Down High 2nd XV side travelled to Roughfort for their semi final tie against BRA on Saturday in confident mood having recorded wins against Rainey, Ballyclare and Ballymena on their way. The wind turbine towering over the North Belfast venue was turning at full speed with the almost gale force wind that greeted the players as they took to the field.
It was the home side who opened the scoring on the 10 minute mark with a well struck penalty that had been awarded against Down High for not releasing the ball in the tackle.
In the minutes that followed, BRA made good use of the wind to pin the visitors back with Down High also struggling to clear their lines. However out half Patrick Browne responded well to these challenges and as the game developed opted to keep more ball in hand. Indeed Browne was instrumental in Down High's first score when he made an outstanding break from his own 22 before linking with John Hyndman who carried well and eventually fed winger Harry Hitchens who crossed for what turned out to be the try of the day. Hyndman's conversion into the wind fell well short of the target.
The final part of the half was played in the middle third of the pitch and there were no further scores before half time. Half time score BRA 3 DHS 5.
In the second half it took Down High 14 minutes to extend their lead. They did so through a well struck, wind assisted John Hyndman penalty from the 10 metre line.
Down High increased the gap further through an opportunistic Ewan Keers try with 10 minutes to go. BRA had won a ball in a scrum on their own 22 however Keers noticed that when the ball came to the back of the scrum that it had passed the number 8's feet before being dragged back in. The quick thinking scrum half then picked up the ball and showed good strength to fight his way past the covering defence to cross the whitewash.
Hyndman missed the conversion attempt but sealed the result and a place in the final with 2 minutes to go when he struck another penalty between the uprights.
The final against Methodist College will be played at Friends School Lisburn on Saturday 18th April.