Ulster Schools' Cup

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Ulster Schools' Cup
Ulster Branch of IRFU.png
Logo of the Ulster Branch of the Irish Rugby Football Union
Sport Rugby Union
Founded 1876
No. of teams 30 (season 2013-14)
Most recent champion(s) Methodist College Belfast
Most titles Methodist College Belfast
35 outright and 2 shared
Related competitions Medallion Shield
Official website Ulster Rugby
Danske Bank Schools Cup
Notes
Also includes subsidiary competitions - Schools' Shield, Schools' Bowl and Schools' Trophy

The Ulster Schools' Challenge Cup is an annual competition involving schools affiliated to the Ulster Branch of the Irish Rugby Football Union. The Schools' Cup has the distinction of being the world's second-oldest rugby competition, having been competed for every year since 1876.[1] The trophy itself is a three-handled silver cup with a plinth mounted on a large shield.

Methodist College Belfast have won the most titles, with 37 (35 outright wins and 2 shared wins).

The current holder is Methodist College Belfast.[2][3]

Format[edit]

The Schools' Cup was reformatted in 2003/04. Previously teams defeated in the first round would enter the Subsidiary Shield competition, teams losing in later rounds would find their season over. All entrants, except those who drew byes, entered in the first round of the competition. It was felt that this could lead to significant mismatches. The reformatting sought to avoid this and to extend the amount of meaningful rugby played by school teams.

The first round was changed to act as a qualifying stage for weaker teams and first round losers entered a new Schools' Trophy competition.

The bulk of the teams entered the competition in the second round where they were joined by the first-round qualifiers. Teams losing at this stage are entered into another new competition, the Schools' Bowl.

In the third round, four seeded teams entered the fray. Third-round losers entered the Subsidiary Shield, renamed the Schools' Shield. The Subsidiary Shield was first introduced in 1971. It did not have its own trophy until 1980 when the Headmaster of Grosvenor High School and then Ulster Branch President Ken Reid presented the Grosvenor Shield.

The remaining teams contest for the Schools' Cup proper, the semi-finals and final of which are played at Ravenhill, the Ulster Branch HQ and home of the Ulster side.

The competition format was changed again in 2005/06. The first round was a round-robin competition involving three teams. The winner from this joined eleven other teams in the second round. The six winners from the second round joined ten more teams in the third round; the second round losers competed for the Schools' Trophy.

The eight third-round winners proceeded to the fourth round where they were joined by eight seeded teams. The third-round losers competed for the Schools' Bowl. The fourth round proceeded as per the old third round.

The increased number of competitions means that schools which are very unlikely to win the main competition have more competitive rugby and an opportunity to win a trophy.

History[edit]

The first winners in 1876 were the Royal School, Armagh. When the Cup no longer had room to record the winners on it, the Cup was mounted on a wooden shield to which plaques were attached. In the centenary year of the competition after the 1976 final, the governors of Methodist College presented a new shield, as the original had no more room to record the winners. The Royal School won in 1977, thus claiming the place at the top of the new shield. The first wooden shield is on exhibit at the Ulster Branch offices at Ravenhill.

The first final to be played at Ravenhill was in 1924. Before that, finals were played at the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society grounds at Balmoral, the Ulster Sports Club grounds at Cross Parade in Belfast, and one final was even played at the Linfield Football Club ground at Windsor Park.[4]

A total of seventeen schools have won the trophy at least once.

Although not widely known outside of Northern Ireland, the Schools' Cup is important within Ulster rugby. With no school 1st XV league, the Schools' Cup is the only competitive rugby played by the senior school teams.

The St. Patrick's Day final is televised live on BBC Northern Ireland, complete with half-time punditry and post-match interviews.

Performance by school[edit]

Information as provided by Schools' Cup Final programme (various years)

School Location Outright Titles Shared Titles Runners-Up Total Finals Last Title Last Final
Methodist College Belfast Belfast 35 2 25 62 2014 2014
Royal Belfast Academical Institution Belfast 29 4 21 54 2007 2013
Campbell College Belfast 23 4 12 39 2011 2011
Coleraine Academical Institution Coleraine 9 0 24 33 1992 1998
The Royal School, Armagh Armagh 9 0 3 12 2004 2004
Portora Royal School Enniskillen 6 1 5 12 1942 1942
Bangor Grammar School Bangor 5 0 4 9 1988 1995
Ballymena Academy Ballymena 3 0 6 9 2010 2010
Rainey Endowed School Magherafelt 2 1 2 5 1982 1982
Foyle College Londonderry 2 0 4 6 1915 1915
Belfast Royal Academy Belfast 1 3 5 9 1997 2010
Regent House Grammar School Newtownards 1 1 2 4 1996 2008
Royal School Dungannon Dungannon 1 0 4 5 1907 1975
Annadale Grammar School (now Wellington College) Belfast 1 0 1 2 1958 1978
Ballyclare High School Ballyclare 1 0 1 2 1973 2012
Belfast Boys' Model School Belfast 1 0 0 1 1971 1971
Grosvenor High School Belfast 1 0 0 1 1983 1983
Wallace High School Lisburn 0 0 4 4 N/A 2007
Derry Academy Derry 0 0 2 2 N/A 1896
Dalriada School Ballymoney 0 0 1 1 N/A 1993
Galway Grammar School Galway 0 0 1 1 N/A 1887
Lurgan College Lurgan 0 0 1 1 N/A 1934
Omagh Academy Omagh 0 0 1 1 N/A 1985
Sullivan Upper School Holywood 0 0 1 1 N/A 2014

Finals[edit]

Note: Prior to 1942 drawn finals were always replayed. Then in 1942 it was decided if the final is drawn, a replay would only take place if both schools agreed. It has since become the rule that replays are never held and the trophy is automatically shared. Shares occurred in 1942, 1953, 1954, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1964 & 1996.

1870s[edit]

  • 1879 The Royal School, Armagh 6-0 Methodist College

1880s[edit]

  • 1883 The Royal School, Armagh 8-0 Royal Belfast Academical Institution
  • 1885 The Royal School, Armagh 5-0 Methodist College
  • 1886 Coleraine Academical Institution 5-0 Royal Belfast Academical Institution (After Extra Time)
  • 1888 Royal Belfast Academical Institution 3-0 Coleraine Academical Institution
  • 1889 Methodist College 3-0 Coleraine Academical Institution

1890s[edit]

  • 1892 Methodist College 8-0 Coleraine Academical Institution
  • 1893 Methodist College 3-0 Coleraine Academical Institution
  • 1894 Coleraine Academical Institution 3-0 Methodist College
  • 1895 Royal Belfast Academical Institution 6-5 Coleraine Academical Institution
  • 1897 Coleraine Academical Institution 6-0 Methodist College

1900s[edit]

  • 1904 Methodist College 11-0 Portora Royal School
  • 1905 Portora Royal School 16-5 Methodist College
  • 1906 Portora Royal School 8-5 Foyle College
  • 1908 Portora Royal School 52-0 Coleraine Academical Institution
  • 1909 Portora Royal School 42-0 Coleraine Academical Institution

1910s[edit]

  • 1911 competition unfinished
  • 1914 Methodist College 13-0 Foyle College
  • 1916 Royal Belfast Academical Institution 3-0 Campbell College
  • 1917 Campbell College 9-3 Royal Belfast Academical Institution
  • 1919 Royal Belfast Academical Institution 8-0 Campbell College

1920s[edit]

  • 1921 Campbell College 8-0 Coleraine Academical Institution
  • 1926 Campbell College 11-3 Coleraine Academical Institution (Replay - after a 14-14 draw)
  • 1928 Methodist College 24-3 Ballymena Academy
  • 1929 Methodist College 18-5 Portora Royal School

1930s[edit]

  • 1932 Campbell College 11-0 Royal Belfast Academical Institution
  • 1933 Royal Belfast Academical Institution 8-0 Methodist College
  • 1935 Royal Belfast Academical Institution 14-0 Methodist College (Replay after 6-6 draw)
  • 1938 Royal Belfast Academical Institution 7-6 Coleraine Academical Institution
  • 1939 Coleraine Academical Institution 16-5 Methodist College

1940s[edit]

  • 1941 Portora Royal School 11-3 Coleraine Academical Institution
  • 1943 Royal Belfast Academical Institution 8-0 Coleraine Academical Institution
  • 1944 Royal Belfast Academical Institution 10-0 Coleraine Academical Institution
  • 1946 Royal Belfast Academical Institution 8-3 Methodist College
  • 1947 Royal Belfast Academical Institution 7-3 Methodist College
  • 1948 Royal Belfast Academical Institution 11-3 Campbell College (Replay after 0-0 draw)
  • 1949 Methodist College 12-3 Royal Belfast Academical Institution

1950s[edit]

  • 1951 Royal Belfast Academical Institution 6-0 Campbell College
  • 1953 Methodist College 0-0 Campbell College shared
  • 1954 Campbell College 10-10 Royal Belfast Academical Institution shared
  • 1955 Campbell College 6-5 Methodist College
  • 1956 Campbell College 6-3 Methodist College
  • 1957 Royal Belfast Academical Institution 5-3 Methodist College

1960s[edit]

  • 1961 Campbell College 16-6 Royal Belfast Academical Institution
  • 1964 Belfast Royal Academy 0-0 Campbell College shared
  • 1965 Campbell College 14-0 Rainey Endowed School
  • 1968 Campbell College 13-0 Belfast Royal Academy

1970s[edit]

  • 1979 Methodist College 10-7 Bangor Grammar School

1980s[edit]

  • 1986 Bangor Grammar School 17-4 Royal Belfast Academical Institution
  • 1987 Methodist College 10-9 Bangor Grammar School

1990s[edit]

  • 1992 Coleraine Academical Institution 35-21 Methodist College
  • 1996 Methodist College 9-9 Regent House, Newtownards shared
  • 1998 Royal Belfast Academical Institution 57-3 Coleraine Academical Institution

2000s[edit]

  • 2005 Royal Belfast Academical Institution 12-10 Methodist College[10]
  • 2006 Methodist College 11-5 Campbell College[11]
  • 2007 Royal Belfast Academical Institution 15-0 Wallace High School[12]
  • 2009 Methodist College 16-0 Royal Belfast Academical Institution[14]

2010s[edit]

Subsidiary competitions[edit]

The Grosvenor Shield[edit]

Subsidiary Shield 1971-2003, Schools' Shield 2004-

1970s[edit]

1980s[edit]

1990s[edit]

2000s[edit]

2010s[edit]

Schools' Bowl[edit]

2000s[edit]

2010s[edit]

Schools' Trophy[edit]

2000s[edit]

2010s[edit]

See also[edit]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ "Past Winners of Ulster Schools' Cup". BBC. 14 March 2003. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Methody beat Sullivan Upper in Schools' Cup final". BBC News. 17 March 2014. Retrieved 18 March 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Three in a row for MCB in Danske Bank Schools’ Cup". Belfast Newsletter. 17 March 2014. Retrieved 18 March 2014. 
  4. ^ Belfast Newsletter. 17 March 1922. p. 2. 
  5. ^ Belfast Newsletter. 23 March 1901. p. 3. 
  6. ^ "BBC Sport 2001 Final Report". BBC News. 2 April 2001. Retrieved 15 February 2010. 
  7. ^ "BBC Sport 2002 Final Report". BBC News. 18 March 2002. Retrieved 15 February 2010. 
  8. ^ "BBC Sport 2003 Final Report". BBC News. 17 March 2003. Retrieved 15 February 2010. 
  9. ^ "BBC Sport 2004 Final Report". BBC News. 16 March 2004. Retrieved 15 February 2010. 
  10. ^ "BBC Sport 2005 Final Report". BBC News. 17 March 2005. Retrieved 15 February 2010. 
  11. ^ "BBC Sport 2006 Final Report". BBC News. 17 March 2006. Retrieved 15 February 2010. 
  12. ^ "BBC Sport 2007 Final Report". BBC News. 19 March 2007. Retrieved 19 March 2007. 
  13. ^ "BBC Sport 2008 Final Report". BBC News. 17 March 2008. Retrieved 17 March 2008. 
  14. ^ "BBC Sport 2009 Final Report". BBC News. 17 March 2009. Retrieved 15 February 2010. 
  15. ^ "BBC Sport 2010 Final report". BBC News. 17 March 2010. Retrieved 17 March 2010. 
  16. ^ "Campbell clinch Schools' Cup win". BBC Sport. 17 March 2011. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  17. ^ "Ballyclare High 6-22 Methodist College". BBC News. 19 March 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2012. 
  18. ^ "Methody beat Inst in Schools' Cup final". BBC News. 18 March 2013. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  19. ^ "Methodist College remain kings of Ulster Schools’ Rugby". Belfast Newsletter. 18 March 2013. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  20. ^ "Subsidiary Shield". Belfast Newsletter. 26 March 1973. p. 11. 
  21. ^ "Subsidiary Shield". Belfast Newsletter. 25 March 1974. p. 10. 
  22. ^ Belfast Newsletter. 15 March 1976. p. 10. 
  23. ^ The Dromore Leader. 3 April 1986. p. 20. 
  24. ^ "Ballyclare lose out by two points - RBAI take the Shield". Newtownabbey Times. 24 March 1988. p. 52. 
  25. ^ "Portadown College secure shield success". Portadown Times. 23 March 1990. p. 52. 
  26. ^ "RSD in shield success". Tyrone Courier. 27 March 1991. p. 44. 
  27. ^ "CAI shield success". Coleraine Chronicle. 27 March 1993. p. 39. 
  28. ^ "CAI shield victory". Coleraine Chronicle. 8 April 1995. p. 35. 
  29. ^ "College fall to RBAI in Shield Final". Portadown Times. 22 March 1996. p. 55. 
  30. ^ "Academy fall to shield defeat". Ballymena Times. 19 March 1997. p. 40. 
  31. ^ Tyrone Courier. 5 April 2000. p. 66. 
  32. ^ "BBC Sport Subsidiary Shield 2003 record". BBC News. 13 March 2003. Retrieved 15 February 2010. 
  33. ^ "BBC Sport Schools Shield 2004 record". BBC News. 5 March 2004. Retrieved 15 February 2010. 
  34. ^ "RBAI lift Subsidiary Shield". Belfast Newsletter. 10 March 2008. Retrieved 11 March 2008. 
  35. ^ "Disappointment for Coleraine Inst". Coleraine Times. 25 March 2009. Retrieved 11 February 2010. 
  36. ^ "Belfast Telegraph report on Subsidiary Shield semi-final results 2010". 8 March 2010. Retrieved 8 March 2010. 
  37. ^ "Right Royal Champions". Ulster Gazette. 29 March 2012. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  38. ^ "BBC Sport Schools Bowl 2004 record". BBC News. 26 January 2004. Retrieved 15 February 2010. 
  39. ^ "Ulster Rugby Bowl Final 2008 match report". Retrieved 3 October 2010. 
  40. ^ "Belfast Telegraph Ulster Rugby Bowl Final 2009 report". Retrieved 20 February 2008. 
  41. ^ "Foyle secure Schools Bowl title". Londonderry Sentinel. 7 March 2010. Retrieved 7 March 2010. 
  42. ^ "Rainey Endowed School win Northern Bank Ulster Schools Bowl". Northern Constitution. 15 March 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2011. 
  43. ^ "McCamphill hails academy success". Ulster Herald. 11 March 2013. Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  44. ^ "Foyle clinch Schools' Bowl". Londonderry Sentinel. 6 March 2014. Retrieved 18 March 2014. 
  45. ^ "Heart-break for Academy as Foyle see out final victory". Banbridge Leader. 11 March 2014. Retrieved 18 March 2014. 
  46. ^ "BBC Sport 2004 Schools Trophy record". BBC News. 26 January 2004. Retrieved 15 February 2010. 
  47. ^ "Carrick Times 2009 Schools Trophy Final Report". Retrieved 25 February 2009. 
  48. ^ "Belfast Telegraph 2010 Schools Trophy Final Report". 23 February 2010. Retrieved 23 February 2010. 
  49. ^ "Ballymena Times report on inelligble player in Trophy Final 2010". 9 March 2010. Retrieved 9 March 2010. 
  50. ^ "Super effort lands first 1st XV Trophy in 50 years". Impartial Reporter. 11 March 2011. Retrieved 11 March 2011. 
  51. ^ "Trophy Success for Omagh Boys". Belfast Newsletter. 1 March 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2012. 
  52. ^ "Banbridge Academy complete emphatic win over Portora Royal School in Ulster Schools’ Trophy final". Belfast Newsletter. 28 February 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  53. ^ "Dungannon's late show seals Schools Trophy". Belfast Telegraph. 27 February 2014. Retrieved 5 March 2014. 

External links[edit]