SCHOOLS’ CUP RUGBY: Last gasp penalty takes Antrim Grammar through against Banbridge Academy

Banbridge's Jack Macaulay and Antrim's Andrew Craig
Banbridge's Jack Macaulay and Antrim's Andrew Craig

Banbridge Academy 15 Antrim GS 16

A last gasp penalty saw Antrim Grammar edge a keenly contested first round Danske Bank Schools’ Cup tie at Banbridge Academy.

Sam Gordon proved the hero for Antrim as he slotted over a penalty with the last kick of the game to secure a 16-15 win.

Banbridge started the game the stronger of the teams.

Seven minutes in a driving maul ended with prop, John Wilson, sneaking over in the corner to touch down for an unconverted try.

Antrim responded in a positive manner to the setback and, on 22 minutes, Josh Battishill reduced the arrears to 5-3 with a well struck penalty.

Just before the break hard working Banbridge flanker, Jonny Campbell, barged over the Antrim line to score a try. The conversion was again missed, but Banbridge had a 10-3 interval lead.

The second half started well for the Banbridge team with scrum half, Jordan Mount, running in a great score early on. Once again the conversion attempt was unsuccessful but the hosts had a 15-3 lead.

Antrim l then set their stall out and responded almost immediately. Winger, Adam Johnston, scored a fine try, which Battishill converted, to reduce the deficit to 15-10.

On 55 minutes Antrim closed the gap to two points with a penalty from Gordon.

In the final play of the game and just as the Banbridge seemed to have turned the ball over and won the match, the referee awarded a penalty to Antrim for an offside.

Gordon stepped up and coolly slotted the kick over. The final whistle blew and Antrim celebrated their 16-15 win.

Antrim will travel again in the second round with a trip to Foyle College on January 23.

Banbridge will go to Wellington College in the quarter-finals of the Schools’ Trophy.