Patterson can kick Ballymena to glory
Belfast Royal Academy and Ballymena Academy will both be at full strength for this afternoon's Northern Bank Schools' Cup final at Ravenhill (3pm).
Both will be full of confidence after some memorable victories on their way to the final. BRA will remember in particular their performance against Inst when they outplayed them in the replay at Osborne Park 18-16 before that memorable semi-final against Wallace High 16-12.
Ballymena Academy had a couple of ‘escapes' before reaching the final. They needed a replay to eliminate Friends and then came the surprise of the competition when they defeated the holders Methodist College 11-10 — a result that will have enhanced their confidence.
Ballymena have an excellent back row and with Charlie Simpson at full-back they will be attacking from deep. Out-half Callum Patterson played havoc with the Methody defence with his accurate kicking and he could be the danger once again.
BRA, hoping for their second win in the competition, will need enough ball for their three-quarters to use, but they will have to overcome that competitive Ballymena back-row. The County Antrim team have won the cup twice, but will have to be in their best form to clinch it again.
BRA: J Buchanan, E Devlin, D Cartmill, M Glover, M Robinson, S Olding, C Spence, I Henderson, R Clarke, T Vincent, C Leckey, N O'Neill, D McCallum, N Sinclair, A Martin Replacements: A McCormick, J Thompson, J Simpson, M Nicholl, R Jamison, A McClements, G Redmond.
BALLYMENA ACADEMY: C Simpson, J McClelland, C Delpy, P Storey, C Morrison, C Patterson, P Banda, P Wallace, G Dennison, T Patton, D Whann, M Rea, K Galloway, J Andrew, S McNabney. Replacements: G Hargy, J Gregg, S Goodrich, M Dick, N Stirling, J Fleming, M McBride.