Dalriada beat the highly rated and ranked Campbell College in a thrilling game 20 -18 in Belfast. The game really emphasized that this Dalriada team has the ability to beat any of the school sides in Ulster and the victory was built on skill, intelligence and sheer will not to give up when down.
The benefit of the tour to Gloucester shone through; the confidence gained by taking on the best in the four nations at school’s level meant that no team in Ulster is really feared. What makes this victory so outstanding is that it came from being 18-3 down. John Laughlin hit several good kicks and couple of tries from Johnny McMullan, one a trade mark interception brought the score to 18-17 and with only time on the clock for one more play, Dalriada patiently took the ball through the phases right up to the Campbell try line. This same scenario was played out the previous week against Neath on the Gloucester tour, one score one play left. That day the side kept the ball through fourteen phases got over the line but could not ground it. However on Saturday the drama unfolded with a different outcome.
Once possession was secured the Dalriada forwards and backs showed great skill to keep the ball and to work the position up close to the Campbell try line for Ben Henderson to coolly slot the drop goal to win the game, a mark of the maturity and confidence the team possess. The forwards in particular fronted up to the bigger pack and quite rightly for his work rate, Sam Kyle was awarded man of the match
The victory will give the side the confidence for the next few weeks in the lead up to School’s cup and Dalriada will again enter the Cup at the third round.