Three Points Separate Young Guns from Old Guard

Roscommon CBS continues to ignore established rugby convention, storming through the knockout stages of the Supermacs Connacht Schools Junior Development Cup.

One-time rugby stronghold Colaiste Iognaid (Jesuit College) was the last to fall victim to the rampant Ros Comain, down 8-5 in a Creggs Green thriller. Quite aside from the fact it was a semi-final and that the Midland upstarts have now secured a berth in the competition final, they have also forced their foot in the door for the premier junior cup too.

HRC Mountbellew felt the wrath of the Aidan Farrell/Dave Purcell-coached complement last time round, another fixture which went down the wire. The Jes’ bore another telling brunt early this year.IMG_0766_4_640x427

Both the Jes’ and CBS threw caution to the wind, sub-Arctic temperatures doing little to quell enthusiasm or, indeed, expansive footy. CBS opened well and perhaps had the measure of their quarry in the first quarter, but once settled The Jes’ asserted clinical control. 

It was not enough to deny CBS skipper Dylan Keavney and his backrow cohorts Matt Brandon and Matthew Butt cause havoc in the loose. With space, the trio combined well to retain fluid possession, and in the contact they were able to stamp their own brand of authority on the game. 

Roscommon featured first in the scoreboard, Keavney reaping the benefits of a Tom Oates, Brian Collins and Mark Kearney initiative. The kick went astray. Continued pressure from the restart earned Brian Cleary an opportunity to atone for his wayward conversion, making no mistake second time up for three more.

The eight-point deficit proved a shot in the ar…m for Colaiste Iognaid, who went ballistic from the kick-off and grounded their first try just before the break, 5-8 down.

Territory fell The Jes’ way in the first quarter, but CBS’ Ryan Horan and Rory O’Brolchain shored up several gaps in the midfield. Much of the second half was confined to the paddock’s centre third neither team able to encroach into an opposition red zone.

With 10minutes on the clock, The Jes’ again launched a prolonged offensive but both defence and discipline proved unparalleled. Purcell stopped short of singling out defending individuals saying credit was due across the board, but congratulated Barry McDonnell and Ross Mugan for securing the final turnover which claimed the pig’s bladder for the hosts and scuppered Colaiste Iognaid’s chances to swipe victory at the death. 

CBS: Eoghan Farrell, Mark Kearney, Barry McDonnell, Rory Collins, Dylan Keavney (C), Matthew Brandon, Noel Gately, Evan Concur, Brian Cleary, Ryan Horan, Tom Oates, Diarmuid Cunniffe, Darren Campbell, Mark Naughton, Rory O Brolch

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