FOYLE and Londonderry College head into the next round of the Danske Banks Schools’ Cup after beating Portora Royal 31-24, on Saturday.
Coach David Barnett was thrilled that his side booked their place in the next round, but warns his players that they need to remain focused for the entire game if they harbour any hopes of progressing in the competition.
“I felt we put in a good performance particularly in the first half. The boys worked hard for each other which resulted in a good victory,” he admitted.
“There are a lot of positives we can take from this victory, the lineout functioned really well which set a good platform for our backs to exploit the space out wide.”
The home side opened the scoring through their winger David Lapsley. This try was converted by Ulster Under-19 player Neil Burns to give his team a 7-0 lead.
A short time later Foyle extended their lead to 14-0 through an interception by their centre, Ryan Curry, who ran in for his first of three tries.
Once again Neil Burns converted the try to put the Foyle team into a 14-0 lead.
Just before half time the Foyle team scored the third try of the game through Ryan Curry. Once again, the try was converted by Neil Burns to give Foyle a 21-0 half-time lead.
In the second half the Portora forwards started to come into the game.
Positive play from the visitors resulted in a penalty for Portora which was converted by their scrum half and captain, James Stevenson, to make the score 21-3.
Portora continued to have the upper hand which resulted in some excellent play leading to two tries, scored by Nathan Richmond and Eric Elliott and converted by James Stevenson, which took the score line to 21-17.
Foyle regrouped, gained some possession and started to put some phases of play together.
This strategy resulted in Ryan Curry scoring his third try of the game which, once again, was converted by Neil Burns to take the score to 28-17.
Foyle continued to put the Portora defence under pressure which resulted in a penalty which was slotted over the posts by Neil Burns to see the score board reading 31-17 in favour of the home team.
In the final minutes the Portora forwards worked hard to score a try, which was touched down by John Clarke and converted by James Stevenson.
Both sides huffed and puffed in the final minutes but the home side held on to secure a 31-24 victory and they can now look forward to another home tie this time against Down High School, the third round tie takes place on Saturday, January 26.