The Connacht Schools Senior Cup is back and it’s as exciting as ever, with all three of this week’s games finishing with a converted try, or less, between the teams.
Summerhill College and St. Muredach’s College got proceedings underway on Wednesday, with Summerhill getting the better of a tight game, coming out 13-8 victors.
Full-back Clyde Regan touched down for the Sligo school in the opening half, with St. Muredach’s hooker, Conor Brown, helping his side bounce back after the break with a well-worked try.
However, it was Summerhill No. 8 Kealan Schön who scored the decisive try, taking advantage of some lapses in defense after a quick tap and go.
Summerhill’s next tie is against the pool’s other winner, Colaiste Iognaid (The Jes). They overcame Garbally College in an enthralling encounter in Creggs RFC.
Garbally started the game well but they were unable to make the most of their early possession. As the game went on, The Jes grew into the game.
Calum Elwood made the most of this, with the flyhalf breaking through Garbally’s defence at the 20-minute mark to get the game’s opening score.
He was unable to add the extras, but The Jes did go into the break holding a 5-0 lead.
However, an early yellow card in the second half saw a momentum swing. Ronan Kelly helped the Ballinasloe school make the most of the extra men, crossing the whitewash for a try which was converted.
The Jes showed resilience to bounce back, with an Elwood penalty helping his side regain the lead, before Bobby Power scored the try of the game after a scintillating break from the halfway line.
Garbally responded with a late try, but they will have to settle for the losing bonus point.
The other pool saw defending champions Sligo Grammar get their campaign off to a winning start with a 12-5 victory over CBS Roscommon.
Diarmuid O'Connell starred, with the flanker showing his attacking prowess to cross the line twice in the first half of the Sligo side.
Cormac Dolan did get CBS Roscommon back into the game with a second-half try, but they were unable to build on that score despite their possession.