Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Round 4 Previews Saturday 9th February 2019

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Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Round 4 Previews Saturday 9th February 2019

Enniskillen Royal Grammar School will play Down High School in the 4th Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup. This will be the first Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup game for the Enniskillen RGS team while the Down High School team will be on the road, once again, for their third Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup game this season. The Enniskillen Royal Grammar School team is coached by Ashley Finlay who has a new member of staff in Stuart McCain to assist with the backs and Alistair Keys working with the forwards. Roci Allan fulfils the vital role as team manager with the Enniskillen RGS squad. The Enniskillen Royal Grammar School team is essentially a young squad featuring some ten Year 12 players as regular starters. Team Captain, Alex Parke, who is also Head Boy in the school, has led his young charges to thirteen victories this season and will be looking for a fourteenth victory at the end of this Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup 4th Round game. Alex gets great support, on and off the pitch, from his scrum half, Matthew McConkey, who is his Deputy Head Boy. Eddie Keys, son of forwards coach, Alistair, has been central to the success of the Enniskillen Royal Grammar School team this season with his ability to score tries as well as kick points. Callum Smyton is a hardworking back row forward whose explosive play has seen him top the try scoring list for his season and he will be only too pleased to add to his impressive total against Down High School. Callum, along with Justin White, was part of the Ulster U17 Schools’ squad earlier in the season. They will see this Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup game as an opportunity to push for further representative honours. Likewise, players such as David Stinson, Stuart Brown and Alex Parke have been part of Ulster Regional Development Squads and will wish to push on to be included in the Ulster Schools’ Age Grade representative squads later in the season. Andrew and Harry Dane are twin brothers who are vital members of the Enniskillen Royal Grammar School pack while Eddie Keys can look to his twin brother, Henry, a back row forward, to provide him with some protection at critical times in the game. Alex Parke forms a formidable centre partnership with Robbie Mills who is an Irish Rowing Champion. This young Enniskillen Royal Grammar School team is seen by their coaches as having a great work ethic. That work ethic will be put to the test in the course of this 4th Round Danske Bank Ulster Schools; Cup game against Down High School.
The Down High School team is on the road once again in the course of their current Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup campaign. Having overcome the challenges provided by Carrickfergus Grammar School in the 2nd Round and Omagh Academy in the 3rd Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup their next challenge is to travel to Enniskillen Royal Grammar School for this Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup 4th Round tie.

Not many schools travel to Omagh, at any stage of the season, and come away with a victory. That is exactly what the Down High School team did back in September and then they repeated that with another win in the 3rd Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup. Those wins will have given the Down High School squad a great deal of confidence as they prepare to travel to Enniskillen. The Down High School team is coached by the experienced duo of Charlie Knox and John Gunston with James McBriar looking after the Strength and Conditioning aspects of the preparation for their Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup campaign. The team is captained by their hard-working open-side flanker, Reece Hagan, a player who leads by example, both on and off the pitch. His work rate in the game against Omagh Academy was outstanding. The work load of vice-captain is shared between Greg Hutley and Charlie Marshall. Both these players offer great support to Reece and are regularly among the points scorers for the Down High School team as they showed in the second round against Carrickfergus Grammar School and the third round against Omagh Academy. Greg, an Ulster U18 Schools’ and U19 player, is the leading point’s scorer for the Down High School team. Greg can play effectively as an outhalf or centre and is a very fine striker of the ball out of hand or off the tee. Greg has had his talents recognised from further afield and he was a recent attendee at an Ireland Age Grade Camp. Charlie is a very hard-working No 8 who has scored quite a number of tries this season following dynamic plays from the base of the scrum. His game with opposite number, Callum Smyton, could be one of the keys to the outcome of this 4th Round Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup game. Joe Charles has been involved with the Ulster U17 Schools’ Development squad and should see the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup campaign as an opportunity to further impress the Ulster Rugby Talent ID Department. Andy McCoubrey, Jonathan Graham, Jakob Cross, Conor Gibson and Stuart Campbell, the Head Boy in Down High School, are other players in this hard-working squad the Enniskillen Royal Grammar School team will need to monitor closely in the course of this Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Round 4 game.
This Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Round 4 game is scheduled to kick off at 11.15am
The Royal Belfast Academical Institution team has struggled at times this season due, in no small part, to the extensive injury list the squad has had to endure. However, recent positive results would suggest that the squad is starting to hit some form at just the right time. The Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup seems to bring the best out of Royal Belfast Academical Institution teams and the squad of 2018/19 are certainly preparing themselves for another successful campaign starting with their 4th Round Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup encounter against those renowned Ulster Schools’ Cup campaigners from the Royal School, Dungannon. The team is coached by Jason Morgan, the Director of Rugby at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution. Jason can rely on the experienced Michael Bentley as forwards’ coach with Richard Hedley fitting in seamlessly as Backs and Defence Coach. The team is captained by Angus Adair who has, unfortunately, missed quite a few games due to an injury. It will be seen as a major boost to the hopes of his squad if Angus is able to make it back for this 4th Round Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup game against the Royal School, Dungannon team. Angus has gained representative honours at the highest level for a schoolboy having played for the Ireland Schools’ team last season. He is a powerful runner who leads from the front and is equally at home playing in the centre or the back row! Robin McIlveen, an Ulster Schools’ U18 Centre, is an exceptional player with pace, great defence and the vision to read the game well. A natural leader, Robin has been filling in as captain in the absence of Angus Adair. Robin is also the team’s goal kicker and the leading the point’s scorer for the Royal Belfast Academical Institution team this season. The Royal School, Dungannon defence will need to monitor him closely as they will have to with Jude Postlethwaite. Jude is an Ulster Schools’ U18 winger who has recently moved into the inside centre position for his team. He is an extremely athletic individual who is dangerous with ball in hand and possesses great distribution skills as well as being strong defensively. Paddy Eames is in his first year of 1stxv Rugby at the school having broken through with some fine performances on the 2ndxv. Paddy is involved with the Ulster Schools’ U17 squad and will be looking to continue his development with Ulster Schools’ representative squads. Paddy is an athletic individual who possesses great jumping prowess and he has the ability to dominate the battle in the air at lineout time. His forward partner, Daniel Eakin, is the workhorse of the pack. Daniel is just back from a lengthy layoff due to injury and is hoping to make his final year at Royal Belfast Academical Institution count with a positive Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup campaign. Alex Weir is an exceptionally clever player who is very physical and always manages to make a nuisance of himself at break down time. Bradley McNamara is a very dangerous runner and will be only too happy to show his attacking abilities from either out half or full back. All these players are backed up by other talented players such as Rory Adair, Callum Stewart, Daniel Eakin, Marco Manso, Josh Patterson, Ronan Boyle, Zac Davidson and Jack Leathem. No stone will be left unturned as the Royal Belfast Academical Institution players finalise preparations for their Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup campaign which starts with their 4th Round game against the Royal School, Dungannon team.
Over the years Royal School, Dungannon teams have built up a reputation of being hard to beat at home when it comes to Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup time. That reputation is well deserved and undoubtedly the current squad of Royal School Dungannon players had that to the front of their minds as they defeated the Larne Grammar School team at home in the 3rd Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup. That Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup win will have given the Royal School, Dungannon squad a great deal of confidence as they now prepare to travel to play the Royal Belfast Academical Institution team in the 4th Round of the competition. Gareth McClintock, Head Coach of the Royal School, Dungannon team, is assisted in his coaching duties by the experienced duo of Gareth Lucas and Richard Chambers. The team is captained by Luke McMullan, a young full back who had his considerable talents recognised when he was selected as a schoolboy player on the Ulster U18 Club team back in August. Luke captains a squad of players that is a mixture of youth and experience. There are players such as Luke, as well as Jack Girvan, another Ulster U18 Clubs’ player, who have the ability to bring flair to the performance of the team. Their control of the Royal School, Dungannon backline has helped make it a force to be reckoned with in the course of the current season. Luke Connelly and Jordan Redmond form a strong ball carrying centre partnership and they have created the space for other team mates to finish their hard work off with tries. Stephen Black, Head Boy of the school, and Matthew Watt, Deputy Head Boy of the school, are the only Year 14 players to consistently start games in the Royal School, Dunganon pack this season. Year 13 players have been using their experience of senior rugby last season, as well as the tour to South Africa in the summer to stand up to, and successfully compete with, more experienced packs. Players such as Peter Nicholl, Joshua Clarke, Adam McFarland, Louis Johnston and Logan McIlravie have a big presence on the field and have been leaving their mark on teams with their ability to carry ball and maintain possession for a number of phases before unleashing the back line attack. New recruit, Peter Busby from Aughnacloy College, has claimed his place in the back row with his confident tackling and poaching for opposition ball. Scrum Half, Adam Junk, has developed in to a very tidy young player. He is a dangerous link player who has sniped around the ruck a number of times this season so far to score quite a few of the Royal School, Dungannon tries. Luke McMullan and Jack Girvan, son of Andrew Girvan and nephew of Ian Girvan, both of whom played for Ulster and Ireland Schools’ teams, have been the leading try scorers for the Royal School, Dungannon team this season. Luke is the leading point’s scorer due to his accuracy with his trusty boot. These Royal School, Dungannon players all impressed with their performances against the Larne Grammar School team in the 3rd Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup. The Royal Belfast Academical Institution team will need to monitor all these Royal School, Dungannon players closely in the course of their 4th Round Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup game.
This Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Round 4 game is scheduled to kick off at 11.00am
Royal School, Armagh will host Bangor Grammar School in the 4th Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup in what is bound to be a day of mixed emotions for Kenny Hooks, one of the Royal School, Armagh coaches and one of the most respected coaches involved with the schools’ game in the Province. Kenny played on a very successful Ulster Schools’ Cup winning Bangor Grammar School team a number of years ago and then went on to coach the Royal School, Armagh team to Ulster Schools’ Cup success in 2004. The Royal School, Armagh coaching staff, with Willie Faloon and Chris Parker, at the helm, know they are in the fortunate position of being able to call upon the sage advice and wisdom of Kenny Hooks when the going gets tough. Aaron Woods leads his team from the back row and has seen his team mates put in some great performances in the course of the current season. However, there is a feeling in the Royal School, Armagh camp that there is a deal more to be done to improve consistency in the performances and an overall improvement in results. Charlie Worth, a young exciting scrum half who has played for both the Ulster Schools’ U18 and the Ulster U19 teams earlier in the season, is the leading point’s scorer for the Royal School, Armagh team with his eye for the whitewash and his very accurate kicking skills. Peter Taylor is the leading try scorer and he has taken advantage of the clever play of Nicholas Jennings whose creativity has been central to the Royal School, Armagh team this season. Nicholas is a son of John Jennings who scored the winning try for the Royal School, Armagh team in the 1977 Ulster Schools’ Cup Final. Sam Rainey, Jude Roberts and Jonny Agnew have been involved with the Ulster U18 Schools’ squad while Josh King and Ryan Finlay have played with the Ulster Schools’ U17 squad. Ross Taylor has been involved with the Ulster Schools’ U16 training squad and all these players will be hoping to enhance their reputations with god performances in the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup. There are family connections in the Royal School, Armagh squad with Peter Taylor and Ross Taylor being brothers and Romain Morrow, another excellent place kicker, and Jonny Agnew being cousins. Quite a number of the Royal School, Armagh players are returning from last year and are eagerly looking forward to the competition which starts with their 4th Round Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup encounter against Bangor Grammar School.
The Bangor Grammar School team took some time to get going in their 3rd Round Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup encounter against Regent House School. However, once they got over a scrappy first half performance, the Bangor Grammar School team showed the potential they have with their performance in the course of the second half of that game. The Bangor Grammar School team has had a mixed season in terms of results so far having won seven out of eighteen games played. However, there is a feeling around the Bangor Grammar School camp that if they were in a position to select their strongest starting xv then they should be able to make a few teams sit up and take notice. Colin Hunter and David Kennedy are responsible for coaching the Bangor Grammar school team and they receive great help from Mattie Agnew, a member of the Ulster Academy, and Stuart McCloskey, the Ulster and Ireland centre. The Bangor Grammar School captain is their fly half, Rhys Larmour. Rhys, a nephew of former Bangor Grammar School, Ulster and Ireland Flanker, Kieran Dawson, is the leading point’s scorer for the Bangor Grammar School team this season. He has touched down for a number of tries but it is his accuracy off the tee that has been really impressive. Conor Lusty and Ben McCrossan are the leading try scorers on the Bangor Grammar School team with both players in double figures for the season. Ben McCrossan has played with both the Ulster Schools’ U18 team as well as the Ulster U19 team. Riley Westwood has been involved with Ulster U18 Schools, Ireland U18 Schools and the Ulster U19 team. Gareth Wells has been with the Ulster Schools’ U18 team and a squad member with the Ulster U19 team while Robbie Grant has been involved with an Ulster U16 Schools’ Training squad. In Aaron Sexton the Bangor Grammar School team has a prodigious talent and a young man who handles all his accolades in a very modest manner. He has played for the Ulster team in a pre-season friendly, starred for the Ulster “A” team in their Celtic Cup games and played with the Ireland U19 team earlier in the season. Aaron is also an internationally renowned sprint Athlete. If the Bangor Grammar School team has all these players available for their Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup campaign the opposition teams will have to monitor them all carefully as they showed with their displays in the second half of their previous Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup game against the Regent House School team. The squad has a good mix of Year 13 and Year 14 players this season all of whom have experience of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup campaign from last season. These experienced players are ably supported by a number of Year 12 players who have adapted well to the rigours of senior rugby in the course of the current season. The players like to try and play an open game of rugby and get everybody playing with their hands on the ball. These are the tactics the players will hope to use in the course of their Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup 4th Round game against the Royal School, Armagh team.
This Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Round 3 game is scheduled to kick off at 11-00am
Sullivan Upper School will play their near neighbours from Campbell College, Belfast in the 4th Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup. The Sullivan Upper School team has recorded some impressive results this season including a victory against the Campbell College team earlier in the season. Taking that result into account might see the Sullivan Upper team entering this game against the current holders of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup as slight favourites to win this Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup 4th Round encounter. Adam Craig leads a coaching cohort at Sullivan Upper that includes David Armstrong, Chris Henderson, Mark Henderson, Paddy McGrattan and former pupil, Ross Adair. The team is captained by their 2nd Row forward, Jamie Thallon, a player who has only missed one 1stxv game in the last three seasons. His injury free run contrasts severely with the overall injury picture at the school this season which has seen somewhere in the region of 35 players wear the Sullivan Upper 1stxv jersey because of the injury profile of players. However, it does seem that the Sullivan Upper coaching staff will have a full squad of players from which to select their match day twenty three as they finalise preparations for this 4th Round Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup game. Conor McKee, their very talented scrum half, is the leading point’s scorer for the Sullivan Upper team this season. Conor has had his talents recognised by the Ulster Schools’ U18 Management team, the Ulster U19 Management team as well as by the Ireland U18 Schools’ Management team. George Saunderson, a very hard working prop forward, has been included in Ulster Schools’ U18 and Ulster U19 squads as well this season. George Robb was involved with the Ulster Clubs’ squads back in August and emerging talents such as Thomas Leitch and Zac Moraghan, who is also a very talented Gaelic footballer, will see this Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup campaign as an opportunity to further highlight their potential to the Ulster Talent ID personnel who will be in attendance at the games. Rory Houston, a regular try scorer for the Sullivan Upper team, is the third Houston brother to play in the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup for the Sullivan Upper team. The Campbell College, Belfast defence will need to monitor all of these players closely in the course of this 4th Round Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup game.
The Campbell College, Belfast team currently has possession of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup. A recent run of very impressive results against renowned schools from Munster and Leinster would suggest the Campbell College, Belfast players are not going to give up easily their grip on the famous Ulster Schools’ Cup. The team is coached by the experienced Brian Robinson who can call upon the youthful exuberance of Jonny Cupitt, a former pupil of Sullivan Upper School, to assist him. Neil Doak acts in an advisory capacity to Brian and Jonny and his experience as a coach is off great value to the Campbell College players and staff. The team is captained by Rex Tinsley who brings great leadership qualities to the role. As well as being a very astute centre on the pitch Rex is also Head Boy at Campbell College. Rex was a member of the Ulster U19 squad that defeated the Australian Schools’ team back in December and players such as Jack Stinson, Conor Rankin, Paddy McAlpine, Jack Boal, Finlay Parks and Luke Collins have been involved with various Ulster and, in some cases, Ireland Age Grade squads. Conor Rankin is the leading point’s scorer on the Campbell College team and he has caused untold problems for opposition teams this season with his eye for the line as well as a deadly accurate boot off the tee. Danny Williamson, Rex Tinsley, Kieran Robertson, Tobi Olaniyan, Dara Gaskin and Jack Boyle have all been regular try scorers for the Campbell College, Belfast team this season. They will all be hoping to add to their totals when it comes to the defence of their Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup winner’s title.
This Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Round 3 game is scheduled to kick off at 10-30am.
The Cambridge House Grammar School team has played two games in the course of their current Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup campaign. They defeated Banbridge Academy at home in the 2nd Round before travelling to defeat Lurgan College in the 3rd Round. The 4th Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup sees the Cambridge House Grammar School team host Wallace High School, one of the favourites to win the competition. As they now prepare to travel to host the Wallace High School team in the 4th Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup the players will be fully aware of the fact that a win in this game will put them into the draw with the last eight of the competition. The Cambridge House team is coached by John Nicholl who is assisted by Timmy Small, former Ulster player, Jamie Smith, and Michael Stevenson. The team is captained by Kane McIlroy, a player who was involved with the Ulster U19 squad when they won a blitz competition involving Sale RFC and Newcastle RFC U19 teams at Barnard Castle School back in August. Kane has led his team to good effect this season having played eighteen games and winning more than they have lost. The top point’s scorer for the Cambridge House team has been Rory McCandless, who was deadly accurate with his boot in the previous rounds, with players such as Kane McIlroy, Ethan Crawford, James McNabney, Tom Wharry and Josh Mark regularly among the try scorers as well. James has also been involved with the Ulster Schools’ U17 squad and will be hoping a good run in the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup will propel him further along the representative route in Ulster Schools’ Age Grade rugby. James, like Josh Mark, has gained representative honours in Northern Ireland Equestrian Sports. Earlier in the season a squad of ten Year 12 players, six Year 13 players and ten Year 14 players travelled to Portugal for a training camp which proved to be a great success for everyone concerned. It is hoped the learnings that took place at Brown’s Camp on the Algarve, as well as in the games the team has played since, will be put into place when the team meets Wallace High School in the 4th Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup.
The Wallace High School team has recorded some impressive results this season and contains some very talented players in the squad. They will see themselves as firm favourites to win this Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup 4th Round game despite having to travel to Cambridge House. The Wallace High School squad is coached by Derek Suffern who receives great assistance from David Chambers and Neil Hinds. Reuben Crothers, an outstanding No 8, is the team captain. Reuben has led his team well throughout what has been a very successful season results wise thus far. Nathan Doak, a very talented scrum half, is the leading point’s scorer on the Wallace High School team this season. Nathan has an eye for the whitewash as well as being a very accurate kicker out of hand and off the tee. The talent of many of the players available to the Wallace High School coaching staff has been recognised by the management teams of Ulster Schools’, Ulster U19’s and Ireland U18 Schools’ squads. Nathan Doak has been involved with all three squads with Reuben Crothers, Ben Carson and Joel Dundas having represented the Ulster 18 Schools’ team as well as the Ulster U19 team. Peter Heasley, Charlie Irvine and Harvey Patterson have been involved with the Ulster Schoos’ U17 set up. Peter McRoberts, one of the leading try scorers on the Wallace High School team this season, is also Head Boy of the school. This Wallace High School team has been described as being a very hard working group of players by the coaching staff. They will be hoping their hard work will pay off as they finalise their preparations before they meet the Cambridge House Grammar School team in the 4th Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup
This Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Round 4 game is scheduled to kick off at 11-00am
The Ballymena Academy team will host the Belfast Royal Academy team in the 4th Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup. The Ballymena Academy team will be hopeful of maintaining their undefeated record at home this season and, having already beaten the Belfast Royal Academy at home earlier in the season in a close game played in dreadful conditions, could see themselves as favourites to progress to the 1/4 Final stage of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup. The Ballymena Academy team has experienced coaches at the helm with the dream team of John Andrews and Gavin Murray in charge. They receive great assistance from Stephen Johnston who coached the Ballymena Academy Medallion team to Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Medallion Shield success last season. Stephen Black, Principal of Ballymena Academy, has been known to act as one of the coaching staff as well on a Saturday morning! Patrick Hargy, as team captain, has led his team well in the course of a season that has seen a lot of re-building going on in the ranks of the Ballymena Academy squad with only five Year 14 players being regular starters. Patrick has received great assistance from his vice-captains, Alex McKinney and Harry Cooke, and this trio has set high standards on and off the pitch for their squad members. Ryan Keating and Nikki Andrews take care of the S&C aspects of preparation for the Ballymena Academy players. While Patrick Hargy and Alex McKinney are two of the key players in the Ballymena Academy set up others to watch include Harry Andrews, Frankie Andrews, Joseph Mawhinney, Ross McKay, Patrick Browne, Adam Lamont, Joshua Drain, Matthew French, Jonathan Cochrane, Paul Gocher, Timothy Douglas, Dean Millar and James Wright. These players have all had a major input to the success of the Ballymena Academy team this season and have attracted the interest of the Ulster Rugby Talent ID Department. They will all be hoping that a good run in the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup, starting with the 4th Round game against Belfast Royal Academy, will present them with the opportunity to further their chances of involvement with the Ulster Schools’ Age Grade squads. The Ballymena Academy senior squad has just returned from a training camp at the National Sports Centre in Inverclyde in Scotland. The coaches will be hoping that the learnings that took place in Scotland will stand the players in good stead as they finalise preparations for their 4th Round Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup encounter against Belfast Royal Academy.
Belfast Royal Academy will enter this Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup game against Ballymena Academy in a very positive frame of mind. Recent excellent results against some of the leading schools’ teams in the Province would suggest the Belfast Royal Academy squad has hit an excellent run of good form at just the right time. The season started with the Belfast Royal Academy team winning the Ian H Graham Trophy at the Grosvenor Grammar School Festival and an excellent outing at the Methodist College, Belfast 150th Anniversary Tournament in October saw this talented group of Belfast Royal Academy players start to merge as a squad with a great deal of potential. Brian McLaughlin and David Creighton share the responsibilities of the coaching the squad and in their team captain, Tom Stewart, they have a player who seems to be destined to go far in the game. Tom has played with the Ulster Schools’ U18 team, the Ulster U19 team and is figuring highly in the thoughts of the current Ireland Schools’ U18 Management team. Brandon Hasson is another player who has benefitted from his involvement with Ulster Age Grade squads in the recent past. Tom and Brandon are joined by players such as Harry Warke, Daniel Logan, Adam Keed, Rob Sturgess, Ollie Parkes and Ryan Jameson when it comes to scoring points for the Belfast Royal Academy team. They have all been doing so on a regular basis in the course of the current season. The Belfast Royal Academy players are a great group to work with according to the coaching staff. The players seem to be hitting very good form at just the right time. They all had to work hard before overcoming the challenge provided by Belfast High School in the 3rd Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup. However, they came through that game successfully and that morale boosting win will see the Belfast Royal Academy squad approach their 4th Round Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup game at Ballymena Academy with a very positive frame of mind.
This Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Round 4 game is scheduled to kick off at 10-45am
The Dalriada School team will play Methodist College, Belfast in the 4th Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup and will not be overawed in the slightest by the fact that most observers would see the Methodist College, Belfast team as favourites to win the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup this season. The Dalriada School team travelled to play and defeat Coleraine Grammar School in the 3rd Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup. They will be delighted to welcome Methodist College to their St James’s Road venue for this intriguing 4th Round encounter. The Dalriada School team has had a very successful season so far, having won 12 out of 15 games played. These positive results will have generated a great deal of confidence as they prepare for their Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup 4th Round game at home against Methodist College, Belfast. The Dalriada School team is coached by Rab Gregg and former Ulster and Ireland prop, Bryan Young. The coaching staff see the squad as having made steady progress in the course of the current season and playing with a great deal of confidence as they finalise preparations for this 4th Round Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup game. The squad has been encouraged to play positively with the ball in hand and this is philosophy has not changed come Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup time. The Dalriada School team is captained by their out half, Paddy Carson. Paddy has shown great maturity this season in his play and, when under pressure, is someone the team can look to for a calm head and reassurance. His experience from playing representative and Senior League cricket obviously helps him in these pressure situations. He is ably supported by those around him such as Luke Pollock, James McCormick and Peter Wright all of whom have represented Ulster at Age Grade and RDS level. James McCormick has many strings to his bow. As well as being a first class schoolboy hooker, who has touched down for quite a few tries this season, James has the ability to kick vital points whenever the opportunity might arise for him to do so as he so admirably displayed at the death in the 3rd Round game against Coleraine Grammar School. However, these players are not the only reason for the success of the Dalriada School team this season. They are only part of an entire squad of players that play well together and always attempt to play an exciting style of rugby. With eleven Year 14 boys on the starting team it is one of the more experienced Dalriada School teams the school has fielded for many years. The members of the coaching staff, as well as the players, are positive in their outlook and hopes are high that they can do themselves justice and reach their potential in the course of their Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup campaign.
The Methodist College, Belfast team will be looking forward to getting their Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup campaign underway as they finalise their preparations for the trip to Ballymoney where they will play the Dalriada School team in the 4th Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup. Not for the first time will the Methody team carry the mantel of favourites to win the competition but their results this season against all-comers from schools in Ulster, Munster and Leinster would suggest the tag as favourites is fully justified. The Methodist College, Belfast team is coached by the experienced duo of Nicky Wells and Stephen Lindsay. Kevin McNaboe is the team captain who has led his players to great success in the course of the current season. Undefeated in normal game time their successful season has seen victories against the mighty Blackrock College, when the Methody team won the McIntosh Shield, as well as a training camp in Portugal which finished off with a win against a strong Portugal U19 team. The top point’s scorer for the Methody team is Ethan McIlroy, a talented player who is equally at home playing as a full back or on the wing. Not only has Ethan an eye for the line but he is a top class place kicker as well. Ethan has achieved representative honours with the Ulster U19 team this season and has been involved in Ireland U19 training camps. Thomas Armstrong, Robbie Armstrong and Chris Larmour have also gained representative honours with the Ulster U19 team this season. These four players are responsible for scoring a high percentage of the Methodist College tries this season. They will all see their Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup campaign as an opportunity to add to their impressive try scoring tallies. Traditionally the basis for any Methodist College success has been with their pack. In Players such as Kevin McNaboe and Thomas Crangle, both of whom have been involved with previous Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ U18 squads, they have two of the finest forwards playing schools’ rugby at the minute. This is a very balanced Methodist College team with a great deal of character being displayed by all the players and the Methody players will all be looking forward to getting their Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup campaign underway.
This Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Round 4 game is scheduled to kick off at 11-00am
The Rainey Endowed School team scored the highest number of points in the 3rd Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup when they hosted Portadown College, a team they had lost to earlier in the season. Their 4th Round encounter against Ballyclare High School brings the Rainey Endowed School team up against another team to have beaten them earlier in the season as well. Over the course of many years the Rainey Endowed School teams have developed a proud tradition of stepping up to the mark when it comes to Ulster Schools’ Cup time. The current squad will realise they will have to raise the bar once again when they meet the Ballyclare High School team in the 4th Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup. The Rainey Endowed School team is coached by Chris Campbell, a former winner of the competition when he was a pupil at the school. Chris is assisted by Charlie Simpson, Stu McCalmont as well as Tommy O’Hagan, a current member of the Ulster Senior Rugby squad. Ulster Schools’ and U19 player, Bryn Davies, is the team captain and Bryn has led his team through to a great deal of success this season. Recent morale boosting victories, especially their 3rd Round victory against Portadown College, as well as a training camp in Portugal prior to Christmas, have put the Rainey Endowed School squad into a very positive frame of mind as they finalise preparations for their Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup game against Ballyclare High School. There are three sets of brothers playing in the Rainey Endowed School squad this season. Twins, Ryan and Matthew Brown are joined in the Rainey pack by Daniel and Sam Clarke. In the back division, David and Matthew Dripps feature regularly with their try scoring exploits. The vital link between the Rainey Endowed School forwards and backs is Tim Campbell who is a son of the Rainey coach, Chris Campbell. Jonathan Drennan and Harry Evans top the Rainey point’s scorers this season with their ability to score tries as well as kick for points. These players all shone in their last Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ outing against the Portadown College team. The Rainey Endowed School squad contains a group of players who are hard-working and committed to improving themselves as players as well as individuals. They are all looking forward to welcoming the Ballyclare High School team to the Rainey Street venue for their Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup 4th Round encounter.
The Ballyclare High School team will see themselves as clear favourites to win this 4th Round Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup game against the Rainey Endowed School team. Early in the New Year the Ballyclare High School team came from well behind at the interval to record an excellent victory against the Rainey Endowed School team. Since then some recent excellent performances have really seen a boost of confidence spread throughout the entire Ballyclare High School squad. Michael Orchin-McKeever continues in his role as Director of Rugby and 1stxv coach in the school. He continues to receive assistance from Aaron Playfair, Matthew Coulter and Gary Clotworthy with Gareth Lenaghan taking on the responsibilities as Team Manager. The team is captained by Adam Clarke, an outstanding back row player, who is equally adept playing as an openside flanker or as a lock forward. Adam has two vice-captains supporting him on and off the pitch in Adam Clarke and Matthew McCullough. Mark Jackson is the top point’s scorer for the Ballyclare High School team with Matthew McCullough the top try scorer. These two players, alongside Ewan Wasson, James Logan, Josh Cowan and Stuart Hull in the Ballyclare High School back division have been regular try scorers throughout the season and the Rainey Endowed defence will need to monitor them closely. Forwards such as Robert Reid, Jack Gamble, Adam Barron, Brian Weatherup, Taylor Mitchell, Adam Campbell, Callum Mc Connell and David McCleary, who is also Head Boy in the school, are encouraged to provide first class set piece ball as well as quick phase possession so that the talented Ballyclare back division can launch attacks from all areas of the pitch. The ability the Ballyclare High School team has to do so was demonstrated clearly on a number of occasions against the Friends’ School team in the previous round. Adam Campbell was involved with the Ulster U19 squad earlier in the season while Jack Gamble, Robert Reid and Mark Jackson were involved at Ulster U18 level. Jack Gamble is a very powerful ball carrying No 8 from which players such as Adam Campbell and Ethan Crawford benefit enormously. Adam Clarke is entering his 3rd Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup campaign as the outhalf and Matthew McCullough has been a threat to all opposition defences throughout the season. The return of Josh Cowan from a period of injury is seen as a major boost to the Ballyclare High School team. This Ballyclare High School squad has developed into a group with a superb understanding of the game with strong game appreciation. The success of the previous two years reaching the final of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Subsidiary Shield competition and winning last year’s final has aided greatly in developing their confidence. However, this Ballyclare High School team fully believes they will not be defending their Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Subsidiary Shield title this season. A victory against the Rainey Endowed School team in the 4th Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup will ensure that will be the case.
This Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Round 4 game is scheduled to kick off at 10-45am.