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Belfast schools on collision course

An all-Belfast final could be on the horizon in this season’s Northern Bank Schools' Cup.

Yesterday’s semi-final draw pitted Belfast Royal Academy with Wallace High at Ravenhill next Tuesday while either Friends' or Ballymena Academy will meet Methodist College at the same venue on Thursday.

Academy, after that morale boosting 18-16 replay victory against RBAI, went on to defeat Dalriada 8-0 at the weekend.

They have a formidable pack and more than useful three-quarters and attempt to play an open style of rugby.

Wallace also have strong forwards but are inclined to keep the ball tight and score tries through them.

In the open expanse of Ravenhill, Academy could stretch their opponents and must start slight favourites.

Academy coach Chris McCarey said: “It will not be an easy game and although Wallace narrowly beat us earlier in the season, we have improved immensely.”

Holders Methody are favourites to win the Cup for the fourth time in five years.

Their all round team, packed with representative players, have already demolished a more than useful Armagh Royal 13-6 and Ballyclare High 20-0 and are perfectly capable of repeating the performance against any other school side in the province.

Schools’ Cup semi-final: BRA v Wallace High (Tuesday, March 2 Ravenhill 2.30pm); Friends' or Ballymena Academy v Methodist College (Thursday, March 4, Ravenhill 2.30pm).

Schools' Subsidiary Shield semi-finals: Limavady Grammar or Portora Royal v Campbell College; Armagh Royal v Coleraine AI or Omagh Academy.

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