Coleraine Inst coach Richard Beggs had cause for a double cup celebration on Saturday as not did he take Inst into the last 16, but he later saw his town team eliminate Armagh from the Towns’ Cup.
The local school lads had to work all the way to progress though against the hosts.
The opening exchanges were even with both defences ensuring there were no tries scored.
Both teams had penalty opportunities but the difficult conditions, both overhead and underfoot, meant not one of these opportunities was successful.
However, 25 minutes into the game, it was Coleraine AI that managed to get points on the board when they scored a try through Daniel McAllister, which was converted by Conor Shiels, to take a 7-0 lead.
Banbridge responded positively to this set back. Rory Thompson, Ben Carson and Ethan Harbinson combined well only to see a potential try scoring opportunity denied through good Coleraine defence.
“We had the wind in our faces but we still managed to control most of the possession and had the territorial advantage,” Beggs explained. “They were on our line on one occasion but we managed to keep them out.
“Conor Shiels had a long penalty attempt and we had Jack McCarroll binned for persistent infringing.
“We did admittedly concede a lot of penalties during the tie, 37 I believe to Banbridge’s six.”
Banbridge started the second half strongly with their pack getting the upper hand. After a series of scrums on the Coleraine line, Banbridge came away with a penalty try. Daniel McElderry added the conversion to draw the score level at 7-7 10 minutes into the second half.
It was now a game of nip and tuck but, midway through the half, the visitors regained the lead when Shiels converted a long range penalty opportunity to send his team into a 10-7 lead.
Two minutes later this became 15-7 when Coleraine took advantage of a loose Banbridge kick and Thomas Pethwick score the try.
McElderry kicked a penalty to put five points in it, but Coleraine held out.
“Straight from the drop-out we took play into our opponent’s territory where Shiels kicked a penalty from 40 metres to regain the advantage,” explained Beggs.
“Later we had a penalty which we kicked to the corner. Following the third phase second row forward Thomas Pethick dived over to make it 15-7.
“I thought our discipline wavered at times in the terrible weather but it was always going to be a really competitive game,” he added. “Not the prettiest to watch, but we did come away with a win against tough opposition.”
THIRD ROUND DRAW
Rainey Endowed or BRA v Down HS; Methodist College v Limavady GS; Coleraine AI v Regent House; Belfast HS or Omagh Academy v Wallace HS; Ballyclare HS v Ballymena Academy; Dalriada School v RBAI; Campbell College v RS Armagh; Bangor GS v Sullivan Upper
The fixtures are scheduled to be played on Saturday, February 8