Methody face huge test with visit to BRA
Belfast Royal Academy versus Methodist College at Roughfort is the pick of Saturday’s schools’ friendlies.
Methody welcome back the likes of Oliver McCollum, James Harrison, Jaz Andress, Rory Winters and Ryan Martin, though they will be without Matthew McFall and Dan Kerr who have emerged as vital members of the Ulster Schools’ U19 squad.
The hosts are without their star back row forward Ryan Clarke who also is with the schools’ squad, though with Eoin Devlin, Garth Redmond and Matthew Robinson available, BRA will fancy their chances.
Royal Belfast Academical Institution and Dalriada School, who meet at Osborne Park, are also minus their Ulster Schools’ U19s.
Both have started well and with RBAI welcoming back Ben Alexander they will aim to build on last week’s victory over Schools’ Cup holders Ballymena Academy.
If Matthew McGuigan can improve on his kicking statistics and Paddy Bell manages a repeat of his fine game last time out, they could be in business.
Dalriada’s Roger Bonnar will be with the Ulster Schools’ U19s, but having just beaten Rainey Endowed the Ballymoney boys’ confidence is sky-high.
Rainey themselves travel to meet Foyle and Londonderry College who hope to have Tom and Neil Burns on duty.
Foyle’s victory over neighbours Limavady GS last weekend leaves them upbeat even though they are without Ian Vance.
Rainey lose Luke Steele to Ulster Schools for which reason they will look to Jamie Burrows, Martin Connolly and Damien McMurray to get them back on track.
Wallace HS, who suffered a rare defeat last time out against Castleknock College, nevertheless took heart from the performances of Dean Irvine and Jordan Heatley.
And David Scott is looking confident while Daniel Henry and Chris Taylor have added steel to the Wallace pack.
On Saturday they host Campbell who, with their eight Ulster Schools’ U18 players back, can absorb the uanvailability of Charlie Gallagher.
In a clash of two of the Royal Schools, Portora host Armagh.
Portora will look to boys like Rory Gibson, Jonny Magwood, Nicholas Docherty and James Ferguson for inspiration.
Armagh should have Stuart Hooks and Robbie Magowan back after inter-pro duty, though they will be without Neil Faloon and Harry Boyd who are with the Ulster Schools’ squad.
Unbeaten Friends will face a big test when Sullivan visit Magheralave Road.
The Lisburn school welcomed lock Jamie Robinson back last weekend when they ground out a win against Cambridge House.
Sullivan are minus Oliver Loughead, but in Ryan Loughead, Michael Scott, Rory Foye, Jamie Halliday and Ross Adair they have players capable of delivering victory.
Belfast HS — buoyed up having beaten Carrickfergus GS — host Portadown College, while Lurgan College travel to Antrim GS.
Omagh Academy may not have any wins as yet but will view their home date with Banbridge Academy as offering a good chance of their first victory of the season.
Grosvenor GS host Royal School Dungannon in a match from which both schools lose players to the Ulster Schools’ U19s.
Limavady GS will be very keen to see off visiting Carrickfergus GS.
Carrick have had a difficult start to the season and lost a number of players to injury in their defeat at BHS.
Larne GS — buzzing having beaten RSD last week — will need to show more of the same against an on-song Ballyclare HS.
Coleraine AI will be without scrum half Paddy Farrell for the visit of Regent House, who beat Portora 27-0 last week.