Congratulations to the RBAI Medallion team who have enjoyed a very successful season culminating in a fitting 12-10 win against Ballymena Academy. The team, captained by out half Michael Lowry and coached by Mr Monteith and Mr McMullan, along with staff have all demonstrated exemplary skill and determination throughout the campaign.
Ballymena opened the score with an excellent try to their winger off a set play from scrum. This did not slow the momentum of the Inst boys who continued to play with high tempo and a lot of powerful carries by the forwards. Eventually five minutes before half time flanker Charlie Cloke forced his way over for a try.
At half time all Inst supporters were optimistic as we were now playing with the wind and at 5 all with more of the quality rugby to come; surely Ballymena could not hold on. Inst started the second half strongly and continued to look like the team who would go on to win and when captain Michael Lowry scored half way through the half the Inst supporters breathed a collective sigh of relief. With Hume no longer kicking it was left to Sam Fryers to step up and kick what would turn out to be the crucial conversion. As the clock ticked towards the last ten minutes of the game Ballymena started to play with more urgency and intensity and the pressure began to mount on the Inst boys. Camped deep in their own half the Inst boys could not get good enough quality possession to manufacture a kick to escape their own half. Ballymena continued to pile on the pressure but the defence held tight. With less than a minute to play Ballymena were awarded a penalty inside the Inst 22. Knowing it was last play and needing a try and conversion to win Ballymena tapped and went for the line. After a series of rucks near the line they finally crashed over leaving the conversion required to share the Shield. For inst luck was on our side as the kick was missed and 12 months of preparation was rewarded with captain Michael Lowry lifting the shield.