Enniskillen Royal Grammar School (ERGS) will travel to Ballymoney on Saturday in confident mood, as they take on Dalriada in the third round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup.

The local side produced one of their best victories of the season last time out against Dungannon, overturning an early season defeat to the same team to lift their spirits ahead of their biggest clash of the season.

“We had a good win over Dungannon,” said team Captain Paul McConkey.

“They beat us earlier in the season, but we beat them Saturday week ago, and that was a great win and puts in in a good position, confidence-wise, before the cup.

“We have been pretty happy with how the season has gone.

“We have had relatively good form this year and we are hoping for a good result and to get a bit further in the competition.”

Dalriada present an unknown challenge, with the two teams not having faced each other for two years.

Although ERGS came out second-best on that occasion, the Captain is confident they can reverse that result this weekend.

“I have never played them in Senior school, but when I was in Medallion we played,” recalled Paul.

“We were knocked out by them in the main competition back in Fourth Year, but we are hoping for a win this year.”

Last season’s competition was cancelled due to the Covid-19 restrictions in place at the time, and that means that it will be a side with limited Schools’ Cup experience on Saturday.

The Captain is one of those who has tasted Schools’ Cup competition before however, and he is hoping that experience will help combat any pre-match nerves.

“I am a wee bit nervous, but not too bad,” he revealed.

“I played a few times off the bench when I was in Fifth Year. At that time it was a group stage and we played quite a few games, but this year it is knockout, and you’re always a bit nervous for the first round of the cup.

“There are a lot of players who haven’t played recently because of Covid, and we have very few in the Senior set-up who would have played in the competition before.

“The lower Sixth would have played in the Medallion Shield, but only a small group would have got much time in the Schools’ Cup back in Fifth Year.”

The scrum half has been a key member of the side this season, and he is relieved to have a virtually full-strength side around him when they take to the field for the cup game.

“Covid and injuries have been a bit of an issue, but we have got nearly everyone back now, and we should be able to get a good team out on Saturday.

“We are all very hopeful it goes ahead, and no one else gets Covid. We are all up for it,” commented the ERGS skipper.