IT’S the biggest game of rugby Banbridge Academy will have played in for 30 years.
The Lurgan Road school’s first XV go on the road to Methodist College Belfast in the quarter-finals of Schools’ Cup – the first time in three decades the school has got this far in the competition.
And they go into the game as massive underdogs with the Belfast school having a magnificent pedigree in the competition, having won 32 of the 59 finals they have reached, more than any other school.
It will be a stern test for the locals but when you consider they have already seen off the likes of Campbell College convincingly then a giant-killing is not out of the question.
Meanwhile you would expect most residents in Banbridge to be cheering for the Academy in their biggest game for years against MCB, however this isn’t the case for one family.
Local man James Winters has found himself in the unlikely position of having divided loyalties on Saturday - because his grandson Rory is the captain of Methody College.
James has travelled many times to cheer on his grandson and will be at the match on Saturday to see Rory take on Banbridge Academy in the quarter-finals of the School’s Cup.
The Mount Pleasant resident remarked how he had a little chuckle to himself when he seen the draw, and admitted he was glad to see the Academy get their chance against one of the big guns.
He said: “I’ve watched Rory play many times and always enjoy the games. I’m delighted Banbridge Academy have got to this stage and really hope they do themselves proud, but I still I have to support the grandson – or he’ll never speak to me again. I hope it’s a good game and all the family is looking forward to it.”
Rory plays No7 in the back row and is in his third year playing for the first 15. He captained the school when they won the Medallion Shield in 2009 and is the current captain of the Ulster U19s this season.