Ulster player did 100 on M1 as he was late for team flight

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A young rugby player on his way to join up with an Ulster squad drove at 100mph on the A1 carriageway near Banbridge.

Samuel Thompson (19), Drumnabreeze Road, Donaghacloney, admitted an excess speed charge last Thursday at Banbridge Magistrates Court. He was fined £250 and given five penalty points.

The court heard that at 11.55am on February 4 this year he was detected driving at 100mph in a 60mph zone on the A1 carriageway near Banbridge. He told police: “I’m in a rush to the airport. It is career ending if I don’t make it.”

A solicitor representing Thompson said he was a student at Queens.

He explained that on this occasion he was meeting up with an Ulster rugby team going to Italy and he was late.

The solicitor said his client was very sorry and asked the judge to give him credit for his plea.

District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, said this was a ‘piece of irresponsible driving’. However, he added, the defendant was a young man of exemplary character and background and impressive references were advanced.