Belfast Model and La Salle have dominated the Maxol Direct Belfast Schools’ Cup for the last 16 years with at least one of those schools reaching the St. Patrick’s Day final.
But what a change this season as both teams bowed out in the first round. De La Salle were involved in a thrilling encounter with Ashfield but lost in a penalty shootout following a 2-2 draw.
There was a shock in store too for Model who were hammered 4-1 by Lisburn’s Fort Hill who now face Wellington College in the quarter-finals after the latter edged out Colaiste Feirste 1-0.
However, Ashfield face a much stiffer task in the last eight and will be back in west Belfast, this time to take on Corpus Christi.
Three years ago St. Mary’s lifted the trophy at their first attempt and then won the Belfast Telegraph Northern Ireland Senior trophy and the Under-18 Senior Cup in successive seasons.
They will fancy their chances of collecting silverware again. After accounting for East Antrim champions Monkstown 3-1, they now travel to St. Malachy’s.
The Lisburn derby between Lisnagarvey and St. Patrick’s, Lisburn turned out to be a one-sided affair with Garvey recording a resounding 4-0 success. They take on Our Lady and St. Patrick’s College and should find things a bit more difficult.
Highest scorers in the first round were RBAI who hammered Dunmurry 7-1 and face CBS.
The quarter-final draw is: St Malachy’s v St Mary’s CBGS; Lisnagarvey v Our Lady & St Patrick’s; Rathmore v Bangor Grammar; St. Patrick’s College v St Colm’s CBSv RBAI; Fort Hill v Wellington College; St Joseph’s or Newtownabbey v Corpus Christi ‘B’; Corpus Christi ‘A’ v Ashfield.
Meanwhile, Oakgrove College continued their remarkable run of draws in the Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup. Two matches were needed to dispose of Dundonald in the preliminary round and another two to see off Ballyclare Secondary.
The Londonderry boys played their fifth match away to Dromore and with 15 minutes remaining it looked as if their exploits were coming to an end as they trailed 3-0.
But they fought back to take the match into extra-time and even after that, it was 4-4 which means another match.