Ballyclare High reached the semi-finals last season, but face a tough challenge to repeat that when they entertain Wallace High – who also reached the last four – on Saturday morning (11am).
Team coaches Michael Orchin-McKeever and Gareth Shaw will realise their squad will need to raise the bar significantly.
Team captain Matthew McDowell was an ever present with the Ulster Schools’ U18 squad while Jack Magee gained great experience through his involvement with the same squad.
Owen Kirk, Alistair Burke, Jack Black, Jack Lewis and Zachary McMorran have all been involved with the Ulster Schools’ U17 squad.
Wallace are strongly fancied to be the side who will end MCB’s dominance in recent seasons this year.
Team coaches, Derek Suffern and Neil Hinds, though will instil into their players that they must take nothing for granted. Success will only come through hard work, attention to detail and a belief from everyone they have the ability to succeed.
They have an exceptionally talented group of players including 15 players who were involved with last season’s squad.
Ben Pentland, Ben Finlay, Jonny Stewart and Neil Kilpatrick have represented Ulster Schools at U18 level while Andrew Cardosi has played for the U19 team.
Sam Moore, the Wallace skipper, has great faith in the ability of all the players in the squad.
They have defeated teams from Ulster, Leinster and Munster in the course of the current season.
A training camp in Johnstown has helped in their preparation for a serious assault on the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup. Attention to detail is paramount in the philosophy of the Wallace High School coaching staff.
Nothing will be left to chance as they prepare to continue their Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup campaign in Ballyclare on Saturday.