Royal and Prior U-13s make history with dramatic win

The Royal and Prior U-13 boys defeated Banbridge Academy on Wednesday in the Ulsterbank Bannister Bowl Final thanks to Ben Wallace’s last minute winning goal in extra-time win.

The Royal and Prior U-13 boys defeated Banbridge Academy on Wednesday in the Ulsterbank Bannister Bowl Final thanks to Ben Wallace’s last minute winning goal in extra-time win.

Raphoe Royal and Prior 2

Banbridge 1

This is the first time in the school’s history to reach this final and to come away with the title means a great deal to the team, coaching staff and school alike.

The first half was very even with both teams sharing possession and there were chances at either end. Curtis Weir and Wallace were very solid at the back for the Royal and Prior and Alexander Tinney and Luke Witherow bossed the midfield. Late in the first half Banbridge won a free inside the Raphoe 25, which they took quickly, catching the blues napping and took the 1-0 lead at the break.

Robin McClean, Alan Johnston and Aaron McCready all had strong performances on the wings in the second half. Several fine saves from Raphoe’s keeper Paul Buchanan and a goal line clearance from James Roulstone kept their team in the game. Some powerful runs and balls into the circle from Peter Scott made the difference. All this pressure accumulated in a goal when Scott shelled a reverse ball into the circle. Both Raphoe forwards Jamie McKinney and Andrew Lowry were on top of the keeper and either could have scored, but the final touch fell to Lowry who stroked it home. The game ended 1-1. Extra time it was. The tide seemed to be going Banbridge’s way when Peter Scott was harshly sin binned for a stick tackle. Thankfully The Royal and Prior managed to weather the storm until Scott was reintroduced.

Time was getting short and a draw was looking imminent, until in the final minute The Royal and Prior won their first penalty corner of the game. The umpire deemed that the Banbridge goalkeeper cleared the ball dangerously. Witherow pushed the corner out perfectly, Tinney stopped it dead and Wallace hammered it home giving The Royal and Prior this historic victory.

Team: Paul Buchanan (GK), Ben Wallace, Peter Scott, Curtis Weir, James Roulstone, Alexander Tinney, Luke Witherow(C), Aaron McCready, Robin McClean, Jamie McKinney, Alan Johnston, Brandon Connolly, Alan Darragh, Craig Alcorn, Alan Maginley, Andrew Lowry.

Coachs: Paul Stewart, David Buchanan

Man of the match: Paul Buchanan/Peter Scott