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Danske Bank Schools’ Cup captains bid for a place in Ulster Rugby history

Thursday, 6 December 2012

The Danske Bank Schools’ Cup is always one of the highlights of the Ulster sporting calendar, but this season’s competition will have added significance. With the historic grandstand at Ravenhill being demolished next summer as part of a £14.7 million redevelopment of the ground, the winning captain of the 2013 Danske Bank Schools’ Cup will go down in Ulster Rugby history as the last schoolboy to climb the steps of the old stand to receive the famous cup.

The grandstand was built in 1923 and has played host to Schools’ Cup finals for almost 90 years.

The Danske Bank Schools’ Cup is the second oldest rugby competition in the world; it was first staged in 1876 with Royal School Armagh the inaugural winners.

A preliminary round has already been played in this season’s competition. Larne Grammar School beat Cambridge House School last Saturday to book their place in round two.

Danske Bank (formerly Northern Bank) has been title sponsor of the Ulster School’s Cup since 2005.  Robert Garrett, Head of Corporate Banking, explains:

“The exciting developments ahead for Ravenhill will no doubt bring an added sense of occasion to what is always a thrilling finale to this prestigious tournament.  For Danske Bank, as well as for the schools, coaches, teams, their families and supporters, the excitement has already begun and the draw is always eagerly anticipated by players and followers alike.  Danske Bank is delighted to play its part in supporting rugby talent to thrive and our employees always look forward to supporting local schools in their Schools’ Cup journey each year.”

The 11 teams joining the competition for the second round are: Antrim Grammar School, Banbridge Academy, Belfast High School, Carrickfergus Grammar, Foyle & Londonderry College, Friends’ School, Lurgan College, Portora Royal School, Regent House School, Royal School Dungannon and Wellington College.

Robert Garrett, Head of Corporate Banking with Danske Bank and Stephen Black, Headmasters’ Representative at the IRFU Ulster Branch, made the draw for the second round of the competition which will be played on Saturday 12th January. The draw is as follows;

Royal School Dungannon v Wellington College
Belfast High School v Banbridge Academy
Foyle College v Portora Royal School
Carrickfergus Grammar School v Lurgan College
Antrim Grammar School v Friends’ School, Lisburn
Regent House School v Larne Grammar School

The winning teams from the Round 2 matches will progress to the third round of competition and will be joined by ten teams: Bangor Grammar, Belfast Royal Academy, Coleraine Academical Institution, Dalriada School, Down High School, Grosvenor Grammar, Limavady Grammar School, Omagh Academy, Portadown College and Rainey Endowed School. Third round matches will be played on Saturday 26th January

The final eight seeded teams; Ballyclare High School, Ballymena Academy, Campbell College, Methodist College Belfast, Royal Belfast Academical Institution, Royal School Armagh, Sullivan Upper School and Wallace High School will join the winners of Round 3 in the fourth round of the competition on Saturday 9th February.

Quarter-Finals: Saturday 23rd February 2012
Semi-Finals: 4th and 6th March 2012, 2.30pm (Ravenhill)
Final: Monday 18th March 2012, 3pm (Ravenhill)