The fixture details have been confirmed for the Top Oil Connacht Schools Senior Cup semi-finals with both games taking place this Thursday, March 2.
Current holders Coláiste Iognáid (The Jes) host Sligo Grammar in Corinthian Park at 12.30pm to kick-start the action. The second semi-final takes place later in the day at Summerhill College as the Sligo school host Garbally College at 2pm.
Home advantage belongs to Coláiste Iognáid in the first semi after the Galway school topped pool one thanks to three wins from three – a 22-8 win over Garbally College, a 31-14 win away to Roscommon College, and a 24-0 victory against St Gerald’s Castlebar.
The Jes beat Garbally 16–15 in last year’s decider at the Sportsground and will be favourites to advance to another decider at the home of Connacht Rugby next month.
Sligo Grammar will provide a stern test, however, as they ran rivals Summerhill College close for top spot in pool two.
A narrow 8-6 win over Marist College proved crucial for Sligo Grammar in their pool opener and a 33-18 victory over The Bish set up a winner-takes-all clash against Summerhill with top spot at stake.
It was to be Summerhill who took the spoils in a 32-19 win to top the pool and condemn Sligo Grammar to second place.
Having beaten The Bish 11-3 in their opener, Summerhill’s second game ended 10-9 in their favour as Marist College suffered defeat by the narrowest of margins.
That final day victory at Sligo Grammar cemented top spot in pool two and home advantage on Thursday.
They will face the competition’s most successful school, Garbally College, after they managed to qualify despite recording just one win from three games in pool one.
Having lost their opening two games, Garbally were on the verge of elimination but a bonus point 20-7 win over CBS Roscommon saw them edge out St Gerald’s Castlebar by a single point.
The Connacht Schools Senior Cup was first played in 1913 and Garbally College are the competition's most successful school having lifted the cup 45 times. Coláiste Iognáid have been the most successful team since the turn of the millennium winning in 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011 and last year.
The Connacht schools competitions have expanded further this season and there are now six trophies to play for. Along with the Senior and Junior Cup, there are now separate competitions for emerging and developing schools at both junior and senior level.
Top Oil Connacht Schools Senior Cup Semi-Finals
Thursday, March 2
Coláiste Iognáid (The Jes) v Sligo Grammar, Corinthian Park, 12.30pm;
Summerhill College v Garbally College, Summerhill College, 2pm;