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Belfast Telegraph Schools' Cup semi-final draw: Who faces who in the final four at Stormont?

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At the Belfast Telegraph Schools' Cup semi-final draw are Rachel Geddis- Friends, Ellen Reid - Banbridge Academy, Marc Scott - Ulster Hockey Executive Manager, Gareth Hanna - Belfast Telegraph Digital Sports Reporter, Shirley McCay - Ulster Hockey Talent Coach, Sophia Del Castillo - BRA and Lauren Armstrong - Omagh.

At the Belfast Telegraph Schools' Cup semi-final draw are Rachel Geddis- Friends, Ellen Reid - Banbridge Academy, Marc Scott - Ulster Hockey Executive Manager, Gareth Hanna - Belfast Telegraph Digital Sports Reporter, Shirley McCay - Ulster Hockey Talent Coach, Sophia Del Castillo - BRA and Lauren Armstrong - Omagh.

At the Belfast Telegraph Schools' Cup semi-final draw are Rachel Geddis- Friends, Ellen Reid - Banbridge Academy, Marc Scott - Ulster Hockey Executive Manager, Gareth Hanna - Belfast Telegraph Digital Sports Reporter, Shirley McCay - Ulster Hockey Talent Coach, Sophia Del Castillo - BRA and Lauren Armstrong - Omagh.

Belfast Telegraph Ulster Senior Cup holders Banbridge Academy have been drawn to face Belfast Royal Academy in the semi-finals as they bid to reach the showpiece for the fourth year in a row.

It's one of two fascinating match-ups as the team with the most successful record in recent years squares up to the side that, of the four semi-finalists, has won the coveted trophy more times than the rest put together.

BRA can boast 11 triumphs, the last of which, however, came back in 1974 when they beat Ballymena Academy in the decider.

The other tie, to be staged as part of a double-header at Stormont next Wednesday afternoon, sees Omagh Academy take on Friends' in a repeat of the 1999 final which the Lisburn outfit won 1-0.

Banbridge captain Ellen Reid is no stranger to schools' cup last-four and next week's clash will be a fifth in succession for the Ireland Under-23 player.

She is looking forward to the game with BRA but realises that it promises to be a tough encounter after Bann only scraped past Royal School Armagh in a quarter final shoot-out.

"We played with so much fight and it really came down to very fine margins at the end and so could the game with BRA," Ellen said.

"They have a very hard working side this year under the coaching of the experienced Stephen Watt and they have two particularly talented players in Niamh McIvor and Julia Uprichard, who we will have to try and watch closely and keep out of the game as much as possible."

BRA, who overcame last year's beaten finalists 3-1 in the last eight, are expecting a tight battle with Bann, as they bid to make it third time lucky against the holders after two close calls already in recent months.

Skipper Uprichard said: "We have drawn 2-2 with them on two occasions this season, one of the games going to penalty runs and costing us a place in the final of Superleague. They are a very skilful side with Jodie Simmons and Ellen driving forward through the middle and Gemma Hassan giving them width and pace on the outside.

"They have experience in these big matches and know how to handle the pressure that comes with it - something which we, as a side lack, but we are excited for the experience that lies ahead next week."

Omagh Academy have won the famous trophy just once before - back in 2005 - but in this season's Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup they are cast in the role of dark horses as they prepare to tackle Friends' next week.

In the quarter-finals, they defeated a strong Ballymena Academy side 2-1 and, in the previous round, sprang a big surprise when they beat 2018 winners Rainey Endowed in a shoot-out.

"To be up against Friends, is certainly another tough draw as they have key talented players such as Ella Brown and Ella Agnew threatening in the midfield and their keeper Cara McEwen, who played a key role in our defeat last season in the Schools Plate Final," said Omagh captain Lauren Armstrong.

"Mind you, we have our own secret dynamo in midfield, Amy McCollum, who has been extremely consistent and creative all season.

"I am sure it will be a well-matched semi and it will be great to give us an opportunity to even the score from last year."

Friends' captain Rachel Geddes, meanwhile, says her team will have their work out to get the better of Omagh after edging past 2014 Cup winners Methodist College in a testing quarter-final encounter, but only after a shoot-out.

"We learnt from the Methody game that we need to take our chances when we are on top and that will be key against a very good Omagh side next week," she said.

"We know from our experience in the Shield Final last year they are a well drilled, physical side and they've had some impressive results throughout the season, in particular their win over Rainey in the Cup."

Belfast Telegraph Ulster Senior Cup semi-final draw (to be played at Stormont, Wednesday February 12): Banbridge Academy v Belfast Royal Academy (12.45pm); Friends' School v Omagh Academy (2.45pm).

Belfast Telegraph