St Andrew’s College’s bid for four All-Ireland Schoolboys’ titles in succession is set for a huge challenge as they were drawn against Lisburn side Wallace HS in the initial group phase of the competition.
The two schools met in last year’s final in Cork with Andrew’s coming from a goal down to claim the Tasmanian Shield with a 3-1 win thanks to Rory Nichols’ penalty corner double.
The Booterstown school are looking to become the first side to win the title four years in-a-row since its inception back in 1982.
Wallace, though, represent one of the toughest possible draws. They feature Matthew Nelson who played for the Irish Under-18s last summer and has recently been part of the Irish senior training panel.
Craig Getty and Jacob Hermon, meanwhile, have been part of the Ulster schools representative team in the past month and are quality operators.
They meet in the third game of their group on Thursday, October 22 with both expected to get the better of RBAI and Waterford’s Newtown who qualifed for the competition for the first time in a decade.
Andrew’s have a few stars of their own including Guy Sarratt, James Walker, Geoff Cole and goalkeeper Max Maguire who were part of the 2014 vintage.
They will be battling for the one semi-final spot from the group with hopes of winning a final berth on Friday, October 23 in Shaw’s Bridge in Belfast.
Elsewhere, Wesley have been groups with Friends HS, Cork’s Ashton and Regent House. Mount Temple and St Columba’s will look to upset Banbridge Academy in Group C which also features Donegal’s Royal and Prior.
The High School, Rathgar are in a group with Sullivan Upper, Bandon Grammar and Cookstown from Co Tyrone. The tournament takes place across a series of venues in Belfast.
Group A: St Andrew’s College, Wallace High School, Newtown School, RBAI
Group B: Wesley College, Friends’ School Lisburn, Ashton Grammar, Regent House
Group C: Banbridge Academy, Mount Temple, St Columba’s College, Royal & Prior
Group D: Sullivan Upper, Bandon Grammar, The High School, Cookstown High School
Wednesday, October 21
Deramore Park: Ashton v Friends School, 1.30pm; Sullivan Upper v Cookstown, 3pm
Queen’s: St Columba’s v Mount Temple, 3pm
Queen’s 2: Wesley v Regent House, 1.30pm; Banbridge Academy v Royal & Prior, 3pm
Wallace: Wallace HS v High School, 3pm
Shawsbridge: St Andrews v RBAI, 1.30pm; Bandon v High School, 3pm
Thursday, October 22
Deramore Park: St Andrew’s v Newtown, 9.45am; Mount Temple v Royal & Prior, 11.15am; Ashton v Regent House, 2pm; Sullivan Upper v Bandon, 3.30pm
Queens: Friends v Regent House, 9.45am; Sullivan v High School, 11.15am; St Andrew’s v Wallace, 2pm; Banbridge Academy v Mount Temple, 3.30pm
Queens 2: Wesley v Ashton, 9.45am; Bandon v Cookstown, 11.15am; Wesley v Friends, 2pm; High School v Cookstown, 3.30pm
Shawsbridge: Wallace v RBAI, 9.45am; Banbridge Academy v St Columbas, 11.15am; Newtown v RBAI, 2pm; St Columba’s v Royal & Prior, 3.30pm
Friday, October 23
Semi Finals: 9.30am – Shawsbridge & Queens
Final: 2.30pm – Shawsbridge