Academy’s rugby side to make history

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BANBRIDGE Academy’s First XV rugby team play Portora Royal School in the final of the Schools’ Trophy on Wednesday February 27 at Dungannon Rugby Club’s Stevenson Park with a 2.30pm kick-off.

The First XV team, led by flanker David McKeown, is the first senior Academy rugby side to reach a Schools’ Final and a large crowd is expected to gather at Stevenson Park to watch this historic occasion.

The Academy will go into this final tie as marginal favourites having beaten Portora way back in September but that was a significantly weakened Royal School side and the Academy also had home advantage that day.

The Banbridge side are well aware of the quality of the Portora team and know the size of the task ahead if they are to bring the coveted Schools’ Trophy back to Banbridge.

The team started the season slowly as most of the members of last year’s successful side, which reached the Schools’ Cup quarter-finals for the first time in 30 years, had left school and it took time for new combinations to bed into place.

Of late, however, performances and results have improved: the Academy go into this trophy final in a rich vein of form and playing some excellent rugby.

For a look at the squad playing in the final see page 33.