Schools Cup semi-final: Royal School Armagh dethrone four-in-a-row chasing RBAI
Royal School Armagh ended RBAI's four-in-a-row hopes by earning a thrilling 26-22 win in the second Ulster Schools Cup semi-final at Kingspan Stadium.
Armagh completed a dramatic win as RBAI crossed the line but were held up.
Tries from Matthew Reaney and Jack Treanor helped Armagh lead 14-0 but Niall Armstrong's try saw Inst reduce the deficit to 14-10 by half-time.
Ryan O'Neill and Nicholas Jennings added Armagh tries as Connor McCormick and Jude Postlethwaite replied.
Armagh's victory sets up a final meeting with Campbell College on 19 March.
Underdogs Armagh, who last won the Schools Cup in 2004, dominated early on as they surged into the lead with two tries in a five-minute spell.
Centre Reaney showed his power as he broke through an attempted tackle to score under the posts and give Thompson a simple conversion.
Armagh captain Treanor then helped to double his side's lead after Charlie Worth and Reaney made a series of powerful carries before Treanor crashed over the line for a converted score.
The defending champions fought their way back into contention with two scores before half time.
Robin McIlveen landed a penalty from directly in front of the posts before scrum-half Armstrong picked the ball from the base of a scrum and beat several defenders to score.
McIlveen converted as Armagh led 14-10 at the break.
The Armagh forwards continued to lay siege to the Inst line at the start of the second half as their rolling maul was twice held up over the try-line.
The pressure finally told as flanker O'Neill broke off the back of a five metre scrum to power his way over.
RBAI delivered an immediate response as McIlveen made a thrilling break from his own 10 metre line before he was stopped just short of the line and the ball was recycled for winger Postlethwaite to score in the corner
Armagh extended their lead into double figures shortly before the hour mark when Jennings got over for try that was once again created by the forward unit.
But the holders refused to give up their title without a fight and McCormick's try and McIlveen's conversion in the 65th minute set-up a frantic finish.
Postlethwaite's brilliant run was halted by Armagh's Michael Campbell just short of the line and referee David Carson then adjudged that the follow-up drive was held up after the ball had been carried over the try-line.