Down High Under 13s travelled to Belfast on Saturday knowing a tough match lay in store against one of the top schools in Ulster Rugby.
The Co Down side suffered a huge blow within the first couple of minutes when outhalf and playmaker Robin Wilson was forced to leave the field with a thigh injury. The Mount Crescent men had to reshuffle their backline but they still had the most of the first 15 minutes playing the game inside the Belfast Inst half. However they were unable to convert their territorial advantage and were made to pay when RBAI scored with their first visit into the Down 22. The men in green reacted well but once again lost concentration and conceded a soft score on the stroke of halftime to find themselves 12-0 down at the break.
The first score of the second half was going to be crucial but defences were on top for the first ten minutes of the half with the game played in the middle third of the pitch. However RBAI managed to get that all important score with a well worked move along their backs for a score in the corner. They followed this with another quick score after a number of infringements by the away side and with the scoreline at 22-0 with 15 minutes to go, Down knew that their performance wasn’t deserving of such a scoreline. A concerted passage of play inside the home side’s 22 eventually saw man of the match Ronan Patterson cross for an unconverted try. Unfortunately Down’s desire to get back in to the opposition half from the restart saw them gift Belfast Inst with an intercept try. Down had the last word when Harris McConnell crossed for an unconverted try to leave the result 29-10 in favour of Belfast School.
Down can be disappointed to have conceded two very soft scores but can take heart that they can compete with one of the best schools in Ulster Rugby.