, they were forced to run the ball out of defence.
However, Omagh’s defence could not be broken down. Strong tackling in midfield forced another handling error and the lively Scott Hemphill hacked the ball towards the try line and went on to win the race to touch down for an unconverted try to give the Tyrone side a 12-0 interval lead.
Turning to play into the blustery conditions was going to be difficult for Omagh in the second half and the half time team talk was all about keeping their discipline and defending well.
Rainey came out strongly and set up camp inside the Omagh ‘22’ area for the opening 10 minutes and did everything but score.
With 15 minutes remaining, Omagh Academy scored their third try. Lineout ball was secured and the backs were released with Adam Stephenson coming up just short of the line, James Kelso thought he had scored having picked from the base of the ruck but was just short of the line. Kane moved the ball from the breakdown and Hemphill ran an fantastic line off Neil Maclaine to cut through the defence and go over for the try which Kane converted.
With confidence high The Academy now looked dangerous with every attack. The final score came from another set piece move from the scrum.
Again, Catterson picked and fed Kane who produced a flat pass to the impressive Hemphill. He darted over for his hat-trick by touching down in the corner. Kane missed the difficult conversion from wide out and the final whistle blew with the Omagh Academy side triumphant, 24-0.