O’Kane Memorial Rugby Tournament 2013

Congratulations to Grosvenor Grammar School’s Under 14 rugby team which finished as runners-up in the O’Kane Memorial Rugby Tournament, held at Ballymena Academy on Saturday 16th March.

This high-class competition saw a total of twelve teams compete in the initial group stage, with Grosvenor receiving a tough draw against talented sides from Wallace High School and Rainey Endowed.  Despite the former’s convincing victory in the first game of the group, however, they proved no match for Grosvenor as a dominant forwards display helped the team to a convincing 19-5 victory, with tries coming from locks Ethan Kee and Stephen Hedley, as well as number eight and captain Ben Davison.

Following a slightly less impressive performance in victory against Rainey Endowed, which nevertheless enabled the team to top its group, Grosvenor then faced a tough quarter-final match-up in the form of Group B runners-up Belfast High School, a team which they had beaten only narrowly earlier in the season.  Despite a strong first-half performance from B.H.S., Grosvenor nosed ahead in the first half through a try from flanker Taylor Pollock, while a second half penalty from centre Conor Kernohan gave the team an all-important cushion which ultimately saw them home by a hard-earned eight points to nil.

Semi-final opposition came in the form of Coleraine Academical Institution, a team to which Grosvenor had already lost earlier in the year.  Perhaps not unexpectedly the match proved a highly physical battle, with a second try of the day from Ethan Kee, supplemented by another Kernohan penalty, putting Grosvenor into an eight point lead, only for a second half C.A.I. try to set up a grandstand finish.  Despite constant pressure from Coleraine in the dramatic final minutes Grosvenor’s defence stood strong, helping them secure a final berth against hosts and tournament favourites Ballymena Academy.

Despite defeat against the outstanding team of the tournament in the final, Grosvenor’s entire squad of players and coaches could take a great deal of satisfaction from their day’s work, in which they had come out on top against teams from a number of the top rugby-playing schools in the country.

As has become expected each member of Grosvenor’s squad performed heroically on the day, although special mention must go to wingers Ben Stevenson and Nathan Chan, as well as flanker Ben Davies, each of whom stepped up from Under 13 level and did not look out of place.  Congratulations also to coaches Alan Cowan and Daniel Boden whose hard work throughout the course of the season ultimately paid dividends.

Well done to Grosvenor’s players on their superb series of performances throughout the day and we look forward to reading of further rugby success within the school during the seasons to come.

 

Grosvenor's under 14 rugby squad celebrates after finishing as runners-up at the prestigious O'Kane Memorial Rugby Tournament, held at Ballymena Academy on Saturday 16th March