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Overhauled format underway for Schools' Cup


Jonathan Bradley

By Jonathan Bradley

The inaugural draw of the revamped Danske Bank Schools' Cup was made yesterday at Kingspan Stadium during the Ulster Branch Schools' Committee AGM.

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It was announced on Monday that the competition would change in format, with a pool structure in place to ensure more games for 24 of the participating schools, including nine-times winners Coleraine and relatively recent finalists Ballyclare and Belfast Royal Academy.

With schools seeded in two sections, each pool has two from each higher and lower, with the six winners and four best runners up going through.

Teams play each other either home or away, with the three game weekends set for October 19, November 16, December 7.

The six top teams - Ballymena Academy, Campbell College Belfast, holders Methodist College Belfast, Belfast Inst, Royal School Armagh and Wallace High School - will await those who progress to the next stage, the last-16 round still being held in its usual end of February slot.

Those that don't make it through the pools will continue to battle it out for the Schools' Trophy and Schools' Bowl.

Pool 1: Rainey Endowed, Friends' School Lisburn, Dromore High, Limavady Grammar

Pool 2: Bangor Grammar, Down High School, Regent House, Foyle College

Pool 3: Ballyclare High School, Omagh Academy, Cambridge House, Lurgan College

Pool 4: Sullivan Upper, Dalriada, Grosvenor, Strabane Academy

Pool 5: Belfast Royal Academy, Coleraine Grammar, Belfast High School, Banbridge Academy

Pool 6: Enniskillen Royal GS, Royal School Dungannon, Portadown College, Larne Grammar

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