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Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 20 February, 2019

Collins the hero as Garbally College lift Connacht junior cup for first time in 11 years

Garbally lost last year’s final but are back celebrating now.

Garbally College 17
Coláiste Iognáid 13

Daragh Small reports from the Sportsground

NIALL COLLINS SCORED the winning try as the Connacht Schools Junior Cup standard-bearers, Garbally College, reclaimed their title with victory over Coláiste Iognáid at the Sportsground.

Odhran Dooley with the trophy Garbally’s captain Odhran Dooley celebrates with the trophy. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Garbally lost last year’s final and they were 10-5 behind at half-time, after a try from Luke Kelly cancelled out Patrick Grehan’s earlier effort.

Luke Kelly scores his sides opening try despite Odhran Dooley and Shane Jennings Coláiste Iognáid’s Luke Kelly scores his sides opening try. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Darragh Hanrahan kept the Jes ticking over afterwards but tries from John Claffey and Collins made the difference.

Garbally started well and after Kelly cleared the danger, when Cian Tracey looked to be through for a try in the seventh minute, Grehan bull-dozed his way over.

But the Jes looked dangerous in attack and their expansive game-plan brought them within inches of the try-line. Grehan tackled Diarmuid McCormack but Kelly was there to finish off the try. Hanrahan’s conversion gave the Jes a 7-5 lead in the 14th minute.

Garbally, who had won the Connacht junior cup 41 times coming into this game, had not secured the crown since they beat the Jes 20-12 in the final 11 years ago.

Shane Jennings and Oisin McCormack celebrate at the final whistle Garbally College players celebrate their triumph. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The Jes were fifth in the pecking order with just four titles but they looked more comfortable in the intense atmosphere. And their high-penalty count gifted the Jes with opportunities time and again.

Hanrahan was in form from the tee, and he slotted a penalty in the 29th minute for a 10-5 half-time lead.

Garbally came with incessant pressure after the break and Claffey scored their second try in the 41st minute and Tracey added the extras.

Oisin McCormack got yellow when he came from the side in the 47th and Hanrahan kicked the penalty. But Collins got on the end of Shane Jennings’ cross-field kick to score the decisive try.

Niall Collins scores the wining try Garbally’s Niall Collins scores the winning try Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Garbally College scorers:

Tries: Patrick Grehan, John Claffey, Niall Collins
Conversions: Cian Tracey 1 / 3, Conor Goode 0 / 1

Coláiste Iognáid scorers:

Try: Luke Kelly
Penalties: Darragh Hanrahan 2 / 2
Conversions: Darragh Hanrahan 1 / 1

Shane Jennings and Niall Hanahoe Garbally’s Shane Jennings and Niall Hanahoe of Coláiste Iognáid Source: James Crombie/INPHO

GARBALLY COLLGE: Tom Fitzpatrick; Padraig Flanagan, Shane Jennings, James Carry, Niall Collins; Cian Tracey (Conor Goode ’54), Matthew Devine (Cormac Finn ’41); Seamus Egan, Odhran Dooley, Jamie Curley (Cian Silke ’41); Mark Mitchell, Paraic Galvin; John Claffey, Oisin McCormack, Patrick Grehan.

COLÁISTE IOGNÁID: McDara O Griofa; Harry Devlin, Niall Hanahoe, Jack Power, Luke Hurson; Darragh Hanrahan, Luke Kelly; Lloyd Solan, Tomas Gilanders, Gary Lally; Liam Smyth, Ben Kelly; Oliver Kelly, Diarmuid McCormack, George Hill.

Referee: Stephen Gregory.

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About the author:

Daragh Small

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