IN PICTURES: Academy exit the Schools’ Cup in cruel fashion

Troy Pinion in action for Banbridge Academy.  INBL1602-216EB
Troy Pinion in action for Banbridge Academy. INBL1602-216EB

Banbridge Academy exited the Danske Bank Schools’ Cup in the cruellest of fashions on Saturday,

The game couldn’t have been closer and Bann looked like they were heading through until Antrim Grammar landed a last ditch penalty to snatch victory.

Banbridge Academy with Coaches Brian Leslie, Andrew Craig and Roy Stevenson. INBL1602-202EB

Banbridge Academy with Coaches Brian Leslie, Andrew Craig and Roy Stevenson. INBL1602-202EB

Banbridge started the first round tie the better and a driving maul ended with prop John Wilson sneaking over in the corner.

On 22 Minutes Antrim’s Josh Battishill reduced the arrears with a penalty before Academy Flanker Jonny Campbell barged over to make the score 10-3 to Banbridge.

The second half started well for the Academy with Scrum Half Jordan Mount running in a great score to take the Banbridge out to 15-3 but Antrim responded almost immediately when Winger Adam Johnston scored and Battishill converted.

On 55 minutes Antrim closed the gap to two points with a penalty from Sam Gordon.

Thomas Russell tries to escape a challenge. INBL1602-211EB

Thomas Russell tries to escape a challenge. INBL1602-211EB

Then, in the final play of the game, just as the Academy looked to have turned the ball over and won the match, the referee awarded a penalty to Antrim for offside. Gordon coolly slotted the kick and the final whistle blew.

It was an incredibly disappointing way to lose but the team should be proud of their efforts.

The team now move into the Schools’ Trophy and will face Wellington College on Saturday 23rd January.

Jordan Mount drives forward for Bann.  INBL1602-214EB

Jordan Mount drives forward for Bann. INBL1602-214EB

Academy Captain Tom Lyttle. INBL1602-212EB

Academy Captain Tom Lyttle. INBL1602-212EB

Ben Russell in action. INBL1602-210EB

Ben Russell in action. INBL1602-210EB

Banbridge Academy Association provided tea and coffee at the match, from left Samuel and Alan Stevenson, Jenny Thompson, Mark McNeill (Vice Chair), Alan McGowan and Principal Robin McLoughlin. INBL1602-203EB

Banbridge Academy Association provided tea and coffee at the match, from left Samuel and Alan Stevenson, Jenny Thompson, Mark McNeill (Vice Chair), Alan McGowan and Principal Robin McLoughlin. INBL1602-203EB

Academy supporters Naomi Matthews, Emma Quinn, Chelsea Holden, Emma Cartmill and Charmain McCrum. INBL1602-204EB

Academy supporters Naomi Matthews, Emma Quinn, Chelsea Holden, Emma Cartmill and Charmain McCrum. INBL1602-204EB

Adam McMahon, Robert Little and Corry Mackey �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1602-205EB

Adam McMahon, Robert Little and Corry Mackey �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1602-205EB

Katie and Sam  supporting their Dad's team.  INBL1602-206EB

Katie and Sam supporting their Dad's team. INBL1602-206EB

The Academy Coaches and Replacements keep a close eye on the match. INBL1602-207EB

The Academy Coaches and Replacements keep a close eye on the match. INBL1602-207EB