The 2017 Ulster Bank Schools Cup Final (Ferguson Grainger Cup) will be played at Moylena, home of Muckamore Cricket Club on Friday, 16th June at (1pm).

The final will be contested by The Wallace High School Lisburn and Royal Belfast Academical Institution (RBAI). The pair has emerged as the last two standing after 27 sides battled it out for the right to be crowned Ulster Bank Schools Winners 2017.

Sean Murphy, Managing Director, Personal Banking at Ulster Bank, said, ‘The Ulster Bank Schools Cup is an excellent platform for young cricketers’ across Northern Ireland to display their talent and tenacity. We’re really pleased that we’ve built such a strong partnership with Ulster Schools Cricket over the past 24 years, providing meaningful help for our local sporting communities’.

Wallace High School is coached by former Lurgan cricketer Neil Hinds, and reached Fridays showpiece final by beating Antrim Grammar in the First Round by 165 runs with contributions from Johnny Hunter (68) and Nathan Doak (2 wickets for 4 runs), Methodist College by 20 runs in the Second Round (Josh Cardosi 67 and Nathan Doak 3 wickets for 29 runs) and Bangor Grammar in the Quarter Finals by 4 wickets (Nathan Doak 43 and 3 wickets for 16, S Cardosi 3 wickets for 20). A thrilling two run victory over Foyle College in the Semi-Final was aided by 74 runs from Johnny Hunter and two wickets for 20 runs from Nathan Doak.

RBAI coached by former Downpatrick, NICC and Instonians cricketer Jonathan Peak, received a bye in the First Round and then beat Limavady Grammar by 7 wickets to reach the Quarter Final, with 60 runs from Jonathon Waite and four wickets from Daniel Keane. Jonathon Waite (49 not out) and Ben Rose (33) ensured that RBAI overcame Down High School by 9 wickets to claim a Semi-Final berth against Friends School Lisburn. This proved to be a one sided game with James Metcalfe, Oliver Metcalfe and Bradley McNamara scoring fifties in a total of 279 for 6 wickets. Ben Rose took five Friends School wickets in a 262 runs victory to prevent a Lisburn derby cup final.

Chairman of Ulster Schools Cricket Murray Power says, “This will be the 32nd Schools’ Cup Final and I congratulate RBAI and Wallace – which have been dominant schools this year across all the age-groups – in winning their way through to the Final.  2017 will be RBAI’s fifteenth Final (9 wins) and Wallace’s fourth (2 wins).  It will also be the 24th year in which Ulster Bank have sponsored the competition – a remarkable record for which the Union and all the boys who have taken part over the years are enormously grateful.”

Schools Cricket in Northern Ireland has provided a sound platform for young cricketers to develop and progress to the higher echelons of club and representative cricket. In recent years Irish Internationals Paul Stirling and James Shannon starred in Ulster Bank Schools Cup Finals for Belfast High School and RBAI respectively. Both of this years finalists include cricketers who are already featuring in their club First Eleven Squads and James Metcalfe (RBAI) has played for The Emerging Knights.

Cup Final Squads

The Wallace High School

Jonny Hunter (Captain)
Luke Allison
Zach Benson
Josh Cardosi
Sam Cardosi
Nathan Doak
Josh Hamilton
Paddy Hunter
Michael Jones
Harry Long (Wicket Keeper)
Jonny Lynch
Matthew Miller

RBAI

Chris Robinson (Captain)
Niall Armstrong
Matthew Fleetham
Daniel Keane
Matthew Lightbody
James Metcalfe (Wicket Keeper)
Oliver Metcalfe
Bradley McNamara
Rhys O’Donnell
David Robinson
Ben Rose
Jonathon Waite