Academy U12s end season with trophy win

BANBRIDGE Academy’s U12 rugby team added some silverware to the trophy cabinet last week by sharing the Plate in the Down High tournament.

The team, captained by flanker Toby Baxter, had a great day, losing only one of their five matches in the tournament.

In the group stages they started with a hard fought 5-0 win over Wallace High School. This was followed by and equally tough 5-10 loss to hosts Down High. The final group game saw a heroic performance by the team which led to a 12-5 win over Regent House from Newtownards.

Unfortunately Wallace went on to beat Down which meant that while the team were joint top of their group with four points they were actually placed third on tries scored and exited the main competition and entered the Plate.

Here the team performed well in the semi to overcome a spirited Down High 27-0.

The final, against Friends School from Lisburn, was nip and tuck with the Academy twice taking the lead and twice being pegged back with Friends scoring on the final whistle to earn a 10-10 draw.

The decision was made to share the trophy and Toby and the Friends captain were presented with their trophy by former Ulster and Ireland flanker Andy Ward.

Three days after the Down high tournament the U12 teams finished their season with an A and a B game against Rainey Endowed from Magherafelt.

The B team fought hard but were eventually beaten 34-7 but the A team finished things off in style with three unconverted tries against a physical Rainey to win 15-0 and set themselves up for next season.

This is a satisfying end to a season where the boys have worked hard to improve and made good progress both individually and as a team. Roll on 2011-12!