The draw for this year’s Belfast Telegraph Ulster Senior Cup was made at the company’s offices by Ireland World Cup silver medallist Megan Frazer, a former winner of the prestigious competition with Foyle and Londonderry College back in 2009.
Two intriguing ties are in prospect in next Wednesday’s double header at Lisnagarvey Hockey Club with Banbridge Academy taking on Strathearn in the first game at 1.30pm before holders Rainey Endowed face Ballyclare High at 3pm.
Rainey beat Banbridge on penalty runs in last year’s final, so there is a possibility that those two teams could meet again in the final. However Strathearn and Ballyclare will be doing all in their power to ensure that there is to be no repeat.
Of the four semi-finalists, Strathearn have won the famous trophy five times, more than any of the other contestants on Wednesday who have one success apiece. However, their last success was back in 1992 when they defeated Dalriada 1-0 – long before any of their current squad was born.
Banbridge last won the cup for the first time in 2017 when they defeated Wallace High School 4-0. They followed up their triumph by going on to lift the all Ireland title as they claimed the Kate Russell Cup on their own pitch at Havelock Park.
Ballyclare have to go back to 2012 for their last Senior Cup success when a certain Zoe Wilson scored the winning goal in a 2-1 victory over Lurgan College. Zoe, a World Cup silver medallist with Ireland in the summer, now coaches the High School and you can rest assured she will have her Alma Mater well prepared for the game with Rainey.
Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup Semi-Finals (Wednesday 13 February):
Banbridge Academy v Strathearn (1.30pm)
Ballyclare High v Rainey Endowed (3.00pm)