Dalriada made the trip to Foyle and Londonderry College and came away with an emphatic 33-12 victory.
Coach David Barnett was bitterly disappointed after the defeat and felt his side could have won the tie.
“It probably was a bit harsh,” he side. “We had them on the ropes at two stages throughout the game and it could have went our way.
“It’s disappointing to lose because we really believed that we could have win that game. At two stages I didn’t really think it was going to go our way. Perhaps the stoppages, including the referee’s injury, broke the game up and let them refocus.
“But we’ve done well in the cup, we’ve had a good run, we now go into the quarter-finals of the Subsidiary Shield so there’s still something to play for this year.”
The game was played in front of a large crowd of supporters who had gathered in very windy conditions to watch two very committed teams.
Dalriada started well and took an early 7-0 lead when captain Angus Johnston made a telling break and off-loaded to Gavin McCaughern who ran through a static Foyle College defence. McCaughern then passed to Stewart Moore who finished the move off with a try in the corner. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful.
This seemed to spur Foyle College into action they and took advantage of the wind at their backs. After Dalriada squandered possession Matthew Orr got his hands on the ball and sprinted clear to score a try close to the posts. Orr was successful with his conversion to give Foyle and Londonderry a 7-5 lead.
With the wind being a major factor in the game Thomas Hunter, the Dalriada fullback, was kept busy dealing with the aerial bombardment from Foyle College’s half backs. From one such kick Hunter launched a successful counter attack which continued into the Foyle 22 area. The Dalriada pack gained possession and drove their way over the Foyle College line with Aaron Christie getting the touchdown. Stewart Moore was successful with the conversion as Dalriada lead 12-7 at the break.
Foyle College started the second half strongly preventing Dalriada from getting any possession or territory. As the Dalriada defence became frustrated they lost their shape and this allowed the Foyle College team to force their way close to the Dalriada line.
An injury to the referee held up proceedings but after the restart Foyle broke through some weak Dalriada tackles to score a try through their impressive No 8, Joel Smyth. The conversion kick was unsuccessful but the score was tied at 12-12.
However, this was Foyle’s last visit to the Dalriada half as the Ballymoney boys made clever use of the wind. Denis Posternak and Thomas Hunter caused havoc for the Foyle and Londonderry College defence and their strong lines of running led to further tries from the Dalriada forwards with Christie and the hard-working Alan Montgomery touching down.
Stewart Moore converted both tries to put the visitors into a 26-12 lead.
With the last play of the game Moore was on the end of a flowing backs move to touch down for a try. He added his fourth conversion of the game.