Dalriada School 31
Rainey Endowed School 15
There was disappointment for Rainey Endowed School in the final of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Bowl at Ballymena as they lost out to Dalriada School.
Rainey were without the services of captain, Calvin Smyth, and their vice-captain, Rory Nicholl, prior to the game, however the players brought in as replacements played a full role in a most entertaining game.
Dalriada made their intentions clear from the kick off and the pack provided quality possession which enabled Angus Johnston to create the space for Michael Finnerty to touch down for his first score. Aaron Sparks was successful with the conversion.
Ten minutes later it was a similar story when Johnston was the architect once again, allowing Finnerty to add a second try. Sparks was on target from the tee to extend the lead to 14 points.
Rainey recovered from these early setbacks and with Anton Lupari, Neal Hastings and Timothy Shiels managing to get their hands on some possession, they took the game to the opposition. Scott Campbell, Mark Rooney and Andrew Nicholl combined to put Lorcan Quinn in for an unconverted try.
However, it was Dalriada that finished the half stronger and Matthew Kernohan emerged from the bottom of a driven maul to touch down for a try just before the break to leave the score reading 19-5.
Rainey started the second half strongly and one flowing attack, five minutes after the restart, finished with Andrew Nicholl scoring a try, reducing the deficit to 19-10.
Midway through the second half Dalriada flanker, Alan Montgomery, took a quick penalty and went on a rampaging run before off-loading to his fellow back row, Matthew Christie, who touched down. Sparks put his side 26-10 up with the successful conversion. This lead was extended to 31-10 when Finnerty completed his hat trick when he outpaced the Rainey defence.
But Rainey never gave up and got some reward for their endeavours when Campbell crossed the whitewash in the final play of the game.