Methodist back on top in Ulster as they claim 36th senior cup

South Belfast school prove too strong for Campbell College in decider

Methodist’s Thomas Armstrong celebrates scoring a try with team-mates during the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Senior Cup Final at the  Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. Photograph: Matt Mackey/Inpho/Presseye

Methodist’s Thomas Armstrong celebrates scoring a try with team-mates during the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Senior Cup Final at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. Photograph: Matt Mackey/Inpho/Presseye

 

Methodist College 45 Campbell College 17

Favourites Methodist College emphatically won their first Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup since 2014 after a dominant second-half display secured the trophy for the south Belfast school at Kingspan Stadium on Monday.

The competition’s most successful side lifted the cup for the 36th time after scoring seven tries to two in beating previous holders Campbell College.

Methody, the form team in Ulster this season, scored five of their touchdowns after half-time, which saw them lead 14-10 when the sides turned around.

Outhalf Thomas Armstrong bagged two tries – both in the second half – while fullback Ethan McIlroy kicked five conversions as Methody ran Campbell ragged after the break.

Lock Ben Gourley got Methody’s opening try after 10 minutes, with McIlroy converting, only for the holders to come back thanks to a Harry Jackson touchdown which was converted by Conor Rankin.

Rankin then slotted a penalty after McIlroy was yellow-carded but Methody then struck back through lock Max Lyttle. McIlroy’s conversion putting Methody 14-10 ahead.

Armstrong then scored a crucial try seconds after the start of the second half, McIlroy converting and that was followed by an unconverted score from scrumhalf Callum Davidson to stretch Methody’s lead to 26-10.

Campbell hit back through scrumhalf Dara Gaskin, which Rankin converted to cut Methody’s lead to 26-17. It briefly offered hope to the holders but this was quickly extinguished.

From there it was all Methody with tries coming from flanker David Boden and replacement number eight Tom Millar, with Armstrong ending it all with his second. McIlroy converted two.

METHODIST COLLEGE: E McIlroy; T O’Doherty, R Armstrong, J Fletcher, C Larmour; T Armstrong, C Davidson; B Crangle, D Humphreys, M Hunter; M Lyttle, B Gourley; D Boden, A Reid, K McNaboe (capt).

Replacements: J Watson, P Johnston, D Dougan, A Simms, T Millar, L Simms, L Graham, L Millar.

CAMPBELL COLLEGE: C Rankin; K Harkness-Robertson, R Tinsley (capt), H Owens, D Williamson; O Rolston, D Gaskin; J Gildea, H Jackson, P McAlpine; K Gill, J Stinson; J Johnston, B Rainey, T Olaniyan.

Replacements: J Boal, L Collins, M Poor, C McCauley, J Brennan, H Bell, F Parks, H Minford.

Referee: D Carson

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