The Dromore High School Medallion team lost out to Methody in the Medallion Shield having defeated Royal School Dungannon with a 17-0 shut-out at Barban Hill to set up the tie.
In rough conditions against Dungannon, Dromore coped much better as the forward pack provided the base for winger Robin Cantley to score a well-deserved hat-trick.
Bearing in mind the inclement weather this could be regarded as relatively unusual – wingers and full-backs rarely feature in such conditions.
Last Saturday the boys got their reward for this win with a fourth round meeting with the mighty Methody.
After a mid-week floodlit win over Armagh Club U15’s, Dromore HS travelled to Pirrie Park, home of Methodist College Belfast. With several other ties postponed it was testament to the MCB pitch that the match was able to go ahead.
The first half, with Dromore ‘benefiting’ from a slight wind, was a relatively even affair with possession and territory statistics evenly spread between the two teams – the main difference proved to be the ability to take chances.
Despite Dromore creating at least two clear chances, which Aaron Atkinson and Ben Martin were unable to convert, MCB showed their clinical nature in taking a 12-0 lead into the break. Ben Martin also highlighted his defensive qualities with several try-saving tackles.
In the second half someone obviously switched on the Pirrie Park wind tunnel which, when added to the increased rain fall, gave Methody the pick of the conditions.
With most neutral observers assuming the home team would simply crush the Co Down visitors, the boys stepped up to another level to restrict the final score to 24-0. The forwards ‘stood up and were counted’ with the rolling maul an effective weapon.
A truly memorable performance and level of attitude against one of the ‘heavyweights’ of Ulster schools’ rugby. The boys should feel very proud – coach Jacques Benade certainly was.