James Crombie/INPHO Coláiste Iognáid’s Gary Keane breaks free to score his side's first try.

Moment of brilliance the difference as Coláiste Iognáid claim back-to-back Senior Cups

Gary Keane scored the only try in the first half of a tightly contested affair at the Sportsground.

Coláiste Iognáid 13
Summerhill College 7

GARY KEANE’S BRILLIANT try was deservedly the crucial score as Coláiste Iognáid ‘the Jes’ made it back-to-back Connacht Schools Senior Cups with victory over Summerhill College at the Sportsground.

Keane scored the only try in the first half and a couple of kicks from Diarmuid Codyre meant the Jes led 10-0 at half-time.

Diarmuid’s brother Morgan led the Jes to their 13th crown when they beat Garbally College 16-15 last year. And this time around, Diarmuid captained the team from out-half. He was one of seven of last year’s first 15 who started against Summerhill College, and that big-game familiarity proved crucial.

Summerhill only had two players with previous Senior Cup final experience — Ross Hickey and Mark Keegan, who both played in the 2015 defeat to Garbally College. And that inexperience cost them in the second half, as they couldn’t get a foothold in the Jes’ half and the Galway outfit saw the game out.

Codyre missed two early penalty opportunities, but he slotted over a much easier kick in the 26th minute when influential centre Ross Hickey got yellow for tapping the ball out of scrum-half Eavan Kenny’s hands.

Then tighthead prop Keane, who started last year’s final, touched down a brilliant solo effort when he raced in unopposed from the side of a ruck, just before half-time.

Codyre’s conversion gave the Jes a 10-0 half-time lead and it was another tense encounter in the second half, with Hickey and David Molloy putting in massive hits for their sides.

However, Codyre’s late penalty sealed it for the holders, before Caoileann Carty touched down a consolation try for Summerhill.

Scorers for Coláiste Iognáid
Tries: Gary Keane
Penalties: Diarmuid Codyre 2 / 4
Conversions: Diarmuid Codyre 1 / 1Scorers for Summerhill College
Tries: Caoileann Carty
Conversions: Brian Cox 1 / 1

Coláiste Iognáid: Adam Cunningham; Conor Briscoe (Rory O’Flynn ’58), Tomas Forde, Cillian McCabe (Gareth Kenny ’46), David Molloy; Diarmuid Codyre, Eavan Kenny (Ruadhan Durkin ’55); Adam Corbett, Conall Fallon, Gary Keane (Sean Monaghan ’45); Diorai O’Connor (Tomas Power ’55), Aaron Mannion (Cian Parsons ’30); Jake Gallagher (Michael Higgins ’58), Cathal McGuinness (Ciaran Anthony ’54), Hugh Keaveney.

Summerhill College: Hugh Kisby; Cormac Murray (Thomas O’Hehir ’36), Kevin Connell, Ross Hickey, Rett Solano; Brian Cox, Brendan Cunningham; Mark Keegan, Vincent Reynolds, Conor Mc Govern; Caoileann Carty, Gary Golden; Fiachra Doherty (Yusuf Shalabi ’30), Sean Wynne, Adrian Cummins.

(Ben Smith ’) (Brian Flanagan ’) (Andy Probst ’) (Darragh Feeney ’) (Jack Gorevan ’) (Ruairi Mulligan ’) (Rodrigo Garcia ’) (Mark Harte ’) (Sean Chambers ’)

Referee: Jason Cairns.

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