U13 vs Slemish (21/03/17)
The Under 13 rugby squad produced a great win in their home game against Slemish College. Having trained non-stop every Wednesday afternoon from January staff were delighted to see the boys applying their skills to a competitive game, showing a great maturity in doing so. Co-Captains Scott Donley and Aaron McNeilly led the line magnificently, backed up by experienced Ballymena RFC players William Hammond, Stuart Gordon, Johnny Wylie and Calum Mitchell.
It was all Cullybackey in the early stages as they took advantage of their home turf, running in early tries to settle any nerves. Issac Daly and Deane Agnew on the wings proved a constant speedy threat as they switched the ball to the wide men at every opportunity. Some intricate passing moves as well as some straight line charging proved a useful approach as further tries were scored. Credit to Slemish however who upped their game in the second period, running in some explosive tries themselves as the local team became tired. In the closing stages Joel McComb, Thomas Fenton, Mark Wilson and Josh Gibson all put in a shift, with Ben Turtle scoring the pick of the tries with an outstanding ‘Tommy Bowe’ individual effort.
All in all, a great performance from a great bunch of boys. Training continues on Wednesdays in preparation for further games before Easter.
Ulster vs Zebre
A fifty strong contingent made the trip to the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast on Friday 4th March (2016) to watch Ulster take on Zebre in the Pro 12 league. Ulster won the game by a comprehensive score line and a great night was had by pupils and staff alike.
Ulster vs Scarlets
Cullybackey College visited the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast on Friday 27th February (2015) to watch Ulster defeat the Scarlets by 25-20. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening for the party of 47 pupils and staff. This is now an annual event having visited last season as well.
February 2015: Training
Junior rugby has continued to flourish amongst all the treacherous weather we have been having recently. All boys in Years 8-10 are welcome. With the first match organised for just after half term training needs to be maintained in order to achieve the same success as last season. All places are now filled up for the upcoming Ulster v Scarlets trip on Friday 27th February 2015!
March 2014: Rugby squad collect "Best team spirit" Award
The Cullybackey Under 13 rugby squad finished their season off in style on Friday 28th March, receiving the "Best team spirit" award at the Year 9 Cross Community Rugby Tournament organised by Ballymena RFC. This was a round robin event consisting of four teams, each playing twenty minute games. Teams from St Patrick's, St Louis and Dunclug College all competed in keenly contested games.
Our team fought brilliantly throughout and, with a large squad of eighteen players, had plenty of talent and commitment on show. The first game saw a resounding 4-2 victory in cold conditions against a physical St Patrick's team. The second game was a closer affair against Dunclug College. The game ebbed and flowed both ways before Dunclug earned a fine win in the end, running out 4-3 winners. With one game to go it was a chance to rotate the squad as players became "battered and bruised". If it were not for the "flying winger" in the opposition ranks in this final game it would have been a much tighter affair, as St Louis ran out winners by 4-1.
Our players can take great pride in themselves, this their very first season of rugby at Cullybackey College. Having trained continuously through out the winter months this was a fitting end to the season, as Cullybackey captain Richard McNabney collected the "Best team spirit" award from the tournament officials. The boys have enjoyed numerous fixtures this season and have progressed superbly. They now enjoy a well earned rest and can look forward to next season as a Year 10 rugby squad.
The squad would like to thanks Mr Tom Wiggins (Ballymena Community Rugby Development Officer) for his excellent guidance and support throughout the whole season. His dedication has rubbed off on the boys who were a credit to themselves and the school throughout the season. Well done boys!
Another entertaining draw for Under 13's
The dead lock was broken early from a well worked try by Dylan McGowan. Magherafelt did bounce back with a try, but Cullybackey fought back to take the lead going into the half time break. It was a very physical match with some minor injuries to both sides, which showed the commitment and desire of all boys involved.
Half time score 2-2
The second half got underway with a high kick by Chris Jamieson which was well chased by Richard McNabney. A knock on from a Magherafelt back allowed Richard to pick up, pass the ball to Alex to home for Cullybackey.
Though Cullybackey tried to hold of a strong Magherafelt player he still managed to try numerous times.
Full Time: 11-11
Tries from: Alexandru Bucinski(4) Dylan McGowan (3) Andrew Laverty(1) Ewan McGaughey(1) Michael Junk(1) Kyle McCurdy(1)
The boys now turn their attention to their Cross Community tournament at Ballymena RFC this Friday, a fitting finale to end a great first season of rugby for the boys.
By Chris Jamieson
March 2014: Fantastic match ends in draw
Cullybackey College rugby team hold Slemish College rugby team to an 8-8 draw.
Cullybackey College took a full squad of eighteen boys from Year 8 and 9 to face a strong side from Slemish College. From the start the boys played strongly together but it was Slemish who broke away to get their first touchdown.
Josh Mitchell entered the foray to replace an injured player and it wasn't long before he broke away to draw Cullybackey level. Half time 1-1.
With the second half under way the boys were hungry for a win, touchdowns from Alex Bucinski (3), Ryan Crawford (1), Andrew Laverty (1) and Charles McCready (1). The score at the end of the second half was 7-7.
With this being the final part of the match the Cullybackey boys were more determined than ever for a win but it was Slemish College who broke away to lead once again. But it was Alex Bucinski, who was having a brilliant game, got the final and most important touchdown of all. Final score 8-8.
By Joshua Mitchell (Year 9)
Five try win over Dragons at Ravenhill
Our pupils enjoyed a great night at Ravenhill as they watched Ulster defeat Newport Gwent Dragons 38-8.
February 2014: Outstanding performances from Junior Rugby Squad
Year 8 and Year 9 boys played their first rugby matches of the season on Thursday 27th February against Magherafelt HS. The games consisted of '7's' rugby and involved two matches being played side by side, with seven players in each team. All 19 players from Cullybackey played their part, with both Cullybackey teams putting in brave performances against the opposition.
Training has been upped a level in recent weeks in preparation for matches and this was ideal preparation for the upcoming return fixture with Magherafelt as well as games against Slemish College and the Ballymena Rugby Club Secondary Schools tournament at the end of March.
The games were played in great spirit with both schools a real credit to themselves. They were all turned out well and represented their school in a pleasant and sporting manner, with our boys displaying very high levels of standards throughout.
Games ebbed and flowed with plenty of tries scored and it would be unfair to mention any stand out players at this stage as all players performed superbly.
The boys would like to thank Ballymena Community Development Coach Tom Wiggins for travelling to the games. His continued support and guidance are highly valued and regarded by the players and staff alike.
Squad: Josh Mitchell, Richard McNabney, Chris Jamieson, Kyle McCurdy, Charles McCready, Neil McAllister, Jamie Moffett, Cameron Mark, Michael Junk, Shane Millar, Ryan Crawford, Ewan McGaughey, David Hamilton, Daniel Fenton, Stuart Glover, Lahiru Kasthuriarachchi, Matthew Hamill, Alexandru Bucinski, Andrew Laverty.
January 2014: Rugby training in full flow
Rugby continues to flourish each Thursday with upwards of twenty Year 8 and 9 boys out training. The boys have taken their game to a new level and now are preparing for their first fixtures against local schools. On top of this, the boys will be visiting Ravenhill to watch Ulster play the Newport Gwent Dragons on Friday 28th February. Photos from a recent training session can be seen here.
November 2013: Rugby training attracts huge numbers
Year 8 and 9 boys turned out in huge numbers last week for what was the first of many training sessions at school. Twenty one pupils arrived on a bitter cold day to be put through their paces with the help of Tom Wiggins, the Community Rugby Development Officer from Ballymena Rugby Club. The school 'Rugby Club' is open to all boys in Year 8 and 9, with inter-school matches already being planned against local Ballymena schools. Players are reminded to bring boots and mouth guards each week.
October 2013: Ballymena v Randalstown at Cullybackey College
It was a case of 'Friend or Foe?' when two of our GCSE PE pupils recently competed against each other in a local Under 15 rugby encounter. Richard Lamont (Ballymena RFC) and Anton McCroary (Randalstown RFC) both star for their respective teams and have been a credit to our school to date. We wish them luck as they continue their league campaigns and we also wish Anton a speedy recovery from his shoulder injury sustained at the weekend.
Congratulations to Year 10 pupil Anton McCroary who has had a successful season with Randalstown Rugby Football Club. On Saturday 4th May his team won the Ulster Carpet U15 Cup, beating Carrick 14-5 at Ravenhill Park in Belfast.
Simon will play in the Interprovincial series with matches against Leinster, Munster and Connaught. Sixteen year old Simon plays his rugby at Eaton Park and this well deserved honour is a first for Ballymena Youth Rugby and for Cullybackey High School. The school and the club wish Simon every success in the forthcoming matches.
Click to enlarge the photograph, which will show Simon with Mr Boyd, Principal, and Tom Wiggins, Director of Community Rugby Ballymena RFC (26/09/12)