Holders Friends’ have been drawn to face Banbridge Academy in the stand out tie in the second round of the John Minnis Estate Agents Burney Cup.
Academy reached the final of the all-Ireland championship earlier this year and will obviously pose a stiff challenge to the Lisburn team.
Friends’ coach Craig Cunningham agrees that it’s a tough start to the defence of the trophy. “Away to Banbridge is one of the most difficult draws. Their ability in one-off cup games was evident as they got to the Irish Schools final” Craig said. “Games between sides this year have been of a high standard and very competitive so it should be a great tie.”
Wallace High, who lifted the McCullough Cup last week and beat local rivals Friends’ on the way, will face Bangor Grammar with home advantage.
Wallace coach Gareth Kidd expects a difficult game, based on recent experience. “It’s a tough draw for both sides. We’ve played each other twice this year already and both teams have won a match each so it should be an entertaining but difficult game,” he said. “There have been lots of goals in the previous two encounters so it should be a decent spectacle for neutrals, as well as supporters of both schools.”
Sullivan Upper, last year’s beaten finalists are away to Portadown College and coach Paul Osborne is happy with the prospect, despite an away tie. “We’re obviously pleased with the draw but we’ll give Portadown the same respect that we would to any of the top McCullough school sides. They have some good players and if we disrespect them, we will come unstuck,” he said.
1st Round: BRA v Ballyclare HS, Antrim GS v Lurgan College.
2nd Round: RBAI v Grosvenor GS, Regent House v Winner of BRA/Ballyclare HS, Wallace HS v Bangor Grammar, Campbell College v Royal & Prior Comprehensive, Portadown College v Sullivan Upper, Kilkeel HS v Winner of Antrim/Lurgan, MCB v Cookstown HS, Banbridge v Friends’
The 1st round will be played in January with the 2nd round scheduled for early February 2019