Coleraine Grammar played Portadown College in the Second XV Plate Final at Roughfort Playing Fields on Monday 12th March.
With the sun shining and the pitch in excellent condition everything was set for some running rugby which suited both sides.
Portadown started the stronger of the two sides with their mobile pack and fast backs playing at a very high tempo which Coleraine struggled to cope with. Portadown were rewarded for their dominance by scoring a penalty to lead 3-0 after ten minutes.
Coleraine had to dig deep to stop Portadown from adding to their tally with some stern defence especially in the wide channels. Coleraine showed good maturity and patience to stay in the game and use their kicking game to play in the right areas.
With only a few minutes on the clock before the interval Coleraine got on the scoreboard from an excellent backs move from a scrum which led to a try for the Coleraine right winger Conor Potts. This gave Coleraine some much needed momentum and an important half time lead.
The second half started much the same as the first with Portadown willing to run the ball from anywhere on the pitch and their back three looking very dangerous. Coleraine defended well and started to pile the pressure back on their opponents with some strong carries from their pack and clever kicking into space.
Coleraine started to gain crucial territory through some ill discipline from the Portadown side and the accurate boot of Neil Graham who commanded proceedings in the second half. Coleraine scored two very well worked tries in quick succession to take command of the game with replacement hooker Mark Lamont and centre Patrick White both getting on the scoresheet.
Coleraine rounded off a fine second half display with another well worked try which was finished off by man of the match Patrick White who has been a key player for the Second XV this year. To their credit Portadown fought right to the end and scored a well deserved consolation try to leave the final score 24-10 to the Coleraine side.
Both teams deserve great credit for the positive approach they had towards the game with some excellent rugby produced by both sides throughout the match. Thanks must go to BRA for hosting the game and to former Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin for conducting the Plate and medal presentations.
This was a great way for the Second XV to round off their season and much credit must go to the boys for their attitude and commitment.
Congratulations must also go to coaches Mikey Poskitt and Bokkie Carstens who have done a great job this year to ensure the boys improved each week and enjoyed their rugby too. Well done to everyone involved!
Full Time: CGS 24 v Portadown College 10
MOM: Patrick White