Bann boss finally realises Schools’ Cup ambition

Daniel Soper guided Inst to Schools' Cup success. Pic: John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL
Daniel Soper guided Inst to Schools' Cup success. Pic: John Dickson / DICKSONDIGITAL

Banbridge RFC Head Coach Daniel Soper finally has the Schools’ Cup feather in his cap.

After 17 years of competing in the tournament, he led his RBAI side to victory last Tuesday and was delighted to finally get his hands on the trophy.

“I’ve been in this trophy since 1998 and that’s the first time I’ve touched the trophy so there’s a huge amount of personal satisfaction,” he said.

“I was relieved at the final whistle. It was a good finish for the neutral, them (Wallace) hammering the line but we were relieved when it was over.

“There was plenty of satisfaction that we got a lot of things right. We had planned and did our homework and we did those things well to get us the win, which was very pleasing.”

Soper also praised the four local lads in the squad.

“Ethan Harbinson made a decision to come to us. He wanted to try and win the Cup in his last year at school so that has turned out to be a great decision.

“He has been a huge part of our team. He was very good on Tuesday at the breakdown. Jake Chambers worked very hard. He is one of a crop of very good props that we have.

“Michael has come in as a fifth year to run well. He has a very bright future. All of the boys from down that direction made excellent contributions.

“We had talked about getting into position early on and taking points if they were on offer. Unfortunately, TJ missed those couple of early kicks and I thought we were going to have a repeat of how we went out of the Cup last season.

“Credit to TJ, he rallied and the boys hung in there. They had great belief about what they were doing.”