This was a long anticipated game having lost to friends the previous year, Down High were looking for a good result. The first half began with Down High playing against the wind. Friends were a strong side as the play was mostly in the Down High half. The Down forwards pushed hard but to no avail as Friends were relentless. A strong kick from Paddy Browne was read by Friend’s number 11, who ran on to score the first try of the match, this was then converted. The Down High pack was dominant in scrums but they just could not seem to hold on to the ball. This was not the first half Down High wanted or needed.
A strong and encouraging talk from the coaches at half time brought Down High back with renewed vigour, the forwards were on fire with a great run from Zac Ward off the first kick, with quick ball from ruck Claytan Milligan used footwork to get himself over the line, this was then converted by Paddy Browne.
With great tackling from Rory Horder and Kaho Yim Down High retained possession. Once again a great scrum from Down High with Sam Rickard and Michael Harper pushing hard gave another opening for an 8 pick, a great chance that was foiled by Friend’s great defensive line. Down High worked quickly to get the ball back with fearsome tackling, Down High advanced with many pick and drives. This brought Down High to Friends 5 metre line, a basic two vs one with Claytan Milligan and William Anett gave William the chance to dive over the line. This was then converted by Paddy Browne . With strong defence Down High held of the Friends attacks until the end of the game, with great play from Down High in the second half.
Man of the match Claytan Milligan