Senior Cup semi draw a repeat of last year's final
The two finalists in last year's Belfast Telegraph Senior Schools Cup - Sullivan Upper and Banbridge Academy - are to meet each other again this season ... but this time at the semi-final stage.
The draw was made yesterday in the Telegraph's boardroom by Jim Gracey and Steven Beacom from the Sports Desk and the captains and representatives from each school gasped in disbelief when holders Sullivan and the Bann side that had run them so close in last year's decider were paired.
That means Methodist College Belfast and Royal School Armagh will meet in the other semi, with both games scheduled for Lisnagarvey on February 10.
"Sullivan beat us in last year's final but the girls are determined to do well and follow the success of the Academy's boys who won the all-Ireland championships earlier this season," said Bann coach Neil Madeley.
"We lost six girls from last year but still have a strong side with Katie McKee the stand-out player."
Sullivan captain Katharine Hill was part of last year's winning team and is determined to experience the cup final atmosphere one more time.
Sullivan beat Rainey Endowed in last week's quarter-finals while Banbridge beat Wallace High in a delayed third round tie before accounting for fancied Lurgan College.
By another quirk of fate, the other semi-final also brings together two teams who met in a decider last term.
"We met Armagh in last year's Senior Schools Plate final and this time it's the more prestigious Schools Cup semi-finals," explains Methody captain Katie Larmour.
"But we won that game on penalty strokes," chipped in Armagh captain Clara Lennon, "and we'll be out to do the same!"
Belfast Telegraph Senior Schools' Cup semi-finals (Lisnagarvey, February 10): Methodist College Belfast v Royal School Armagh (2pm); Banbridge Academy v Sullivan Upper (2.30pm)