COLERAINE Inst withstood a strong fightback by Omagh Academy to secure their place in the next round of the Danske Bank Schools Cup.
The Castlerock Road boys held firm to seal an 18-14 win and set up an away tie with Royal School Armagh.
Omagh missed the opportunity to go into an early lead after only two minutes when their number 8 missed a kick in front of the posts after CAI were adjudged to have gone off side at a ruck.
After this Conor Shiels took control of proceedings with some excellent kicking out of hand to pin Omagh back into their 22.
With 10 minutes on the clock were rewarded for some pressure by the pack deep in Omagh territory as they were awarded a penalty just outside the Omagh 22. Shiels hit the post from his shot at goal but Nick Logan reacted quickest and took the rebound only to be stopped just short of the line. From the ensuing ruck hooker Ryan Boyd charged through but was stopped just short again. CAI recycled the ball quickly and moved the ball well through the hands, full back Bradley Dempster timed his pass to right wing Peter Acheson who scored in the corner! Shiels missed the kick.
CAI continued to control the match with half backs Kidd and Shiels controlling territory. Wing forward Mark Gordon and Nick Logan put in a great shift up front.
Conor Shiels knocked over a drop goal on 28 minutes to extend the home side’s lead.
It was Omagh who finished the half strongest though, only some excellent defence from the CAI pack kept them out until half time.
In the 39th minute CAI scored one of the best tries on show anywhere on the day.
Omagh kicked poorly to full back Bradley Dempster who counter attacked from his own 22. He was eventually pulled down just inside the Omagh half, Ryan Boyd and Nick Logan made good charges from the next two rucks. The ball was eventually moved well by the CAI backline to Dempster again who exchanged passes with centre Jonny Crowe up the right touchline.
Dempster was pulled down just short of the line but he managed to pop the ball up to the very impressive loose head prop Daniel McAllister who stormed over for an excellent try!
A spirited Omagh side responded and put CAI under severe pressure on their goal line. During these exchanges CAI lost wing forward Oliver McDowell to a serious ankle injury. After a period of 10 minutes of brave defence Omagh eventually broke through the home side’s spirited rearguard action to score under the posts in the 63rd minute.
CAI responded in kind virtually from the kick off, when Nick Logan barged his way over for a well deserved try on 66 minutes, Shiels again missed the kick.
Omagh managed a consolation try and conversion in the last minute, to give the scoreline a flattering look. CAI played some brilliant attacking rugby in patches but will have to improve their performance if the want to win their next match away to Armagh.
Some excellent performances from Peter Kidd, Conor Shiels, Bradley Dempster, Mark Gordon and Nick Logan in particular.