5 Dec, 14:49
The Ireland Under-19 squad to face Australia Schools at Ravenhill on Saturday week (December 14) has been announced.
...Belfast Harlequins winger Paul McKenzie...
The 2005/06 First Trust Ulster Senior Cup is down to the semi-final stage with holders Ballymena, Belfast Harlequins, Banbridge and Malone all still in the running.
Former Ireland Under-21 international Paul McKenzie was the star of the show last Saturday as his first half hat trick of tries spurred Belfast Harlequins on to a 68-0 hammering of City of Derry at Deramore Park.
Winger McKenzie struck three times in the opening half with Gareth Rourke, Nopera Stewart and Lewis Stevenson also touching down as 'Quins led AIB League Division Three outfit Derry by 40-0 at half time. Johnny McClaughlin landed five conversions.
The rout continued on the restart with the understrength Derry being outclassed. Full-back Mark Kettyle (2), Stewart, Gavin McLaughlin and number eight Chris McCarey added tries in the second half. McClaughlin took his conversions tally up to nine.
Steph Nel's Ballymena side edged their heavyweight duel with Dungannon - 34-21 - at Eaton Park. The Braidmen, gunning for the club's fourth Ulster Senior Cup title in as many seasons, led 17-9 at the break thanks to tries from Peter Bodina and Dirkie Strydom. Former Ireland Under-21 captain Gareth Steenson kicked three penalties for 'Gannon.
The hosts were made to fight for their win in the second half as they conceded tries to Steenson and Neil Patterson. However, three tries in the final quarter from Bob Young, Scott Young and James Topping confirmed Ballymena's passage through to the last four.
Malone, who currently sit second from bottom in Division Two, cheered themselves up no end with a 47-15 victory over Division Three side Ards at Gibson Park. Josh Devitt (2), Simon Cahill, Johnny Amos (2), Chris Henry and Richard Fegan scored the Malone tries, while Ajay Derwin was Ards' scorer in chief - with a try, a conversion and a penalty.
A late try from Albert Finney guided Division Three side Banbridge through to the semi-finals for the first time as they shocked Ballynahinch, winning 12-5 at Rifle Park. Finney struck five minutes from the end in the County Down derby clash. The hosts' Gareth Martin and 'Hinch flanker Willie Faloon had traded tries in the first half.
Tuesday's semi-final, which took place at First Trust in Belfast's Ann Street, threw up some interesting ties. Division One regulars Belfast Harlequins will meet Ballymena in a repeat of last year's final, which Ballymena won 22-20. Malone will entertain Banbridge. Ties will be played on Saturday, April 1.