Schools showdown at Moylena
Ian Callender (Belfast Telegraph)
THERE is a vast difference in experience between the two teams in today’s Ulster Bank Schools Cup final when holders Methodist College take on Belfast Royal Academy at Moylena (2.45 pm).
All but two of today’s Methody line-up appeared in last year’s showdown but only three of the BRA side were involved in the final against RBAI three years ago.
The Academy’s star batsman, Max Burton, actually appeared as a third former in 2015 when they beat Campbell College in the decider and it was his unbeaten 78 which ensured back to back successes.
This year it looks like a shoot-out between Burton and James Hunter with the top run-scorer leading his side to victory but invariably it is a side’s strength in depth which wins a cup final and that could give Methody the edge, as they bid to make it two wins in two finals since the knock-out format was introduced in 1991.
Hunter, who plays his senior cricket for Instonians, is one of the five front-line bowlers who have consistently shared the wickets this season and the top six batsman has all scored at least one half century.
Burton, who plays alongside his school captain Harry Warke in the Premier League with Carrickfergus, has been supported down the order by Nick Kane, who saw BRA to victory in the quarter-final against Limavady Gramamar and in Wednesday's semi-final against RBAI.
Belfast Royal Academy: H Warke (capt), M Burton, R Moffett, L Johnston, N Kane, M Braniff, R Jameson, R Linden, O Parkes, A Greer, S Caldwell. 12th man: A Heatley
Methodist College: T Millar (capt), D Humphreys, J Hunter, M Lyttle, M Humphreys, A Reid, R Dravid, R Yousef, T McCreight, J Holohan, J Gibbons. 12th man: A McMurray.