RUGBY: Ballyclare see off Grammar in Shield

Zac McMurran scores Ballyclare's High's second try in the clash with Carrick Grammar. Photo: David Holmes

Zac McMurran scores Ballyclare's High's second try in the clash with Carrick Grammar. Photo: David Holmes

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CARRICKFERGUS Grammar bowed out of the Danske Bank Medallion Shield at the third-round stage after losing by 19-0 against a strong Ballyclare High School team on Saturday.

The Grammar started the game well at Hollinger Park and caused their opponents a lot of problems.

Strong carries by back row forwards Peter Mitchell, Tom Gilpin and Gareth McCracken led to a penalty just inside the Ballyclare half, but Marc Ellison’s kick drifted just wide.

Carrick continued to attack with centre Daniel Anaele going on a rampaging run up the touchline, but a lack of support wasted the opportunity. When the referee brought the first half to a close the scoreline was locked at 0-0.

Carrick started the second half slowly and following a chip over the top, the referee awarded Ballyclare a penalty-try for tackling a player without the ball. The conversion was added and the home side went 7-0 up.

A lapse in concentration allowed Zac McMurran to cross the line and give Ballyclare a 12-0 advantage.

This reverse seemed to kick-start Carrick into action, but despite going through several phases and making ground, handling errors deep in the Ballyclare half led to turnovers at crucial times. As Carrick tired, injuries began to take their toll and with time running out, the visitors emptied their bench in the hope that fresh legs would add some impetus to their attack. However, it was Ballyclare’s Callum Wilson who rounded things off with a late try. The conversion was added and the game finished 19-0 to the home side.

Best on the day for Carrick were centres Marc Ellison and Daniel Anaele, winger Alex Craig, and forwards Jack Hendry, Tom Gilpin and Peter Mitchell. The boys can now look forward to mounting a challenge for some silverware in the Medallion Bowl competition - a trophy that currently sits in the school’s trophy cabinet, having won the competition last year.

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