The Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Quarter-Final draw has thrown up four intriguing games and none more so than the first game out of the hat involving Campbell College and Methodist College.
These two schools have stellar Schools’ Cup pedigrees and there is sure to be a large crowd in attendance at Fox’s Field on Saturday morning.
Campbell College have a star-studded group of players that includes some physically imposing players as Friends’ School discovered to their cost when the teams met in the third round of the competition.
There are Ulster Schools’ U18 players littered throughout the squad as well as a number of players whose performances will be closely monitored by the Ireland U18 management.
Campbell College will probably see themselves as clear and firm favourites to progress to the semi-finals as they prepare to play against their old rivals Methody.
Team coach Brian Robinson, who is assisted by Jonny Cupitt, is obviously aware of the very talented group of players he has at his disposal.
Team captain and hooker James Boyle leads his team from the front.
He has been involved with Ulster Schools’ training squads and both props either side of him have been as well.
Malcolm Corry, Jonny Haldane, Paddy Beverland, Ben Webb, Matt Russell, Oscar Yandell and Jack Howard are players in a very talented backline who love to get a chance to run with the ball at every conceivable opportunity.
John Crowther, James Nelson, Howard, Webb, Beverland and Haldane were among the try scorers for the Campbell College team in their Round thre victory against the Friends’ School.
Malcolm Corry is a first rate place kicker who will take full advantage of any opposition indiscretions.
Methody will need to be disciplined for the entire duration of the game against Campbell.
Methody had to work hard to see off a very committed Rainey Endowed side in the third round of the Schools’ Cup.
Having got that hurdle out of the way the full focus of the Methodist College players and coaches will be on this enticing clash.
It has been an indifferent season in terms of results for Methody but recent wins against Wallace High School, the Portugal U19 team as well as the Christian Brother’s College, Monkstown suggest the team might be hitting more consistent form at just the right time.
No Methody team should ever be written off when it comes to the Schools’ Cup.
Coaches Nicky Wells and Stephen Lindsay have huge experience and can turn around what has been, at times, a difficult season.
With players such as Josh Jordan and team captain, Zac Jordan, both Ireland U19 hopefuls, available for selection there is no shortage of talented players in the Methodist College ranks.
Zac Jordan, Cameron Kelly and Kane Doherty have been among the leading try scorers this season.
Jonny Jordan and Paul Kerr form a more than useful half back combination.
If these two are playing well the Methody team generally functions well.
Methody will be keen to put the disappointing aspects of the current season behind them and will concentrate on the confidence their recent successes will have given them.
The players will see their Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ quarter-final game against the Campbell College team as a great challenge and a challenge from which no Methodist College player will shirk.
This game will kick-off at 10.30am.