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Noel Mannion's son the star as Garbally clinch Connacht Senior Cup title

Garbally College avenged their 2016 defeat to Coláiste Iognáid at the Sportsground.

Cathal Dolan: Garbally scored seven tries on their way to victory.
Cathal Dolan: Garbally scored seven tries on their way to victory.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Garbally College 45

Coláiste Iognáid 26

STEPHEN MANNION – A son of former Irish number eight Noel — scored 18 points and Garbally College avenged their 2016 defeat to Coláiste Iognáid in the Connacht Schools Senior Cup final at the Sportsground.

Oisin McCormack, Colm Reilly, Shane Jennings, Joseph Devine and Mannion scored first-half tries for Garbally College.

They were 31-14 ahead at half time and further efforts from Mannion and Cathal Dolan secured an impressive win.

Coláiste Iognáid had a brilliant 13-7 win over Summerhill College in last year’s final. Seven of today’s starting 15 began that game while Gary Keane, Aaron Mannion and Jake Gallagher also started their victory over Garbally two years ago.

But it was Garbally who dominated the first half where they scored five tries and out-muscled their opponents in a raucous atmosphere.

McCormack scored their first try in the fifth minute after a kick-through from Jennings, and Reilly broke moments later for a brilliant solo effort. Mannion kicked the conversion and Garbally were 12-0 in front.

The Galway city school hit back with a try from Jennings after a quarter of an hour, but Devine and Mannion scored either side of a Julius Byrne effort. Garbally were in control at the break and the Jes remained on the field for their half-time team talk.

Garbally defeated Coláiste Iognáid 17-13 in last year’s Connacht junior cup final, and they continued to pile on the pressure after half-time.

Keane did grab a deserved try in the 41st minute and Forde converted to put the Jes within 10 points, but it wasn’t long before Garbally were up the other end of the field again.

Mannion doubled his tally in the right corner 10 minutes after the resumption, and after Byrne scored his second try for the Jes, replacement hooker Dolan rounded off the scoring for Garbally.

Garbally College scorers:
Tries: Oisin McCormack, Colm Reilly, Shane Jennings, Joseph Devine, Stephen Mannion [2], Cathal Dolan

Conversions: Cian Tracey [1 from 3], Stephen Mannion [4 from 4]Coláiste Iognáid scorers:

Tries: Cathal Forde, Julius Byrne [2], Gary Keane

Conversions: Cathal Forde [3 from 3]

GARBALLY COLLEGE: Shane Jennings; Stephen Mannion (John Coughlan ’72), Saul O’Carroll, Colm O’Brien, Sean Horkan (Nathan Horan ’56); Cian Tracey, Colm Reilly; Jamie Curley, Odhran Dooley (Cathal Dolan ’46), Seamus Egan; Matthew Comerford (Padraig Galvin ’71), Stephen Grenham; Patrick Grehan (Barry Codyre ’73), Oisin McCormack, Joseph Devine.

COLÁISTE IOGNÁID: Adam Cunningham; Conor Briscoe (Rory O’Flynn ’64), Julius Byrne (Ralph Solan ’61), Jack Power, Jack Grealish (Ruadhán Durkin ’68); Cathal Forde, Evan Kenny (Liam Smyth ’68); Patrick Smyth (Jack Madden ’64), Tomás de Paor (Tomás Gillanders ’50), Gary Keane; Aaron Mannion (Lloyd Solan ’66), Rory O’Connor; Jake Gallagher, Dara Leneghan (Ciarán Anthony ’68), Niall Hanahoe.

Referee: Jason Craughwell.

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Daragh Small

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