LURGAN Junior High School’s U14 rugby team made it three high schools’ cups in three years following on the success of the U12 team last season and the U14 team two years ago who completed the same feat.
This season 48 high schools entered regional qualifiers in Donegal, Omagh, Carrick, Lurgan and Ballymoney with the Junior High defeating Aquinas Grammar (46-0) and Abbey Grammar (52-0) in the qualifying rounds at Lurgan Rugby Club.
In the finals at Ballymena Rugby Club the team defeated Ballyclare (22-0), Markethill (34-0) and St Columb’s (34-0) in the group stages thanks to the efforts of player-of-the-year and open-side flanker Ryan Osborne, elusive out-half James Patterson and centres Jamie Hunter and Michael Watson. The boys advanced to the semi-finals where they met local rivals Dromore High School.
The team produced their best performance of the season in defeating their opponents 42-5 with captain Jamie Hunter scoring a hat-trick of tries and U13 centre Michael Watson adding two tries of his own. Out-half James Patterson added a final try with scrum-half Robert Norton kicking six out of six conversions in a tremendous display of attacking rugby.
The final saw the boys continue their good form against Fivemiletown High School with a 38-0 win with a special mention for Jamie Hunter who repeated his semi-final heroics with another outstanding hat-trick of tries to capture the U14 High Schools’ Cup for the second time in three seasons – a great achievement for the school and well deserved after all their hard work in training this season.
The boys thanked Grant Martin, George Morrison and Mr McDowell for all their help this season.
Meanwhile the U12 rugby team have qualified for the finals of the High Schools’ Cup thanks to successive wins over Strangford (35-0), Kilkeel High School (30-5) and Ballynahinch High School (10-0).
Centre Peter Jackson contributed seven tries in three games with forwards Adam McHugh, Gareth Gardiner and Rory Burns making their presence felt. The finals await in two weeks time.