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Foyle out to continue impressive Bowl record

By Ronnie Ingram

Foyle and Londonderry College will be hoping to win the Danske Bank Schools' Bowl for the fourth time in nine seasons when they face Banbridge Academy at Dungannon Rugby Club tomorrow afternoon (2.30pm).

Winners of the competition in 2006, 2008 and 2010, Foyle won their first round Schools' Cup tie 24-0 against Friends' School but then lost narrowly to Limavady Grammar by 15 points to six.

"We have a couple of players with a lot of experience," stated coach David Barnett.

"Our captain and No 8 Paddy Leeson and flanker Nial Adair are playing in the side for the third year and Alex McDonnell is an accurate kicker and can control play from out-half."

Banbridge Academy, the holders of the Schools' Trophy, eliminated Larne Grammar by 30 points to seven in the Cup but then fought bravely before losing 15-10 to semi-finalists Coleraine Inst.

They will be without their captain Rory Thompson, who sustained a knee injury in the first Bowl tie at Portadown College, where they won 33-6, but despite this setback coach Brian Leslie is still confident.

"Foyle are an unknown quantity as we haven't played them but I expect a tight encounter as their record is much the same as ours," he said.

Meanwhile, in the High Schools' Trophy Sperrin Integrated College travel to St Columb's College this afternoon to establish which will be at home to Fivemiletown High School in the semi-final.

"We are trying to build the rugby capacity throughout the College and to reach the quarter-final is new for us," commented Sperrin coach Alastair Rowan.

"We have a hard working captain at No 8 and Gareth Hall and Callum Smith have been in the Youth Development squad."

The other semi-final is between Dromore High and Craigavon Senior High School.

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