Top Oil Connacht Schools Senior Cup Final
Coláiste Iognáid 13-7 Summerhill College
Coláiste Iognáid made it back-to-back Top Oil Senior Cup triumphs and a 14th senior title in front of a raucous crowd at the Sportsground this afternoon. Summerhill fought strongly throughout but were unable to penetrate the Iognáid defence until the last play of the game. It was by no means a vintage performance from The Jes but they were always in control and produced a professional display to claim their second title in a row. Captain Diarmuid Codyre followed in his brother Morgan’s footsteps, who lifted the title last year, with the out-half one of Iognáid’s standout performers.
The crucial score came just before the break as prop Garey Keane, a firm fans’ favourite among The Jes supporters, broke right through the middle of a ruck to cross. Codyre’s conversion made it 10-0 and a third Codyre penalty in the second half sealed the deal. Credit to Summerhill as they never gave in and the Sligo school went in for a richly deserved try in the last play through lock Caoileann Carty with Brian Cox converting but they will have to wait another year for their chance to collect their maiden Senior Cup title. After a dominant start by The Jes, Codyre missed two penalties in the opening 15 minutes with the second, from 45 metres, having the legs but whistling just wide of the left hand post. A yellow card for Summerhill star centre Ross Hickey for an infringement at the breakdown after 27 minutes proved a major setback and Iognáid took full advantage. First, Codyre slotted a penalty to make it 3-0 and after further pressure in the Summerhill 22, Keane spotted a gap in the Summerhill defence to score the all-important first try with Codyre converting.
In truth, Summerhill never looked like overturning the 10-point deficit after the interval as they just weren’t able to hit top gear and Coláiste Iognáid ran out deserving winners.
Coláiste Iognáid: Adam Cunningham; Conor Briscoe, Tomas Forde, Cillian McCabe, David Molloy; Diarmuid Codyre (C), Eavan Kenny; Adam Corbett, Conall Fallon, Gary Keane; Diorai O’Connor, Aaron Mannion; Jake Gallagher, Cathal McGuinness, Hugh Keaveney
Replacements: Sean Monaghan, Cian Parsons, Michael Higgins, Tomas Power, Ciaran Anthony, Ruadhan Durkin, Gareth Kenny, Rory O’Flynn.
Summerhill College: Hugh Kisby; Cormac Murray, Kevin Connell, Ross Hickey, Rett Solano; Brian Cox, Brendan Cunningham; Mark Keegan, Vincent Reynolds, Conor Mc Govern; Caoileann Carty, Gary Golden; Fiachra Doherty, Sean Wynne, Adrian Cummins (C).
Replacements: Ben Smith, Brian Flanagan, Andy Probst, Yusuf Shalabi, Darragh Feeney, Jack Gorevan, Thomas O’Hehir, Ruairi Mulligan, Rodrigo Garcia, Mark Harte, Sean Chambers.
Top Oil Connacht Schools Junior Cup Final
Coláiste Iognáid 13-17 Garbally College
A try in the dying minutes from Garbally College winger Niall Collins clinched the Top Oil Connacht Schools Junior Cup title for his school after a dramatic final at the Sportsground.
It was an open, entertaining clash with both sides more than willing to run the ball from anywhere on the pitch. Playing against the strong wind, a fired-up Garbally College side made a flying start. Coláiste Iognáid were pinned in their own half with Garbally tackling superbly in midfield and after a Coláiste Iognáid clearance kick was blocked down, the ball was hacked beyond the in-goal area by the retreating defence for a five-yard scrum.
The Garbally set-piece was solid and no.8 Patrick Grehan picked and barged his way over for the opening try with Cian Tracey off target with the conversion. Coláiste Iognáid responded well to that setback and some enterprising attacking play ended with a try for scrum-half Luke Kelly after Garbally’s Grehan had made an outstanding tap-tackle. Darragh Hanrahan added the extras and they led 7-5. It was only the beginning of a dominant period for the city school and they saw two tries correctly ruled out by referee Stephen Gregory later in the half – for a double-movement and accidental offside – as Garbally clung on for dear life. Hanrahan did add a penalty in the final minute of the opening half but it was scant consolation for their dominance as they led 10-5 at the break.
As in the opening half, Garbally sprung out of the traps after the interval and a sublime piece of skill from Tracey saw the out-half drift outside the Iognáid midfield and his lofted pass released Padraig Flanagan to race clear and dive for the left corner but play was called back for a forward pass. The pressure told with 20 minutes to go as Garbally flanker John Claffey ghosted through a gap to go in under the posts after Garbally went through the phases in the Iognáid 22 with Tracey’s conversion giving Garbally a 12-10 lead. Once again, Iognáid regrouped and regained the upper hand when Garbally’s Oisin McCormack was sin-binned for coming in the side and Hanrahan had the nerve to slot the tricky penalty to move his school back in front.
It was advantage Garbally in the closing minutes as they pushed for the winning score and a perfectly judged kick from impressive centre Shane Jennings was touched down by speedy winger Collins to clinch a dramatic victory for Garbally.
Garbally College: Tom Fitzpatrick; Padraig Flanagan, Shane Jennings, James Carry, Niall Collins; Cian Tracey (Conor Goode, 51), Matthew Devine (Cormac Finn, 41); Seamus Egan (Cian Silke, 41), Odhran Dooley (C), Jamie Curley; Mark Mitchell, Paraic Galvin; John Claffey, Oisin McCormack, Patrick Grehan.
Replacements: Matthew Kelly, Kyle Blackweir, Ben Daly, Jason Cunningham, Tony Finn.
Coláiste Iognáid: McDara Ó Gríofa; Luke Hurson, Ben Kelly, Darragh Hanrahan, Harry Devlin; Jack Power, Luke Kelly; Lloyd Solan, Tomás Gilanders, Gary Lally; Niall Hanahoe, Liam Smyth; Oliver Kelly, Diarmuid McCormack (C), George Hill.
Replacements: Callum O’Toole, Shane Devlin, Scott Canavan, Oisín Quinlan, Sean Conroy, Cian Murray, Harry Comer, Ronan Burke, Colm Finnerty, Cian Roche.
Reports courtesy of connachtrugby.ie