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Schools' Cup final: Classy BRA win first title since 1974 with ruthless display against Friends

BRA 4-2 Friends School: Scroll down for video highlights

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BRA are the Schoolgirls' Cup winners for the 15th time.

BRA are the Schoolgirls' Cup winners for the 15th time.

Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020
Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between  Friends of Lisburn  and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey.
BRA Captain Julia Uprichard 
Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020 Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between Friends of Lisburn and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey. BRA Captain Julia Uprichard Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020
Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between  Friends of Lisburn  and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey.
BRA Captain Julia Uprichard with Sarah Little from Belfast Telegraph 
Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020 Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between Friends of Lisburn and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey. BRA Captain Julia Uprichard with Sarah Little from Belfast Telegraph Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

Stephen Hamilton

BRA Captain Julia Uprichard with sisters Emma and Kerry

BRA Captain Julia Uprichard with sisters Emma and Kerry

Stephen Hamilton

BRA's Abbie Braniff celebrates after netting her side's fourth goal.

BRA's Abbie Braniff celebrates after netting her side's fourth goal.

Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020
Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between  Friends of Lisburn  and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey.
BRAÕs Abbie Braniff scores to put her side 4-1 
Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020 Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between Friends of Lisburn and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey. BRAÕs Abbie Braniff scores to put her side 4-1 Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020
Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between  Friends of Lisburn  and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey.
BRAÕs Abbie Braniff  celebrates after she scores to put her side 4-1 
Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020 Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between Friends of Lisburn and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey. BRAÕs Abbie Braniff celebrates after she scores to put her side 4-1 Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

Stephen Hamilton

BRA's Abbie Braniff celebrates netting her side's fourth goal.

BRA's Abbie Braniff celebrates netting her side's fourth goal.

Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020
Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between  Friends of Lisburn  and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey.
BRAÕs Abbie Braniff  celebrates after she scores to put her side 4-1 
Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020 Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between Friends of Lisburn and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey. BRAÕs Abbie Braniff celebrates after she scores to put her side 4-1 Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020
Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between  Friends of Lisburn  and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey.
BRAÕs Abbie Braniff  celebrates after she scores to put her side 4-1 
Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020 Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between Friends of Lisburn and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey. BRAÕs Abbie Braniff celebrates after she scores to put her side 4-1 Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020
Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between  Friends of Lisburn  and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey.
Friends Sophie Kidd celebrates after scoring to make it 4-2 to BRA
Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020 Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between Friends of Lisburn and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey. Friends Sophie Kidd celebrates after scoring to make it 4-2 to BRA Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020
Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between  Friends of Lisburn  and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey.

Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020 Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between Friends of Lisburn and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey. Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020
Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between  Friends of Lisburn  and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey.

Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020 Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between Friends of Lisburn and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey. Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020
Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between  Friends of Lisburn  and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey.

Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020 Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between Friends of Lisburn and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey. Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020
Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between  Friends of Lisburn  and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey.

Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020 Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between Friends of Lisburn and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey. Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020
Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between  Friends of Lisburn  and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey.

Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020 Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between Friends of Lisburn and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey. Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020
Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between  Friends of Lisburn  and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey.
BRA celebrate after going 2-1 up
Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020 Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between Friends of Lisburn and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey. BRA celebrate after going 2-1 up Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020
Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between  Friends of Lisburn  and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey.
BRA celebrate after going 2-1 up
Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020 Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between Friends of Lisburn and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey. BRA celebrate after going 2-1 up Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020
Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between  Friends of Lisburn  and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey.
BRA celebrate after an  equalising goal
Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020 Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between Friends of Lisburn and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey. BRA celebrate after an equalising goal Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020
Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between  Friends of Lisburn  and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey.
BRA celebrate after an  equalising goal
Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020 Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between Friends of Lisburn and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey. BRA celebrate after an equalising goal Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020
Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between  Friends of Lisburn  and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey.

Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020 Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between Friends of Lisburn and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey. Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020
Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between  Friends of Lisburn  and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey.

Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020 Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between Friends of Lisburn and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey. Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020
Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between  Friends of Lisburn  and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey.

Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020 Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between Friends of Lisburn and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey. Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020
Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between  Friends of Lisburn  and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey.

Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020 Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between Friends of Lisburn and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey. Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020
Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between  Friends of Lisburn  and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey.

Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020 Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between Friends of Lisburn and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey. Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020
Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between  Friends of Lisburn  and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey.
Friends Sophie Kidd puts her side in front
Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020 Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between Friends of Lisburn and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey. Friends Sophie Kidd puts her side in front Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020
Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between  Friends of Lisburn  and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey.
Friends Sophie Kidd celebrates after scoring
Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020 Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between Friends of Lisburn and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey. Friends Sophie Kidd celebrates after scoring Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020
Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between  Friends of Lisburn  and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey.
Friends Sophie Kidd celebrates after scoring
Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

04/03/2020 Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final schools hockey between Friends of Lisburn and Belfast Royal Academy at Lisnagarvey. Friends Sophie Kidd celebrates after scoring Mandatory Credit © Stephen Hamilton

Stephen Hamilton

Friends' Rachel Geddis and BRA's Sophia Del Castillo prepare to go head to head in today's final.

Friends' Rachel Geddis and BRA's Sophia Del Castillo prepare to go head to head in today's final.

BRA are the Schoolgirls' Cup winners for the 15th time.

A 15 minute purple patch helped classy Belfast Royal Academy win the Schoolgirls' Senior Cup for the first time since 1974 on Wednesday afternoon.

Having trailed 1-0 to Friends' early opener, BRA scored three goals in the next 15 minutes to turn the game on its head and go a long way to securing their 4-2 success.

They would add a fourth before Friends found the net again and sterling defensive work was required to see out success at the end of an immensely entertaining final.

Emma Uprichard set up three of her side's goals, providing for Pegasus star Niamh McIvor, her sister and captain Julia Uprichard and Abbie Braniff while Megan Warke slammed home a penalty corner. Sophie Kidd got both of Friends' goals.

"It's a proud day - an unbelievable day for the school and for us all individually. It's just class," said BRA captain Julia Uprichard, who played alongside not just one but two of her sisters - Emma and Kerry.

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BRA Captain Julia Uprichard with sisters Emma and Kerry

BRA Captain Julia Uprichard with sisters Emma and Kerry

Stephen Hamilton

BRA Captain Julia Uprichard with sisters Emma and Kerry

"With Friends scoring first, that sort of settled the nerves because we realised that we just needed to settle down and play our own game. Going into half-time, that's what we were doing and we said at the break that we wanted to keep playing the game our way. Thankfully we did that.

"Friends kept fighting. They're a strong side and they know how to fight games out but we did well to hold out against that."

It had all started so well for the Lisburn school when captain Rachel Geddis produced a fine dribble and a through pass to match, feeding Kidd. She kept her cool with a neat fake to work space before smashing home the shot.

By the time that duo combined again for Friends' second goal at the start of the third quarter with a neat short corner variation, it was to breathe life back into the tie.

In between, BRA had been irresistible, with Niamh McIvor and Emma Uprichard particularly dangerous as the Belfast school opened up a 4-1 lead.

They were ahead by the end of the first quarter after Uprichard's dangerous left-wing cross was touched home at the near post by McIvor, whose quality was evident throughout, and Megan Warke, daughter of former Ireland cricket captain Stephen, rasped home a penalty corner.

Their purple match wasn't ended by the first break of the day, as they stretched the lead soon after the restart. Two of the three Uprichard sisters combined as more sterling work on the left by Emma saw her cut the ball back to the edge of the D, where captain Julia smashed home.

Friends finally managed to bring an end to the BRA onslaught and win their first penalty corner of the game before half-time but it was blocked on the line.

They were further punished after the break as Abbie Braniff opened up a three-goal gap for the Belfast side. A hopeful ball was fired into the circle from deep and, just when it seemed certain to run through to the goalkeeper, Braniff came from nowhere to nick a telling touch into the bottom corner.

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BRA's Abbie Braniff celebrates netting her side's fourth goal.

BRA's Abbie Braniff celebrates netting her side's fourth goal.

Stephen Hamilton

BRA's Abbie Braniff celebrates netting her side's fourth goal.

It looked like the game was won, although the success wasn't finalised easily as Friends piled on the pressure.

Just four minutes later, Friends' second corner yielded a goal as their favoured variation saw Geddis switch the ball for Kidd to slam home and make it 4-2.

The remaining 25 minutes were about holding on for BRA, which they did thanks to a string of saves from impressive goalkeeper Erin Lavery and a crucial penalty corner block on the line by Eve Thompson.

Before the end of the third quarter, Lavery had to be alert to save from Rachel Kennedy after a penalty corner was shifted back to the injector.

Friends spent most of the fourth quarter in opposition territory but the closest they came to a third goal was when that PC variation saw Thompson bravely stop Kidd's effort on the line.

BRA's 46 year wait for the title is over, but Friends still search for a first success this century.

Here's a thriller of a final as it happened:

Belfast Telegraph