Coleraine geared up for right Royal battle
Royal School Dungannon v Coleraine Inst — that is the intriguing contest that the third round draw of the Northern Bank Schools' Cup has produced.
Two schools with so much tradition in the competition, but unfortunately their successes have been more in the past. Dungannon have only won the trophy once, over a century ago, but have always managed to be there or thereabouts at the quarter-final stage.
Their last final was in 1975 when they lost to Methody 18-7 while the Bannsiders have a better record.
They have won the trophy nine times, with the most recent of those being in 1992 when they beat Methody 23-7, with two other visits to Ravenhill in that decade.
Dungannon, with home advantage and that resounding win over Antrim Grammar 35-0 to boost their confidence, will be hard to defeat.
Coleraine's 23-3 defeat to Armagh at the week-end means they have some work to do.
The teams had been due to face each other in November, but unfortunately, although the Coleraine pitch was playable, Dungannon were unable to travel due to the snow.
Another interesting encounter will be the ‘local derby' between Larne Grammar and Belfast High. Larne, under the Jonny Lowe, did well to come away from Portora with a 21-10 success while High had a bruising win at Carrick.
Grosvenor, with a large and strong pack, could go far in the competition and,with home advantage may pull off a surprise against Banbridge Academy.
Rainey did well to overcome Omagh in midweek, but will have their work cut out against Sullivan Upper. Friends' have the all round strength to win at Bangor Grammar while home advantage and the long trip may be the difference between Down High and Foyle/Londonderry College.
In the remaining tie Regent House will be expected to qualify at Limavady Grammar.
The top 'seeded' teams to join at the fourth round are: Methodist College, RBAI, BRA, Ballyclare High, Wallace High, Campbell College, Ballymena Academy and Armagh Royal.