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Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Round 3 Previews 21st January 2017

Friday, 20 January 2017

There are eight Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup 3rd Round games scheduled for Saturday 21st January.

Limavady Grammar School will host Dalriada School at the Ballyquin Road venue in a game that sees two teams that came through games in the 2nd round meeting in a 3rd round tie. The Limavady Grammar School team is coached by Chris Nash and Brian Hughes and the squad has responded well to some of the innovative ideas being handed down to them by the coaching staff. Early season injuries have impacted upon the squad which has seen some twenty seven players wear the 1stxv jersey so far this season. It is hoped there will be a full set of players from which to select the final twenty players for their Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 3rd Round game against Dalriada. Team captain, Rohan Mulligan, leads his team effectively and has been delighted to see the improvement shown by his squad in the course of the season so far.

The squad has contained a mixture of youth and experience with the experienced Jim McCartney, a member of a well-known North West rugby family, being the leading point’s scorer so far this season. His contribution to the success of the team in the previous round against Belfast High School was tremendous. The leading try scorer for the Limavady Grammar School team has been Gurpatap Sandhu whose younger brother, Arshdeep, has been emerging as a player to be watched. Arshdeep scored a vital try in the previous round of the cup. David Brown, a Year 12 No 8, has gained valuable learning experiences having been involved with the Ulster Schools’ U17 squad earlier in the season.

Another set of brothers, Lewis McKee, and his brother Christopher, have been key members of the Limavady Grammar School squad for the past two seasons. Lewis is also Head Boy of the Limavady Grammar School. He has proved to have been a valuable leader in the team with his performances against teams such as Dalriada and Enniskillen Royal Grammar School earlier in the season worthy of note. The squad will have gained a great deal of confidence from their Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup 2nd Round victory at Belfast High School. The coaching staff will hope the Limavady Grammar School squad can carry that renewed confidence into their Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup 3rd Round game against Dalriada.

The Dalriada School team, coached by Rab Gregg and Benjy Van Der Byl, will be hoping to emulate the success of their 2015/16 colleagues who reached the semi-finals of last season’s Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup. It might seem a tall order for the current Dalriada School team but there is a real work ethic in this Dalriada team who have a good number of players who bring experience to the team having returned from last season. Their comprehensive victory against Larne Grammar School in the 2nd Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup would suggest the Dalriada School squad of players have clearly set their intentions out for the current cup campaign. The team is captained by Dennis Posternak who was part of the successful Ulster U19 squad earlier in the season. Dennis is surrounded by attack minded backs in the Dalriada School team. Full back, Thomas Hunter, is a player who leads the Dalriada School try scoring charts this season. He ran in four more tries in the previous Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup game against Larne Grammar School and the Limavady Grammar School defence will need to monitor him closely. As well as being the leading try scorer so far this season, Thomas is also a first class place kicker. That applies as well to Paddy Elliott who effectively displayed his kicking skills in the last round.

Peter Wright is a very talented winger and in Ross Fallows the team has a player with pace to burn. It has been a season of mixed results thus far for the Dalriada School team. A mid-term tour to Barcelona did a lot for the Dalriada team in terms of the development of individual, unit and team skills. Team bonding exercises were an important aspect of the tour and the coaching staff will hope this Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup game will provide the opportunities for their players to express themselves fully. While the main strength of the Dalriada School team would appear to be in their back division there is one young player who seems to be able to adapt to playing in either the forwards or the backs on the Dalriada School team. Conor Clarke is a talented sportsman whose athleticism has seen him play in the second row, in the centre and on the wing in recent times. His father, Darren, was a more than accomplished schoolboy rugby player whilst a pupil at the Royal School, Dungannon during the mid-1980’s and might be an interested spectator at this game.

This Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Round 2 game is scheduled to kick off at 10-30am.

The Dromore High School team created a little bit of history when they took to the pitch against Banbridge Academy in their Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup 2nd Round game on January 7th. The players were the first set of pupils from Dromore High School to participate in the Ulster Schools’ Cup competition-the second oldest rugby competition in the world. Coached by Josh Pentland, who is assisted by the experienced Gareth Bronte, the Dromore High School team will now set out to make the most of the positive experiences they gained in winning their replay game against Banbridge Academy in the 2nd Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup. The team had a great start to the season but a couple of injuries to key players knocked their positive results back somewhat. However, the signs are that the injury situation will be cleared up in time for their 3rd Round game at home to Enniskillen Royal Grammar School. Team captain, Ben Martin, is an exciting player who leads his team with great aplomb. He is an outstanding place kicker, whose kicking skills proved vital in both games against Banbridge Academy. Ben is a player who enjoys nothing more than to set off from his fullback position in an attempt to exploit any weaknesses in the opposition defences. As well as leading the Dromore High School School rugby team Ben is also Head Boy and captain of the Dromore High School 1stX1 soccer team.

Ben Heath is another player who will need to be monitored by the opposition defence as his bullocking runs from his No 8 position have seen him lead the try scoring charts at Dromore High School this season. He was outstanding in both the previous cup games. During the summer age grade season Ben played for the Ulster Club’s U18 team and will use the current run in the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup to enhance his opportunities for further representative recognition. Aaron Lyttle has had his talents recognised by his selection for the Ulster U17 team and his undoubted ability has shone through in both the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup games he has played. Aaron will get plenty of advice from his brother, David, who won a Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Medal with the victorious Royal Belfast Academical Institution last season. Richard Dickson in the Dromore High School 2nd Row is another player attracting the interest of the Ulster Rugby Talent ID Department. The Dromore High School team will probably enter this game against Enniskillen Royal Grammar School as underdogs but they are coming from a rugby environment where many of the players have experienced success in other Ulster Rugby competitions.

The Enniskillen Royal Grammar School team are coming to Dromore High School to play their first Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup game of the season. The team is coached by Rhys Botha and Rhys receives great support from Ashley Finlay with his coaching responsibilities. Team captain, Andrew Crawford, leads his team with great distinction from his No 8 position. As well as being a tremendous leader Andrew has also been among the leading try scorers for the Enniskillen Royal Grammar School team this season. In Jack Rutledge the team has a hard working forward, who can play in a number of positions. Jack has had his considerable talents recognised by the Danske Bank Ulster U18 Schools’ Management team. Jack Wilson, William Dowson and Andrew Dane form a very effective front row trio for the Enniskillen team while Reece Barrett and Jack Moore are hard- working 2nd Row forwards especially at set piece time. Morgan Bruce, Jack Rutledge and Andrew Crawford complete what is a very determined Enniskillen RGS pack with their backrow trio loving to carry the ball and cause all sorts of problems at the breakdown.

Most of the players in the Enniskillen RGS pack off forwards have found themselves touching down for tries in the course of the current season. However, it is in the back division where the real try scoring ability has been. Scrum half, Matthew Dane, and his half back partner, Reece Smyton, have been regular try scorers this season. Reece is also the leading point’s scorer for the team with his consistent kicking skills off the tee. The Dromore High School team will need to be disciplined anywhere within his striking range. Dylan Crawford, Alex Parkes and Jonny Irvine are outside backs on the Enniskillen Royal Grammar School team that the Dromore High School defence will need to monitor closely if the home team is to make any further progress in this Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 3rdxv Round.

This Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Round 3 game is scheduled to kick off at 11-00am.

The Friends’ School, Lisburn team came successfully through their last Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup game against Antrim Grammar School with an impressive win. However, that win did come at something of a cost with a number of key players picking up a few bumps and bruises. Those players were not used in a friendly game last weekend and the hope is that some rest and rehabilitation should ensure they are all ready to face the Coleraine Grammar School team in the 3rd Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup. However, the Friends’ School coach, Stephen Robinson, who continues to receive assistance from the evergreen Norman Gamble and S&C input from the youthful Peter Weir, as well as technical direction from the experienced Hugh McCaughey, will be hoping that his injury worries will have somewhat reduced before making his final selections for this Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup 3rd Round game. The Friends’ School captain, Adam Milligan, has led his team well this season. The team has achieved some notable results but the injury list has impacted upon some of their performances. Adam will look to players such as Ben McCaughey and Bradley Mulholland who have been the top try scorers, to continue with their try scoring exploits when it comes to Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup 3rd Round time. Ben has also been deadly accurate with his goal kicking duties throughout the current season.

Curtis Dundas, as well as being Deputy Head Boy in the school, has represented Ireland on the successful U18 Seven-a-Side team while George Pringle played on the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ team in the Inter- Provincial series earlier in the season. Ross Stewart is a prop forward who has been involved with the Ulster RDS programme while the emerging talents of Henry Tolerton, Connor Hall, who is joined by his younger brother Alex on the team, and David Stewart are being closely monitored by the Ulster Rugby Talent ID Department. If all these frontline players are free from injury and available for selection the Friends’ School, Lisburn coaching staff will approach this Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup 3rd Round game in a more positive frame of mind. The Friends’ School coaching staff will also need to ensure that the Friends’ School, Lisburn team is as impressive without the ball as they have been with the ball in some of their games this season.

The Coleraine Grammar School team will see themselves as clear favourites to win their Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup 3rd Round clash against Friends’ School, Lisburn. The Coleraine Grammar School has achieved some notable successes in the course of the current season including recent wins against the Sullivan Upper and Royal School, Armagh teams. Coached by Richard Boyd, who has assistance from Michael Ferguson and former pupil, Michael Poskitt, to call upon, the Coleraine Grammar School team seems to have hit a rich vein of form at just the right time. Team captain, Zac Hutchinson, has controlled a lot of the Coleraine Grammar School performances this season from the outhalf position. He has formed an effective halfback partnership with his scrum half, Matthew Leighton. Ross Moore and Daniel McCreadie form a defensively strong midfield duo but also a duo that is comfortable with the ball in hand. Daniel, in particular, runs hard lines in an attempt to get his team on the front foot. Out wide there is power and pace aplenty with Thomas Lavery and Ally Telfer running in plenty of tries from their wing positions. Full back, Andrew White, has always been keen to counter-attack should any loose kicks come his way and he has shown great defensive capabilities when called upon. The Friends’ School team will need to be very disciplined anywhere inside their half as Ally Telfer is currently one of the best place kickers in Ulster Schools’ Rugby and will be only too happy to punish any Friends’ School indiscretions. The real experience in the Coleraine Grammar School team probably lies in their front row with Christy Hamilton, Andrew McKee and James Milsopp all in their final years at the school. Matthew Mooney and Max Bailie, the key lineout forwards in the Coleraine Grammar School 2nd Row, are both Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ U18 players. They are the obvious targets for Andrew McKee at lineout time with their experienced No 8, Peter Weisener, providing another target when required. Peter has been among the leading try scorers for his team this season with many of his tries coming from busts from the back of scrums. All three of these aforementioned players are also explosive ball carriers as well as hard defenders.

Flankers, Calum Beggs and Hugo Mawhinney, have also been on the try scoring charts for their team this season and they have impressed with their work at the breakdown as well. Zac Hutchinson has a few words of warning for the Friends’ School team prior to the game “The squad are excited by the draw and are looking forward to taking on Friends down in Lisburn. The lads are in good spirits and we have gained confidence with our performances of late and it has been a real squad effort with all 23 squad players getting a start over the last few games. We hope that a large number of past pupils, parents, pupils and old pupils will travel up and support the squad who have worked hard all year on the pitch, in the gym and on the beach. The coaches have instilled a real sense of belief in the squad in recent weeks and the intensity of training has increased since Christmas with a real focus on the Cup“

This Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Round 3 game is scheduled to kick off at 10-30am.

The Grosvenor Grammar School team will host Bangor Grammar School when the teams meet in the 3rd Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup. The Grosvenor Grammar School team had a very successful tour to South Africa before the Ulster Schools’ season began. However, since their return, they have experienced something of a roller coaster ride in terms of success. A considerable number of injuries have been picked up since the start of the season and this has impacted on the coaches’ ability to select a settled squad and the ability of the players to put in consistent performances. The team is coached by Andrew Gibson and Gary Hunter with their experienced hooker, Jack Mahon, selected as the dynamic captain of the Grosvenor team. There is no doubting the potential of the team with all the players in their talented back line in particular offering threats against opposition teams throughout the season. Good performances against Campbell College and Down High in the first term showed what the players were capable of achieving. Without the wins required against some other school teams momentum didn’t really seem to build. The squad has been together since the tour to South Africa in the summer, and have trained and committed to each other magnificently well in all they have done. In recent weeks it would appear that the team is getting the structures and decision making right. A recent victory against a very strong Omagh Academy team was hard-earned but, ultimately, well-deserved.

The team worked superbly well for that win and demonstrated the positive spirit and mental attitude that is now present among everyone associated with the Grosvenor Grammar School squad. With all bar one of the injured players now back in action there are high hopes the Grosvenor Grammar School season will go the way the players and coaching staff think it deserves to. There are a number of Grosvenor Grammar School players the Bangor Grammar School team would do well to watch out for. James McMaster has attracted the attention of the Ulster Rugby Talent ID Department with his performances in the front row during his first year on the team. Ewan Renfrew in the 2nd Row has been the go-to man at lineout time for Jack Mahon. Jos McConkey has been the leading try scorer for the team this season and the Bangor Grammar School defence will need to be aware of his sublime running and decision making skills. Daniel Martin has featured to good effect in a number of positions in a talented Grosvenor Grammar School back division this season. Daniel is also an excellent place kicker. The Grosvenor Grammar School out half and full back, Daniel Martin and Conor Kernohan, respectively are current Schools Cup holders, all be it in soccer and not rugby!


The Bangor Grammar School team is coached by the experienced Jason Morgan and Phil Cartmill and, like their Grosvenor Grammar School opposition, the Bangor players and coaches have had to put up with a great deal of mixed results in the course of the season so far.
They have won matches they really did not deserve to win and have lost matches they really should have won quite convincingly. The team, captained by Charles Blair, who also shows outstanding leadership qualities off the pitch as he is the current Head Boy in Bangor Grammar School, will see this Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup campaign as an opportunity to put together a good run of consistent performances and hence, results. The Bangor Grammar School team would appear to have a very strong set piece at both scrum and lineout time.

There are a number of talented strike runners out wide and the pack will need to ensure they provide enough quality possession for these runners to use effectively. Matthew Agnew is a very clever flanker who played a major role in the early season success of the Ulster U19 team. Aaron Sexton had his talents recognised with his selection on the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ U18 team. Aaron is also an outstanding sprint athlete who will be only too happy to receive the ball with a little space around him. Gareth Wells, Ben McCrossan, Adam Pritchard and Zach Kerr have all had Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup experience and have been involved with Ulster Rugby RDS squads. However, the two “jewels” in the Bangor Grammar School crown must be their leading point’s scorer, winger, Daniel Young, and leading try scorer, Lewis Brett, who is equally adept at playing at outhalf or fullback. Wherever Lewis plays the Grosvenor Grammar School team will need to watch him closely.

This Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Round 3 game is scheduled to kick off at 10-30am.

Lurgan College will host the Ballyclare High School team in 3rd Dound of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup. This occasion will be the first time the recently appointed new Head of Physical Education and Movement Studies at Lurgan College, Kyle McCallan, will have had the opportunity to host a team from his “Alma Mater” at the Lough Road venue. The Lurgan College team was clinical in their performance against a very spirited Strabane Academy team in the 2nd Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup. That game will have helped the Lurgan College players overcome the nerves associated with these games and they will look forward to their encounter against a good Ballyclare High School team. The Lurgan College team has won nine games in the course of the current season and when all their players are available for selection the current feeling in the camp is that they should be more than a match for most teams they would come up against. Team captain, Victor MacKenzie, has led his team from the flanker position.

He has been among the leading Lurgan College try scorers with hooker, Lewis Lawson, and No 8, Reuben McCreery, regular try scorers as well. Reuben is a young No 8 who has attracted the attention of a number of observers of the schools’ game as a definite emerging talent. He, along with Victor, had an outstanding game against Strabane Academy in the previous round. Perhaps the real jewel in the Lurgan College crown is that of Head Boy, Scott Wilson! Scott is the leading point’s scorer in the course of the current season. Most of the points have come from his trusty boot but he has scored a few tries as well from his scrum half position. The Ballyclare High School defence will need to monitor him closely and their team will need to be disciplined at all times otherwise Scott will be only too willing to punish any mistakes.

The Ballyclare High School team, coached by Michael Orchin-McKeever, who receives great assistance from former pupil and Ulster player, Richard Lutton, Gary Clotworthy and Gareth Lenaghan will be determined the Ballyclare High School name will be in the draw for a place in the last sixteen of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup. They will see themselves as clear favourites to win this game in Lurgan and their current statistics would seem to back that up. They have chalked up ten wins in games thus far in the course of the season. The coaching staff has focussed their performances on player development and enjoyment and everyone associated with the game in Ballyclare High School is looking forward to this Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup game. Team Captain, Jake McVicker, has captained his team very effectively this season. He has worked with over thirty five players who have worn the Ballyclare High School 1stxv jersey this season and feels this has given great opportunities to a range of players allowing them to gain experience as well as assist in their development.

Jake, playing at scrum half, finds himself surrounded by other talented players. Owen Kirk, Jack Black and James Nelson top the try scoring charts. Adam Clarke has run in a number of tries this season but it is his effective use of his trusty boot that has impressed many observers this season and he is just in Year12. Jack Lewis, at fullback, represented the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ U18 Schools’ team earlier in the season. Adam Clarke, who is also a talented cricketer, has been involved with the Ulster U17 squad while Josh Young, an Ulster Schools’ Shot and Discus Champion, and James Nelson, will be watched by RDS representatives. Jack Black and Adam Playfair are entering their 3rd Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup campaign. Aaron Coulter, another Ballyclare High School player the Lurgan College defence will need to monitor carefully, has gained representative honours Bowling, having played at U25 Level for Ireland. Aaron will look to bring some of the experience he has gained at international level to his game on Saturday.

This Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Round 3 game is scheduled to kick off at 11-00am.

The Portadown College team had a relatively straightforward win against Wellington College in the previous Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup. They will realise, however, their Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup 3rd Round game against an ever-improving Belfast Royal Academy team could be a much more difficult proposition. The Portadown College coaches, Andrew Symington and Paul Heasley, feel they have a useful blend of both youth and experience at their disposal with seven Year 12 players, six Year 13 players and ten Year 14 players involved in the squad. Their results this season are sitting 50/50 in terms of wins and the Portadown College camp would see this Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup game as one which, with the right preparation and a positive mental attitude, is potentially winnable. Stewart Hodgen is an effective captain who leads from the front. He is an excellent No 8 who forms an effective back row trio with Jordan Taylor and Scott McDowell. Stewart is one of twelve Portadown College players who have experience of playing in previous Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup campaigns.

Matthew Neill has been in excellent goal kicking form throughout the season and he will be keen to add to his growing reputation in the course of this Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup game given the opportunity to do so. Centre, Dylan Nelson and winger, Christopher Thornberry, have been among the leading try scorers for the Portadown College team this season as has 2nd Row forward, Alistair Gilpin. Brothers, Drew and Brett Flack, have impressed with their attacking prowess in the course of the season so far. There are successful Ulster Schools’ Cup genes in the Flack brothers as Dad, Ian, was a member of the all-conquering Grosvenor (High) Grammar School team that won the Ulster Schools’ Cup in 1983. Drew and Brett will be looking for opportunities to add to their growing reputation in the course of this Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup 3rd Round game against Belfast Royal Academy.


The Belfast Royal Academy team has had a mixed season in terms of results since September.
However, there now seem to be some encouraging signs breaking through and the Belfast Royal Academy team will see this Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup 3rd Round game as being eminently winnable. Team coach, David Creighton, has the experience of Director of Rugby, Brian McLaughlin to call upon. With few exceptions in the schools’ game in Ulster, there are no more experienced coaches with the knowledge of what it takes to achieve success at schools’ level at Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup time than Brian. David, and the entire Belfast Royal Academy team, could hardly wish for a more experienced mentor than they have in Brian. Team captain, Conor McAuley, is a live wire scrumhalf who always gives of his best. He directs operations, cajoules and encourages his team mates, scores tries, kicks goals and causes numerous headaches for the opposition players in all his games. Conor has topped the try scoring and, indeed, the points scoring charts for his team since the start of the season.

The hard-working Tom Gilpin, in the Belfast Royal Academy backrow, has assisted with the try scoring statistics this season as has Matthew Borne. Tom had his great ability recognised earlier in the season when he played on the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ U18 team throughout the Inter-Provincial series of games. Matthew Dalton, but for a knee injury, would have played on the Ulster U19 team. His progress in terms of his performance in the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup campaign will be monitored closely by the Ireland U19 Management team. There are two emerging young players on the Belfast Royal Academy team whose progress in the course of their Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup campaign will be watched closely. Tom Stewart is a player who could play anywhere in the front row while Brandon Hasson is adept in a number of outside positions in the backline and loves nothing more than to get the ball in his hands.

This Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Round 3 game is scheduled to kick off at 10-30am.

The Rainey Endowed School team will host Regent House School in the 3rd Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup. Anyone with any inkling of knowledge about this famous competition will know just how difficult a place the Rainey Endowed School has been to go over the years to get an Ulster Schools’ Cup win at any stage of the competition. The Rainey Endowed School team is coached by Chris Campbell, himself a former winner of the competition with a Rainey Endowed School team. Chris is assisted by the experienced duo of Peter Boyle and Stu McCalmont. The coaching staff will be hoping to ensure the Regent House School team will experience the same degree of difficulty in playing an Ulster Schools’ Cup game at the Rainey Endowed School as many other schools have over many years. Team captain, Adam Currie, has led his team to a success rate of just over fifty percent this season. He has quite often been in a situation where he has had some nine Year 12 players under his control during games this season and, to his credit, he has brought them through well.

The top try scorers on the Rainey Endowed School team this season have been their Danske Bank Ulster U18 Schools’ player, Bryn Davies, and Ulster U18 Club’s player, Jac Lloyd Evans. There is rugby football running through the veins of the Davies family as father, Dylan, played for both the Welsh Universities and British Universities as a student. Dylan coached the Rainey Old Boys Rugby Club in the All Ireland League in previous years. David Dripps has been involved with the Ulster U17 RDS set up and Jack Bresland and Karl Warner are beginning to emerge as very useful young players with an eye on the future. Adam Hunter is not just a talented rugby player but is a useful exponent of Gaelic Games as well in his role as player on the Derry Minor team.

The Regent House School team, coached by Nick Gamble, who is assisted by the evergreen Mervyn Tweed and Matt Busby, has experienced a mixture of results in the course of the current season. They had to work hard for their victory in the 2nd Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup against Foyle and Londonderry College and it was the strength of their pack that laid the foundations for that success. Captained by Kyle Van Geisen, a young prop who experienced great success when he played for the Ireland U18 3 Nations team against France and the England Home Counties last March, the Regent House team has the ability to play some attractive rugby. Players such as Jack Smith, Robert Hull, Aaron Migan and Ethan Bradley have benefitted from the positive approach and have been amongst the leading try scorers on the Regent House School team this season. Robert Hull, in particular, came through strongly with his two try scoring performance in the Regent House 2nd Row against the Foyle and Londonderry College team in the previous round.

There are two sets of brothers on the team with Andy and Ewan McCracken and Josh and Matty McFarland adding greatly to the camaraderie within the squad. In Robbie Johnston the Regent House School team has an outstanding talent whose leadership and playing skills were recognised earlier in the season when he successfully captained the Ulster Schools’ U17 squad in games against Munster. He will provide great assistance to Kyle Van Geisen in the course of this Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup 3rd Round game against the Rainey Endowed School team.

This Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Round 3 game is scheduled to kick off at 11-00am.

Perhaps the most intriguing encounter in the 3rd Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup is the game scheduled to be played on the WK Armstrong Pitch at the Royal School, Dungannon when their “cousins” from the Royal School, Armagh will be the visitors. The Royal School, Dungannon coach, Gareth McClintock, who receives great assistance from the experienced duo of Gareth Lucas and Richard Chambers, will be well aware of the magnitude of this game and off the interest the game will create in both schools as well as the local communities. Team captain, the talented Aaron McCammon, has led his team to what has been, in the main, a very positive season so far. The team has recorded eleven wins out of sixteen games with a number of games being lost by very fine margins. The Royal School, Dungannon squad has developed into a very cohesive set of players this year, all of whom have worked hard throughout the season. Since late October the team have got in to winning ways, only losing two matches out of ten, and confidence has been building towards their Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup campaign. The squad was disappointed to lose their star Year 12 player, Luke McMullan, to injury in a recent match. Luke, a member of an Ulster U17 Regional Squad, is out for for the remainder of the season and he will be a big loss to the team as he had been one of the top point’s scorers during the season.

However, the potential replacements have proven themselves more that capable players when called upon over the last couple of weeks. Doubtless Luke will be vociferously supporting his teammates from the touchline in the course of this game on Saturday. Joseph Cashel is the leading try scorer for the Royal School, Dungannon team this season. He will want to add to his impressive tally on Saturday. Adam Evans has had a successful season with his kicking skills and he will punish any Royal School, Armagh indiscretions on Saturday. Three of the Royal School, Dungannon pack who have impressed with their work ethic this season are Calvin Nelson, cousin of the Ulster Rugby fullback and winger, Peter Nelson, David Maxwell, who is a nephew of former Ulster Hooker, Nigel Brady, and Josh Patton who is a nephew of the former Royal School, Dungannon, Ulster Schools’, Ireland Schools’, Dungannon Rugby Club and Queen’s University coach, Keith Patton. Josh would not have far to go to seek sage advice before this Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 3rd Round game!

The Royal School, Armagh team might feel they have the psychological edge over their Royal School, Dungannon rivals in the lead up to this Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup 3rd Round encounter. They have already recorded a win when they defeated the Dungannon team in a midweek friendly played in Armagh back in October. The Royal School, Armagh coaches, Chris Parker and Willie Faloon, who have the not inconsiderable shadow of the well-renowned Kenny Hooks overseeing their endeavours, will know they will have another tough contest to deal with when they travel to Dungannon on Saturday. The Royal School, Armagh team has the experienced James Dunne at the captaincy helm this season. James has led his team well but the feeling around the Royal School, Armagh team is that while there have been some encouraging performances and results this season, the squad has struggled for consistency.

A good core of experienced players has returned from the previous season with Jonny Agnew and talented scrum half, Benjamin Boyd, among the pick of the Year 12 players giving a good account of themselves in the course of their first year playing senior rugby. Jonny has been involved with Ulster U16 squads while Benjamin is a player whose progress is being closely monitored by the Ulster Rugby Talent ID Department. Peter Wilson has been the top Royal School, Armagh try scorer with an impressive tally of eighteen. Not far behind come players such as Zac Thompson and Glen Faloon. Glen has amassed an tremendous total of 151 points this season and will be only too delighted to add to that total against the Royal School, Dungannon team. Nicholas Jennings and Ryan O’Neill have been involved with the Ulster Schools’ U17 squad. Christopher Jennings, older brother of Nicholas, is Head Boy of the Royal School, Armagh. Both Jennings brothers will hope to emulate the achievements of their father, John, in the course of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup campaign. John, of course, scored the winning try for the Royal School, Armagh team in the 1977 Ulster Schools’ Cup Final.

This Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Round 3 game is scheduled to kick off at 10-30am.

The Ulster Schools’ Committee has set aside the week of January 21st-January 27th for their annual IRFU Charitable Trust Week. Schools in Ulster have, in the past, raised tremendous sums of money for this most worthwhile of causes. It is hoped that all our schools will once again come on board to support this charity by registering as Friends’ of the IRFU Charitable Trust as well as using other recognised fund raising ventures. Mr Stephen Robinson, Assistant Principal at Bangor Grammar School, is co-ordinating the fund raising efforts on behalf of the Ulster Schools’ Committee. All schools participating in the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup competition have been invited to participate fully with any fundraising activity ideas they may have.

http://data.irishrugby.ie/irfu/charitable/donate_online.php.