CRICKET: Belfast Royal Academy savour Schools’ Cup success

Members of the successful BRA side with the trophy
Members of the successful BRA side with the trophy

Belfast Royal Academy won the Ulster Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup for the first time in their history on Friday.

They beat Campbell College at Osborne Park by three wickets in a thrilling final thanks to a brilliant knock by opener Francis Collins who carried his bat to an unbeaten 73 in a total of 147 for 7.

It was a game that ebbed and flowed with collapses and recoveries common place as both sides sought their first even cup win.

Campbell had started the 30-over final promisingly, faltered badly and then recovered to post 146 for 7.

A second wicket partnership between Paddy Beverland (25) and Jack Beattie (26) took Campbell to 69 before a serious collapse saw them plummet to 74 for 7.

But there was to be productive final fling between Matthew Hamill with 45 not out and Adam McCormick with 25 not out to ensure a respectable total.

Academy found themselves in serious difficulty right from the start and at 56 for 6 their cause looked lost.

Rescue came in the shape of a 62 run seventh wicket partnership between Collins and Samuel Osborne. Osborne finally departed for 28 but Collins with his undefeated 73 saw his side home to their historic won.

Scores: Campbell College: 146 for 7 (M Hamill 45 not out, J Beattie 26, A McCormick 25 not out, P Beverland 25, D McLarnon 3-29, J Burton 2-17) BRA 147 for 7 (F Collins 73 not out, P Beverland 2-13, R Wightman 2-31).

Meanwhile, Ireland’s second Twenty20 international against Scotland was abandoned without a ball bowled due to persistent rain.

Play was scheduled to start at 5.30pm at Bready Cricket Club but after waiting almost two hours for rain to cease and the outfield to dry, the weather finally won the day.