ATHLONE IT retain All Ireland  Div1cup.       AIT 10 Carlow IT 7

In an enthrawling encounter in Barnhall Rfc  Athlone dug deep in their defensive well to bring the All ireland div 1 trophy back to Connacht for the 10th time.Thirty -eight 3rd level colleges competed in the various divisions with UL and Dit winning div 2and3respectively.Having beaten Carlow comprehensively in 2014 ,Ait new this year would be much tighter and from the outset the mid landers defence was sorely tested with Callum Bolands long relieving kicks releasing the pressure.

AITThen a magnificent try by flanker Aidan Connaughton who ran 40 meters beating several tacklers to score ,which Donal Corbett converted put Ait in command.The two centres Andy Mc Aleer and Cathal Evans were now chopping down anyone who came into the midfield.At half time a 7 nil lead was deserved and Corbett landed a super penalty and was unlucky when another long range one hit off the outside of the post.Ricky Evans was now a constant thorn in the Carlow side but it was the heavy workload of Sam McCormack,Mark Kennedy and Aodhan Glynn that kept Ait inthe game.

However with 15 minutes left Carlow scored under the posts and only intelligent defence by Bryan Teape stopped a certain score.Fantastic defence even with 2players in the bin ensured that Martin Staunton in his third inspiring year as captain held the trophy aloft.



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