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Home Sport Rugby Schools Cup

Down's high could be their home comfort

By Ciaran Donaghy

Down High School are once again hoping to make home advantage count as they entertain Limavady Grammar.

The Downpatrick boys put up an impressive display to knock out local rivals Bangor in the last round and although preparations haven't gone to plan coach Ivor Monaghan is optimistic of a big performance.

"Everyone is fully fit and we have no changes from the last round.

Everyone was happy with the way we played but we've been affected by the bad weather although the boys have kept their focus.

Limavady had a good win against Lurgan, we played Lurgan earlier in the season and the score line was closer so we're expecting a tough battle.

We'll keep the same game plan and get our key players into the game," said Monaghan.

Mark O'Connor showed his kicking ability for Limavady during their win in the last round but Monaghan is hopeful his team won't gift the opposition easy chances.

Our discipline has been very good all season and we only conceded three penalties in the last round against Bangor," coached the coach.

There is a big clash in the North West as Coleraine Inst make the trip to Foyle and Londonderry College host.

Coleraine have won eight of their last nine fixtures and warmed up for their entrance into the trophy with a 19-0 win over Sullivan.

Hooker David Ferguson got the opening try before captain Jonny Shiels crossed twice.

Grosvensor's pack paved the way for success in the last round against Larne and they will need another powerful performance at home to Belfast High School.

Omagh Academy's only appearance in the final came back in 1982 when they lost to Bangor.

They start their campaign at home to Portora who they have already beaten twice this season.

Portora have lifted the cup six times out right and shared it once although their last victory came in 1942 but a pre season tour of Australia and four training sessions a week will have them prepared for battle.

Carrick enjoyed a 6-0 win over Dalriada but face a tough task at Regent House. Banbridge Academy and Portadown College meet in another intriguing match.

Banbridge were successful when the sides met earlier in the season but both teams will be much changed since that clash.

Royal School Dungannon have home advantage for their opening game against Rainey Endowed while there is an Antrim derby as Cambridge House host Ballyclare Academy.

Draw: Royal School Dungannon v Rainey Endowed, Grosvenor Grammar v Belfast High School, Omagh Academy v Portora Royal School, Foyle & Londonderry College v Coleraine Inst, Banbridge Academy v Portadown College, Cambridge House or Friends v Ballyclare High School, Regent House v Carrick Grammar, Down High School v Limavady Grammar

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