METHODIST COLLEGE (17) 22
- Tries: Winters, Harrison, McKee, Gracey
- Con: Benade
Methodist College proved too strong for Ballyclare High in Monday's Schools' Cup final at Ravenhill.
The Belfast team dominated the first half and took a 17-0 lead through tries by flanker Rory Winters, prop James Harrison and centre Connor McKee.
Ballyclare had the strong breeze in the second half and two penalties by Jonathan Holmes gave them hope.
But they could not add to their score and Methody sealed their triumph with a late try by flanker Chris Gracey.
It was Methody's 33rd win in 61 appearances in the final.
Having beaten Belfast rivals and holders Campbell College in the semi-finals, Methody were favourites for the showpiece decider and that looked entirely justified as they put Ballyclare under pressure.
However, Ballyclare were partly the architects of their own downfall as far as the first try in the 16th minute was concerned.
A bit of indiscipline by blindside flanker Jordan McKinstry saw a penalty decision reversed deep in Ballyclare territory and Methody opted for a line-out which led to a great drive over and the try for captain Winters.
The second try was down to Methody's props with a strong charge and pass by Michael Lagan setting up his front row partner and man-of-the-match Harrison for a try which Rudolph Benade converted.
Methody got their third try in the 27th minute, a great run by Patrick Colhoun creating the opening for McKee.
Ballyclare came back strongly in the second half and, after the two penalties by full-back Holmes, they had lots of ball but could not breach a solid Methody defence.
There was a lengthy delay while Ballyclare front row Jonathan Craig received medical treatment after taking a heavy bang.
When the game resumed, Methody pressed forward and got the fourth try when Gracey squeezed over.