SCHOOLS CUP: Lurgan favourites to see off Ballyclare

Lurgan captain Victor MacKenzie has been among the leading try scorers this season.

Lurgan captain Victor MacKenzie has been among the leading try scorers this season.

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Lurgan College will host the Ballyclare High School team in the third round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup this weekend.

This occasion will be the first time the recently appointed new Head of Physical Education and Movement Studies at Lurgan College, Kyle McCallan, will have had the opportunity to host a team from his Alma Mater at the Lough Road venue.

Team captain, Victor MacKenzie, has led his team from the flanker position. He has been among the leading Lurgan College try scorers with hooker, Lewis Lawson, and No 8, Reuben McCreery, regular try scorers as well.

Perhaps the real jewel in the Lurgan College crown is that of Head Boy, Scott Wilson, who is the leading points scorer in the course of the current season and the Ballyclare defence will need to monitor him closely.

Ballyclare, coached by Michael Orchin-McKeever, who receives great assistance from former pupil and Ulster player, Richard Lutton, Gary Clotworthy and Gareth Lenaghan, will be determined to book their place in the last 16 of the competition.

They will see themselves as clear favourites to win this game in Lurgan and their current statistics would seem to back that up. They have chalked up ten wins in games thus far in the course of the season.

Team Captain, Jake McVicker, has captained his team very effectively this season. He has worked with over 35 who have worn the Ballyclare High School 1st XV jersey this season and feels this has given great opportunities to a range of players, allowing them to gain experience as well as assist in their development.

Kick-off tomorrow is at 11:00am.

Perhaps the most intriguing encounter in the third round is the game scheduled to be played on the WK Armstrong Pitch at the Royal School, Dungannon when their cousins from the Royal School, Armagh will be the visitors.

Dungannon coach, Gareth McClintock will be well aware of the magnitude of this game and of the interest the game will create in both schools as well as the local communities.

Team captain, the talented Aaron McCammon, has led his team to what has been, in the main, a very positive season so far. The team has recorded 11 wins out of 16 games with a number of games being lost by very fine margins.

The squad has developed into a very cohesive set of players this year, all of whom have worked hard throughout the season, and confidence has been building throughout their Schools’ Cup campaign. However, Royal School, Armagh might feel they have the psychological edge, already recording a win when they defeated Dungannon in a midweek friendly back in October.

Coaches, Chris Parker and Willie Faloon, who have the not inconsiderable shadow of the well-renowned Kenny Hooks overseeing their endeavours, will know they will have another tough contest to deal with tomorrow.

The experienced James Dunne has led hism team well as captain and although the squad has struggled for consistency, the players will be more than ready for this big encounter as they bid to reach the final 16 of the competition.

Kick-off is at 10:30am.