RUGBY: Larne dumped out of Cup by Academy

Larne 1st XV lost out to Qualifying 1 outfit Academy in the second round of the Junior Cup on Saturday.

Larne made a number of changes to the team that was defeated by Grosvenor the previous week.

Chris Rea and William Robinson made their debuts in the pack and were joined by Under-19 captain from last season Gareth Jamison.

John O’Toole started at scrum-half with Jamie Nelson and Houston Saunderson coming on to the wings.

Larne, playing in to a strong head wind, got off to the worst possible start conceding two early tries in the opening 10 minutes.

The forwards began to hit back and made good yards through debutant Rea.

After 30 minutes the pressure paid off when Johnny Hall fended off a couple of Academy defenders to score in the corner. He then converted his try with a sublime touchline place-kick.

However, a penalty to Academy left Larne trailing 15-7 at half-time.

After the break Larne were in the ascendancy and winger Nelson was put clear on two occasions only to be stopped by last-gasp tackling.

However, another momentary lapse of concentration, 20 minutes in, let Academy off the hook when they spun the ball wide to go in for another score.

After a series of rumbles the ball was spun to Gary Knox who darted through a gap in the home side’s defence to score under the posts. Hall converted.

With 10 minutes left Larne were gunning for another score but were kept out by a strong defence and the game finished 23-14 to the home side.

Larne: C Rea, C Gibson, D Hagans, M Crampsey, J McKinty, G Jamison, W Robinson, J McCluggage (capt), J O’Toole, G Kox, J Nelson, J Hall, A Carter, H Saunderson, S Marshall. Subs R Adair.

Saturday’s fixture: Larne 1st XV vs Lisburn 1st XV (Home)