25 teams to take part in Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ U16 Cup

The Ulster Schools’ Committee has launched a new cup competition which will be sponsored by Danske Bank.

This season will see the Ulster Schools’ U16 Cup feature 25 boys’ teams competing in a new format, divided into two tiers of eight, and a third tier of nine.

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Participating schools were categorised based on their own suggested tier of entry. The rankings were then finalised by the Ulster Schools’ Committee Officers, before teams were drawn into groups

The top tier, known as Section One, will be composed of two groups of four schools.

Each team will play three games, with the two group winners to meet in the Ulster Schools’ U16 Cup Final at Kingspan Stadium at 2pm on Wednesday the 17th of November.

In the second tier, Section Two, the same format will be utilised, with the group winners progressing to the Ulster Schools’ U16 Plate Final, also on the 17th of November, at a venue yet to be decided.

The third tier, Section Three, will be composed of three groups of three schools. Each team will play two games, with the three group winners, and the best second-placed team, qualifying for the semi-final draw with ties to be played on the 6th of November.

The two semi-final winners will then go on to compete for the Ulster Schools’ U16 Bowl, also on the 17th of November, at a venue yet to be decided.

This competition was created after the Ulster Schools’ Committee consulted with schools to assess their needs during the previous academic year.

Ulster Schools’ Committee Chairman Richard Clingan said: “From the outset, the purpose of this competition has been twofold. We want to provide a good level of competitive rugby for that group of players who missed out on last year’s Medallion Shield. We also see this as a way to help these players transition into senior rugby by keeping them together for a period of time.”

Richard Caldwell, Managing Director of GB and Corporate Strategy at Danske Bank added: “It’s fantastic to see the evolution of the wider Schools’ Cup tournament, to help support all players and to give an opportunity to some of those who missed out on a tournament last year. It’s been a difficult time for all sports over the past 18 months, and I’m delighted to see the Ulster Schools’ Committee providing a format to ensure players get more experience of competitive rugby this year.

“We’re an extremely proud sponsor of youth rugby, GAA and football across Northern Ireland, and we really hope to see more competitive games for all over the 2021/22 seasons. Good luck to all those taking part, and most importantly, enjoy the experience.”

Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ U16 Cup Competition Section 1

Group A                                               Group B
1 Ballymena Academy                            1 Campbell College, Belfast
2 Belfast Royal Academy                              2 Sullivan Upper School
3 Royal Belfast Academical Institution                          3 Methodist College, Belfast
4 Ballyclare High School                                  4 Wallace High School

Match Day 1: 9th October

Group A: Belfast Royal Academy vs Ballymena Academy; RBAI vs Ballyclare High School

Group B: Sullivan Upper School vs Campbell College; Methodist College vs Wallace High School

Match Day 2: 23rd October

Group A: Ballymena Academy vs RBAI; Ballyclare High School vs Belfast Royal Academy

Group B: Campbell College vs Methodist College; Wallace High School vs Sullivan Upper School

Match Day 3: 6th November

Group A: Ballyclare High School vs Ballymena Academy; Belfast Royal Academy vs RBAI

Group B: Wallace High School vs Campbell College; Sullivan Upper School vs Methodist College

Group Winners qualify for the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ U16 Cup Final: 2pm, November 17th, Kingspan Stadium

Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ U16 Competition Section 2

Group A                                               Group B
1 Banbridge Academy                            1 Royal School Armagh
2 Down High School                               2 Enniskillen Royal Grammar School
3 Dromore High School                         3 Omagh Academy
4 Dalriada School                                  4 Rainey Endowed School

Match Day 1: 9th October

Group A: Down High School vs Banbridge Academy; Dromore High School vs Dalriada School

Group B: Enniskillen Royal Grammar School vs Royal School Armagh; Omagh Academy vs Rainey Endowed School

Match Day 2: 23rd October

Group A: Banbridge Academy vs Dromore High School; Dalriada School vs Down High School

Group B: Royal School Armagh vs Omagh Academy; Rainey Endowed School vs Enniskillen Royal Grammar School

Match Day 3: 6th November

Group A: Dalriada School vs Banbridge Academy; Down High School vs Dromore High School

Group B: Rainey Endowed School vs Royal School Armagh; Enniskillen Royal Grammar School vs Omagh Academy

Group winners qualify for the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ U16 Plate Final, November 17th, venue TBC.

Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ U16 Competition Section 3

Group AGroup BGroup C
1 Belfast High School1 Foyle and Londonderry College1 Portadown College
2 Grosvenor Grammar School2 Limavady Grammar School2 Lurgan College
3 Regent House School3 Strabane Academy3 Friends’ School, Lisburn

Match Day 1: 9th October

Group A: Grosvenor Grammar School vs Belfast High School

Group B: Limavady Grammar School vs Foyle and Londonderry College

Group C: Lurgan College vs Portadown College

Match Day 2: 16th October

Group A: Belfast High School vs Regent House School

Group B: Foyle and Londonderry College vs Strabane Academy

Group C: Portadown College vs Friends’ School

Match Day 3: 23rd October

Group A: Regent House School vs Grosvenor Grammar School

Group B: Strabane Academy vs Limavady Grammar School

Group C: Friends’ School vs Lurgan College

The three group winners, plus the best second-placed team, will qualify for the semi-finals, to be played at a neutral venue on the 6th of November.

The semi-final winners will qualify for the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ U16 Bowl Final on November 17th, venue TBC.

Rules

·       Group games can be played on or before the dates stated with agreement of both schools.

·       Placings within the groups, and the ranking of second-placed teams, will be determined by the following criteria in the order listed:

1. The team with the greatest number of points (using a system of 4 points for a win, 1 point for scoring 4 or more tries in a game, 1 losing point for a loss by less than or equal to 7 and 2 points for a draw).

2. The team with the greatest points difference in all their group matches (in any game, the maximum points differential which can be accrued is 40).

3. If the tie is between two teams within a group, then the placing will be determined by the result in the game between the two teams.

4. The team with the greatest number of match points gained against the team finishing in the first in the group.

5. If the above fails to differentiate, then a game will be held on the Saturday which follows the final group stage game at a neutral venue determined by the Schools’ Committee Officers.