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Dublin: 11°C Monday 19 April 2021

The aristocrats of Connacht schools rugby held on to win a dramatic Senior Cup final

Garbally College won title number 45 in Galway.

Simon Keller celebrates with the trophy Garbally captain Simon Keller lifts the Connacht Schools Senior Cup. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

WE HAD THREE exciting schools rugby finals yesterday and Connacht’s decider didn’t disappoint this afternoon with Garbally College pipping Summerhill 19-18 at The Sportsground.

The Sligo school scored a try with four minutes remaining to reduce the gap to a single point but a missed conversion allowed their Galway opponents eke out a narrow win.

After Garbally took an early lead following a penalty from Simon Keller, second row Ciaran Cassidy put Summerhill ahead with a try, which was converted by Jack Keegan.

The Galway school responded strongly though, with flanker Michael O’Neill touching down four minutes before the half to restore his side’s lead.

Keller and Keegan then traded penalties as Garbally took a 13-10 advantage into the dressing room.

Two further penalties from Keller to one from Keegan gave Garbally a six-point buffer as the game entered its final minutes, and despite scoring their second try, Summerhill came up just short.

Rafik Khan celebrates after Michael OÕNeill scored the opening try Rafik Khan celebrates Michael O'Neill's first half try. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

It was Garbally’s 45th Connacht Schools Senior Cup win.

Earlier in the day, CBS Roscommon captured the Connacht Schools Junior Cup for the very first time after a comprehensive 36-0 win over Coláiste Iognáid.

The opening 20 minutes were a cagey affair with neither side taking the initiative before second row Rian Biesty crashed over to give the Roscommon side a 7-0 lead.

Rian Biesty scores his side's first try Biesty scores the game's opening try. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Prop Melvin Conteh burrowed over seven minutes later to give his team a 12-0 advantage at the break.

The second half saw Roscommon CBS pull away, with further tries from Conteh, centre Jason Hoare (two) and captain James Brandon giving them a resounding 36-point win.

James Brandon celebrates with the trophy CBS Roscommon captain Jason Brandon lifts the cup with his team-mates. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

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