Conor O'Leary Garbally blindside Conor Barrett celebrates Jack Codyre's opening try.
# schools cup
Codyre double ensures Garbally grind way into Connacht Senior Cup final at expense of Marist
Sligo Grammar await the Galway school who finished a physical game with 13 men.

Garbally College 21

Marist College 11

MARIST’S CUP-WINNING streak in Connacht is over after today’s highly physical Schools Senior Cup semi-final defeat to Garbally.

Despite a red card for Conor Kenny midway through the first half, the Galway School’s 14-men outmuscled their opponents and carved out a 10-point win.

The Athlone side had been eyeing their third consecutive Connacht Senior Cup, but they would have no answer for a stunning opening eight minutes.

Garbally got off to a great start, turning the ball over from the first phase after Marist received the kick off, and the ball was worked wide before Jack Codyre scored his first under a pile of bodies.

Number 10 Simon Keller managed the game very well throughout; creating space for players outside him and pinning the Marist defence back with probing kicks for position.

His kicks off the tee were impressive too, and aftter Codyre grounded his second on eight minutes, the out-half struck to make it 14 – 0.

The number 14 would soon be mirrored in their personnel numbers, though, Kenny red carded following an altercation after 24 minutes and Charlie McMicken kicked Marist onto the scoreboard.

Undeterred, Garbally took the game back to basics and used their physicality to force the younger, lighter Marist men backwards.

Sam Claffey, Dylan Connolly and Jack Codyre took the game to the champions with some big carries, getting over the gainline time after time. After 31 minutes Peter Flannery crossed for try number three, with Keller adding what turned out to be their final score of the game.

With an uphill battle ahead of them, Marist took the penalty opportunity presented to them before half time to make the score 21 –  6.

The second half brought plenty of possession for the reigning champions, as Garbally suffered for the lack of numbers and game-time. However, the defence stood up well to the onslaught.


With the clock ticking down, Cian Dooley was yellow-carded to reduce Garbally to 13 men, but with a sizeable lead and a dominant defence, they had no great reason to worry with only seven minutes remaining.

The brightest sparks for Marist were inside centre (and brother of Jack), Luke Carty, who looked a threat whenever he got the ball; and outside centre Tom Finucane, who ran some brilliant attacking lines either off Carty or McMicken. Before the final whistle, Marist would breach their rivals’ line with a Killian O’Donnell try, but the dream of three-in-a-row had long since been dashed by last year’s beaten finalists.

Sligo Grammar await in the March 19 final, but after today’s performance, the 44-time champions from Galway will surely be favourites to win their first Senior Cup since 2007.

For more info on theConnacht Senior Cup, visit the province’s domestic site. 

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