College out of cup



IT was a case of so near yet so far for Lurgan College as they crashed out of the Schools Cup on Saturday despite putting in a fine performance against Cambridge House.

The College went into the game with high expectations having been unlucky to be narrowly defeated earlier in the season by the same opponents and took the game to the visitors from the first whistle.

Indeed, only a fine last ditch tackle denied Mark McIlwaine an early score. The College pack led by, Aaron Carson and Graeme Bell, managed to maintain possession as they worked through a number of phases and were soon rewarded with a penalty, which was converted by Ben McIlwaine, to edge in front.

For large periods of the first half the game was played in the middle of the pitch as both sides cancelled each other out however a well worked maul from Cambridge House gave them the first try of the day.

An inspired performance from fullback Matthew Gilbert ensured this was the only score as he was instrumental in a well organised backline. The second half brought more of the same as both sides enjoyed possession without really threatening the opposition.

The outstanding Drew Davis was orchestrating proceedings from scrum half, driving the forwards on and supplying excellent ball to the backs but the College continually failed to break the gain line in key areas.

A penalty from Cambridge House gave them some breathing space as the game neared the end but the home side still felt confident for the win as James Dawson and Neill Adamson made an impact in the scrum after coming on.

However, in the last minute of the game Cambridge House made a break and fed the ball wide for a game-clinching score from their full back.

Although dejected the College can take many positives from this enthralling match where two clinical finishes made the difference.

Best on the day for the College were Aaron Carson and Matthew Gilbert.

They now face Omagh Academy at home in the trophy on Saturday, 28th January.