Dromore High School will embark on their first ever game in the Danske Bank Schools Cup when they make the short trip to local rivals Banbridge Academy at the start of January.
Dromore coached by former schools cup winner Josh Pentland played their first ever full game at U18 level against RBAI in September and are looking forward to their debut in the prestigious competition.
“It’s going to be a great local derby, we played Banbridge at the start of the year in a mini tournament and it will be a great occasion for the school being our first ever time in the Schools Cup,” said Pentland.
“All the boys are looking forward to it, the town is looking forward to it and with it being a derby it sets it all up well.”
“The boys are all really excited and we have been building towards it and we done really well to get into round one and to be seed that way.”
“The boys have trained really hard and we’re just going to see what happens, we’re not setting any targets we’re just going to take the game as it is.”
“The Schools Cup is a brilliant competition, we’re trying to keep the younger age groups interested in rugby and try to do sixth form and were using the Schools Cup as a tool to do that, it’s working we’re growing sixth form and a lot of boys have come back and they can’t wait to play in the Schools Cup, there is a massive buzz already and Banbridge away will add to that so there will be a lot of excitement in the school for the next couple of months.”
Banbridge coach Brian Leslie was happy to get home advantage.
“A home draw is all we wanted and I’m happy with that, you can’t ask for better Dromore in their first School’s Cup it’s only up the road so that will be extra motivation and likewise for them so I think it is a fantastic draw for both schools,” said Leslie.
“We have had so many injuries before Halloween it is hard to know who we have been going this year but we have everybody back now and fit so if we can keep them together we have two and a bit months to prepare, we have plenty of numbers but in terms of depth with the first XV we don’t have as many as we would like and we just have to hope we can get them all on the pitch for on 7th January.”
Round 1 - Saturday, December 3: A) Strabane Academy v Carrickfergus GS; B) Cambridge House v Larne GS
Round 2 - Saturday Jan 7 2017: Belfast HS v Limavady GS; Banbridge Academy v Dromore HS; Foyle College v Regent House; Friends School v Antrim GS; Portadown College v Wellington College; Lurgan College v Winner of A; Winner of B v Dalriada School