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Fantastic Foyle end BRA's superb unbeaten three-year run


By Ian Callender

Belfast Royal Academy have lost their first Ulster Bank Schools Cup match for three years, the holders beaten by Foyle College by five wickets.

The Londonderry school, who have not won the cup since 2010, chased down BRA's 132 with Marc McCloskey top scoring with 45 in a player of the match performance which also saw him take four wickets for nine runs.

Foyle's reward is a trip to Belfast on Saturday to face Campbell College who will be hoping to maintain their sequence of reaching the final every other year after missing out in 2014 and 2016.

They remain on course after an exciting two wickets victory over RBAI II, James Pollard seeing them home with 35 not out.

RBAI's 1st XI, beaten finalists last year and 2014 winners, are safely through to the last eight with a seven wickets victory over Limavady Grammar, thanks to an unbeaten half century from Jonny Waite, and will be at home to Down High who had an equally comfortable victory against Coleraine Grammar.

Stuart Campbell hit 76 not out for Down and their total of 155 for three was 38 too many for the Bannsiders.

Quickest winners of the round were Bangor Grammar who shot out Lurgan College for just 45 and their eight wickets win sets up a last eight tie at Wallace High on Saturday week. Nathan Doak, son of former Ireland international Neil, took three wickets for Wallace as Methodist fell 20 runs short of the home school's 174 for six, the highest total of the round.

In the other quarter-final, Ballymena Academy will play Friends School, Lisburn after they held on to knock out 2012 winners Grosvenor Grammar, coached by former Ireland skipper Kyle McCallan.

Reece Malone top scored for the Lisburn school with 82 in their imposing 163 but although Grosvenor still had two wickets in hand at the end they finished six runs short.

Ballymena Academy beat Sullivan Upper by 44 runs in the other second round game thanks to the best bowling figures of the round from Michael Stronge who finished with five for 25.

Second round results

Friends School 163 (R Malone 82, A Lindsay 3-27) Grosvenor Grammar 157-8 (C Irvine 57). Friends won by 6 runs.

Limavady Grammar 144-6 (M Keane 4-15) RBAI 148-3 (J Waite 50 not out, J Metcalfe 33 not out, M Lightbody 28). RBAI won by 7 wickets.

Wallace High 174-6 (J Cardosi 67, B Nelson 44, J McConnell 2-34); Methodist College 154-6 (J Hunter 71, H Gibbons 49, N Doak 3-29). Wallace won by 20 runs.

RBAI 2nd X1 146-8 (N Armstrong 42, E Scott 29, H Minford 3-22) Campbell College 147-8 (J Pollard 35 not out, A Johnston 27, A Adair 4-24). Campbell College won by 2 wickets.

Lurgan College 45 (K McPeak 3-5, C Cox 3-11, T Bell 2-11, R Chambers 2-12) Bangor Grammar 46-2 (C Houston 21 not out). Bangor Grammar won by 8 wks.

Ballymena Academy 150 (J McClean 40, J Glass 39, J Browne 39) Sullivan Upper 106 (J Milligan 27, M Stronge 5-25, J Glass 3-24).

Ballymena Academy won by 44 runs.

Belfast Royal Academy 132 (H Warke 29, R Moffett 29, M McCloskey 4-9, G McFaul 2-12, K Magee 2-34) Foyle College 133-5 (M McCloskey 45, K Magee 36). Foyle won by 5 wks.

Down High 155-3 (S Campbell 76 not out, G Hutley 31). Coleraine Grammar 117 (M Poskitt 39, J Davenport 3-3, E Moag 3-17, C Gordon 2-21). Down HS won by 38 runs.

Quarter-final draw: Ballymena Academy v Friends School, Wallace High v Bangor Grammar, Campbell College v Foyle College, RBAI v Down High

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