BRA number 8 Iain Henderson is tackled by Callum Patterson (left ) and Matthew Rea
A Callum Patterson drop-goal gave Ballymena Academy victory in the Northern Bank Schools' Cup final at Ravenhill on Wednesday.
Belfast Royal Academy took a 21st minute lead when Jordan Buchanan went over from a clever Conor Spence chip.
Ballymena hit back 13 minutes later with Patterson's lay-off sending David Cartmill sprinting into the corner.
It was 7-7 at the break and Patterson's drop-goal on 41 minutes secured a third Schools' Cup triumph for Ballymena.
The impressive Patterson dragged wide a 15th penalty wide but the fly-half went on to be instrumental in Ballymena's success.
Cartmill converted Buchanan's try and Patterson added the extra two points for Ballymena with an excellent kick from wide.
Chances were few in a tight game and Cartmill missed a penalty just a minute before Patterson flighted over his drop-goal from 30 yards.
"We always knew we could do it," said a delighted Patterson.
"We had plenty of ball in the first half but they got a runaway try which put our heads down a bit.
"However, we fought back and deserved to win the game.
"It is brilliant for the school - we have waited 30 odd years for it so hopefully we can keep doing it and not have to wait another 30 years."
BRA captain Conor Spence gave credit to Ballymena for their narrow win in Belfast.
"It was a really tough game and we gave it our all," said the scrum-half.
"Fair credit to Ballymena - they held out out with some great defence towards the end.
"We started well but it really evened up by the end and they are fair winners.
"Maybe we just didn't keep our heads and lost concentration to let Ballymena in for the crucial try."
Ballymena Academy: Simpson; McClelland, Delpy, Storey, Morrison; Patterson, Banda; McNabney, Andrew, Galloway, Rea, Whann, Patton, Dennison, Wallace.
Replacements: Hargy, Gregg, Goodrich, Dick, Stirling, Fleming, McBride.
Belfast Royal Academy: Buchanan; Devlin, Cartmill, Glover, Robinson; Olding, Spence; Martin, Sinclair, McCallum; O'Neill, Leckey; Vincent, Clarke, Henderson.
Replacements: McCormick, Thompson, Simpson, Nicholl, Jamison, McClements, Redmond.