Elvery’s Connacht Schools Junior Development Cup Final

Gallen CS 32-3 Gortnor Abbey

Gallen are celebrating becoming the first team to successfully defend their Junior Development Cup title tonight after a comprehensive victory over Gortnor Abbey in the Elvery’s Connacht Schools Junior Development Cup final in the sportsground.

Save for an earlier Gallen chance, Gortnor Abbey actual started the game better, with outhalf Craig McCormick directing play nicely. McCormick displayed a lovely eye for space, and continually pinned the Gallen defense back into the corners. Indeed, the first ten minutes was all Gortnor Abbey pressure, and after McCormick missed with an earlier penalty, he got his side off the mark with a nicely taken kick; 3-0 to Gortnor Abbey.

They didn’t build on this lead however, and were having problems fielding the restarts from Gallen. From an ensueing scrum, Gallen no.8 Ethan Rowe McCormack made some ground from the base; and an infringement from Gortnor Abbey allowed Gallen outhalf Stephen Buckley to knock over a penalty to level the scores.

The following ten minutes were littered with handle errors from both sides, before Gallen took a stranglehold on the game, with Rowe McCormack finding space and powering over for the games first try on halftime.

Gallen kept the pressure on in the second half, spending nearly all of the time in Gortnor Abbey’s territory. Two tries at the start of the half for Gallen put some daylight between the times, with lock Eric Fletcher getting himself on the scoresheet.

Gallen were keeping it simple and reducing their handling errors by picking and going from the base of the ruck, which was to lead to two more scores towards the end of the game; the first from centre Kyle Higgins was spread wide after a series of pick and goes, and finished brilliantly from Higgins with a great step, and the second put some gloss on the scoreline, which finished 32-3. 

It was an impressive campaign for Gortnor Abbey nonetheless, who in their first year of rugby, finished second in the league, and runners up in the cup. A year to be proud of.


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