Excitement levels are building ahead of the start of the annual Northern Bank Ulster Schools Senior Cup competition. The second row draw was made at Ravenhill on Wednesday.
The traditional St. Patrick’s Day final of what is the second oldest rugby competition in the world – after the Hospitals Cup – is one of the great occasions in the Irish schools rugby calendar and eagerly anticipated by all followers of the game.
The preliminary rounds of the 2010/11 Northern Bank Ulster Schools Senior Cup competition have concluded, with Wellington College claiming the final place in the cup proper despite challenges from Lurgan College and Strabane Grammar.
Former Ulster, Ireland and Lions winger Tyrone Howe from sponsors Northern Bank and John Wilson, Chairman of the Ulster Schools Committee, made the draw for the second round of the competition which involves 12 teams.
The second round draw is as follows, with matches scheduled to be played on Saturday, January 8:
Royal School Dungannon v Antrim Grammar School
Carrick Grammar School v Belfast High School
Portadown College v Wellington College
Portora Royal School v Larne Grammar School
Cambridge House School v Grosvenor Grammar School
Omagh Academy v Rainey Endowed School
The winning teams from the round 2 matches will progress to the third round of competition and will be joined by: Regent House, Friends School, Down High School, Foyle & Londonderry College, Limavday Grammar School, Dalriada, Banbridge Academy, Sullivan Upper School and Bangor Grammar School.
The third round matches will be played on Saturday, January 22.
The final eight seeded teams – Methodist College, BRA, RBAI, Ballymena Academy, Wallace High School, Royal School Armagh, Ballyclare High School and Campbell College – will join the round 3 winners for the fourth round of competition on Saturday, February 5.
The competition will conclude with the quarter-finals (February 19), semi-finals (February 28 and March 2) and final (March 17).