||15 - 12
Randalstown U18 15
Enniskillen U18 12
Three cup matches in 7 days was to prove to be one step too far for a brave Skins U18s side in the Ulster Cup against a giant Randalstown side, going down 15-12 to the home team who scored with 2 minutes remaining to steal the result at the death and leave no time for a come back.
A weakened 16 man squad travelled today leaving some vital players at home due to injury after Wednesday nights Nutty Krust semi final and unavailability, but those that did travel and were to put in a proud performance given the circumstances.
In the first half it was nip and tuck with Skins taking the lead 0-5 with an unconverted Jordan Anderson try, but Randalstown came straight back with a try of their own to make it 5-5. Skins had further opportunities to add points to the score but handling errors and a strong Randalstown defence kept the visitors at bay. Randalstown just before half time took advantage of a lack of concentration and pinched a score to make it 10-5.
Skins started the 2nd half determined that it was to be them that would have the prize, a Quarter final cup spot at home to Virginia, but neither side gave an inch, and with skins punching well above their weight against the physical stature of the opposition, keeping the home side at bay spending long periods defending in their own half, and then a role reversal spending a long period camped in the Randalstown 22.
It was to be the slick handling from the backs that was to give Jay Maguire a run at his opposite number and showing a clean pair of heels to make the score 10-12 following Oisin Monaghan's conversion with less than 15 minutes left to play.
Skins dominated the final minutes of the match with sensible phases of play, retaining the ball and running the clock down but it was to be a freak series of events that was to change this game. A stolen ruck ball just inside Skins' half gave Randalstown possession but they panicked and kicked a loose ball into the skins corner, well fielded but a decision to kick possession away meant the mis kick went straight into Randalstown hands, gifting them an unconverted try with two minutes left on the clock leaving the final score 15-12 to the home side.
A disappointing way to end a cup run especially with Skins playing the majority of the rugby on the day. It’s a well earned rest this weekend and now with a semi-final place in the 2nd tier competition in the bag it's still all to play for this season.