Big four meet again in All-Ireland Schools semis as Academy survive High School scare

High School gave reigning champions Banbridge Academy a huge scare but the big names ultimately all prevailed at the Subway All-Ireland Schoolboys Championships to give the semi-final line-up a familiar look.

St Andrew’s will meet Wallace High in the final four while Banbridge Academy will play Wesley College.

The Co Down school required a Jake Rowe penalty stroke with four minutes to go to draw 1-1 against High School to take up their place in the semi-final draw which will take place in Grange Road at 9.30am on Friday morning.

Banbridge Academy's Kyle Marshall. Picture:

Banbridge Academy’s Kyle Marshall. Picture:

Will Anderson’s close range finish to Conor Empey’s disguised pass had given High School a deserved lead with 10 minutes to go against Bann. Prior to that, Academy had gone close through Rowe while Kyle Marshall was superb in defence.

But goalkeeper Luke Roleston was the busier, making two vital saves at close quarters to keep High School at bay. Empey saw a drag-flick saved well by Roleston but it went out for a long corner which was taken quickly and fired to the right post where Anderson tipped in.

Banbridge, however, pinned their Dublin rivals into their own 23 and won a corner that deflected up onto a body on the line. Rowe stayed calm and scored. It saw Banbridge win the group by a single goal on goal difference with High School coach Paul Fitzpatrick left to reflect on some missed chances in their 5-1 win against Methody and a disallowed one against Villiers.

St Andrew's in action against Mount Temple. Pic:

St Andrew’s in action against Mount Temple. Pic:

In Pool D,Wesley had a few nervy moments, too, as Sullivan Upper got back to 3-2 in their final group game and won a couple of corners. The Ballinteer outfit prevailed, however, as Irish Under-18 internationals David Mahwinney and Gavin Gibney made the game safe at 5-2.

Both sides came into the game with big wins over Bandon and Friends. Wes had the goal difference in their favour and goals in the first seven minutes from Mark Samuel and Sam Hyland meant the Ulster side needed three to turn the tide.

The hugely impressive Matthew Crookshanks got one back but Gibney’s first of the game – profiting from a loose clearance out of defence to smash home – should have put the game out of sight.

Chris Mitchell’s touch to Crookshanks direct free into the circle made it 3-2 and Sullivan had the guts of the play for a testing 10 minute spell. Wesley kept them out, however, and were home and hosed when Mawhinney’s persistence scrambled in a fourth. Gibney’s powerful drag capped the win.

St Andrew’s route through to the semi-final was a bit more comfortable. They raced into a 3-0 lead over Mount Temple in game one via Ben Walker and Guy Sarratt. Mateusz Nowakowski got two back but Andrew’s prevailed for a 3-2 win.

Walker and Sarratt were on the mark once again in game two, beating Cookstown High 2-0 on Thursday morning. It meant a draw against Raphoe’s Royal & Prior would be enough to advance and they did so with a 3-0 success.

Wallace HS got through by virtue of their 4-0 win over Campbell College and a 3-0 victory over Ashton. It left them in a virtually unassailable position and so a 1-0 loss to Newpark – courtesy of Luke Adams strike – proved not the end of the world.

For the Blackrock side, they were left to rue a 1-0 loss to Campbell College on Thursday morning that ruled them out of the semi-final shake-up.

Subway All-Ireland Schoolboys Championships – any missing scorers, email

Pool A: Newpark 0 Ashton School 0; Wallace HS 4 (A Scott, B Nelson, A O’Hare, A Clarke) Campbell College 0; Newpark 0 Campbell 1; Wallace 3 (A O’Hare 2, A Clarke) Ashton 0; Campbell 3 Ashton 1; Wallace 0 Newpark 1 (L Adams)

Standings: 1. Wallace HS 6pts (+6) 2. Campbell College 6pts (-1) 3. Newpark 5pts (0) 4. Ashton 2pts (-5)

Pool B: St Andrew’s College 3 (B Walker 2, G Sarratt) Mount Temple 2 (M Nowakowski 2); Royal & Prior 4 (J McKinney 2, B Wallace, L Witherow) Cookstown HS 3 (M Kerr 3); St Andrew’s 2 (G Sarratt, B Walker) Cookstown 0; Mount Temple 2 (M Quinn, K Murray) Royal & Prior 2 (B Wallace 2); Mount Temple 0 Cookstown 3 (M Kerr 2, R Turkington); St Andrew’s 3 (G Sarratt 2, B Walker) Raphoe 0

Standings: 1. St Andrew’s 9pts (+6) 2. Royal & Prior 5pts (-2) 3. Cookstown High 3pts (0) 4. Mount Temple 2pts (-1)

Friends in action against Wesley College. Pic:

Friends in action against Wesley College. Pic:

Pool C: High School 2 (W Anderson, A O’Regan) Villiers 1 (J Costello); Banbridge Academy 4 (J Rowe 2, Reid, Liggett) Methodist College, Belfast 0; High School 5 (C Empey, A Canning, J Pillow, B Hackett, A Empey) Methody 1 (O McElhinney); Villiers 0 Banbridge 2 (J Rowe 2); Methody 2 Villiers, 3; High School 1 (W Anderson) Banbridge 1 (J Rowe)

Standings: 1. Banbridge Academy 8pts (+6) 2. High School 8pts (+5) 3. Villiers 3pts (-2) 4. Methodist College Belfast 0pts (-9)

Pool D: Wesley College 4 (C Ruttle 2, D Ellison, M Walker) Bandon GS 0; Friends School 1 Sullivan Upper 4; Sullivan Upper 4 Bandon 1; Wesley 6 (J O’Grady 2, D Mawhinney 2, G Gibney 2) Friends 1; Wesley 5 (Gibney 2, Samuel, Mawhinney, Hyland) Sullivan Upper 2 (M Crookshanks, C Mitchell); Bandon 0 Friends 1

Standings: 1. Wesley College 6pts (+9) 2. Sullivan Upper 6pts (+6) 3. Friends 3pts (-7) 4. Bandon GS 0pts (-5)

Friday, October 28 fixtures
Grange Road:
Semi-finals: 9.30am – St Andrew’s vs Wallace HS; Wesley College vs Banbridge Academy
Final: 2.40pm

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