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Schools’ Cup: Holders Ballymena face a right

By Ronnie Ingram

Ballymena Academy, the holders of the Northern Bank Schools' Cup title, face a difficult fourth round draw against Armagh Royal in this season’s competition.

Royal battleTouching base: Belfast High School's Ryan McGonigle dives over Larne's line for a try as his side book their place in the fourth round of the Schools’ Cup where Sullivan Upper awaitDarren Kidd/Presseye

The defending champions will be tested as they travel to face a team with a strong Cup tradition.

It is unfortunate for Armagh for two seeded teams to meet so early in the competition. At the same stage last season when they were one of the favourites, they were pitted against the holders, Methodist College, losing 13-6.

Armagh will be handicapped for the tie on Saturday as captain and No 8 Neill Faloon was injured in a non-rugby accident and he will be a big loss.

Two other seeded teams meet as Wallace High will entertain Methody. Wallace have had some mixed results so Methody will be expected to progress further.

There will be an intriguing tussle at Coleraine Inst where a confident Grosvenor Grammar are perfectly capable of pulling off a surprise.

Grosvenor overwhelmed Banbridge Academy 22-7 and Cambridge House 24-5 and while Coleraine have had a few disappointing results they proved their capabilities with a 33-18 win at Dungannon on Saturday.

Dalriada ran in three tries against Portadown College, but even with a strong pack will have their work cut out against RBAI.

The clash between last season's beaten finalists BRA and Bangor Grammar is an interesting one especially after the Co Down team's convincing success against Friends' 32-12.

Belfast High have excelled away from home, but will be glad to have a home draw. They still face an uphill struggle against Sullivan Upper.

Down High defeated Foyle and Londonderry College 17-6 in a tie with only the one late try and will start as underdogs against Ballyclare High who could go far in the competition. In the remaining tie Campbell College travel to Regent House when Campbell will start as firm favourites.

Northern Bank Schools' Bowl draw: Dungannon Royal v Banbridge Academy, Foyle and Londonderry College v Limavady Grammar, Rainey v Portadown College, Larne Grammar v Friends.

Northern Bank Schools' Trophy semi-final draw: Portora v Wellington, Omagh Academy v Carrick Grammar.

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