Junior Regional Final; St Muredachs College 5-12 Scoil Chuimsitheach, An Cheathru Rua

Scoil Chuimsitheach, An Cheathru Rua emerged victorious from a closely fought battle with St Muredachs College from Ballina in the inaugural Connacht Schools Junior Regional League final. In doing so they became the first Ghaeltacht School to win a Schools League or Cup Competition in Connacht or indeed in Ireland.

SLF1 350An Cheathru Rua began at pace and were clearly well up for the encounter. After some early pressure had been repelled by a determined St Muredach’s defence, centre Paudie McCormaic scored a fantastic individual effort in the corner. The try was impressively converted by out half Colm de Buitlear. The Ghaeltacht school weren’t happy to leave it at that and their dangerous backs surged deep into Muredachs territory once again. The move was eventually finished off by openside flanker Cillian O’Griofa.

Muredach’s were shell shocked at the pace at which An Cheathrua Rua had started the game. The Ballina school however reacted bravely and began to claw their way back into the game through some strong ball carrying and mauling from the pack which was eventually rewarded with a score from Daniel Molly close to half time.

The second half was a tighter affair as both sides began to counteract each others’ strengths. Muredach’s had a great chance to score just after half time as another strong forward drive brought them to within a few metres of the line. An Cheathru Rua’s excellent defence held firm and they cleared their lines.

This pattern continued as St Muredach’s pressed to get back into the game. In the final 10 minutes, sensing an opportunity to secure the schools first underage title in Connacht An Cheathru Rua dominated the final 10mins but could not cross the line. The game finished 12-5.

Junior Premier League Final; Sligo Grammar School 12-15 Marist College, Athlone

In what is becoming a regular rivalry Sligo Grammar and Marist College served up an enthralling afternoons rugby in Ballyhaunis. Despite an intense first half full of incident and quality rugby the score remained 0-0. Marist College opened the brighter taking play deep into Grammar territory. They retained the ball impressively for a number of phases but could not eke out the first score. Just before half time Sligo Grammar were denied at the line following a sweeping attack from halfway involving backs and forwards alike.

SLF2 350Grammar began the second half the brighter and were rewarded when winger Cian Doyle finished an excellent attack in the corner. This seemed to spark Marist into life and they almost immediately burst up field and scored a scrappy try through Ciaran Rigney. The force was very much with Marist now and they went for the jugular launching attack after attack at the Grammar line. Sean Hassett touched down by the post following excellent team attack from the Athlone school. Soon after substitute Cory Reid scored in the corner following more incessant attack from a determined Marist.

Sligo were not finished though and began to throw caution to the wind attacking wide at every opportunity and showing the true potential of a talented backline. Indeed they had the final say as impressive winger Doyle cut back across field bobbing and weaving between Marist defenders before releasing flanker TJ Ford who finished excellently in the right hand corner. He also converted from the touchline. Unfortunately for Ford his conversion was the final act of a pulsating game and Marist College ran out 15-12 winners.

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