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Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiaráin have taken a massive step towards a semi final place with their second win in the Senior Development Cup Pool B. A tight game was played in St. Enda’s in Galway, with a last minute try helping the Irish language school to come out on top, 15-7.

St. Enda’s started strongly with their physical pack aiming to assert dominance. However, an interception nearly led directly to a try for Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiaráin, but St. Enda’s were able to hold them up over the line. Their relief was short-lived, as a series of pick and drives led to a try for tighthead Marcas Mac Donncha, putting Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiaráin 5-0 up. This seemed to kick start their game, as it was the Gaeltacht school that looked the most likely for the rest of the half.

Both sides tried to keep the ball alive with offloads, but at this stage of the tournament, the first for St. Enda’s and second for Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiaráin, there was a lot of errors for both sides leading to a number of scrums. Enda’s seemed to have the upper hand in the scrums, which was able to relieve a lot of pressure on their side, but the Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiaráin backrow, and in particular openside Cian O’Cuinn, was turning ball over at will. The rest of the half was a scrappy affair, with both sides turning the ball over in a stop-start affair. Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiaráin’s Colm de Buitléir pulled a penalty attempt just wide in the only scoring opportunity for the rest of the half.

Credit to both sides, as there was a noticeable improvement in the second half, with de Buitléir pulling the strings for Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiaráin and fullback Seosamh Mac Donnacha threatening whenever a ball was kicked clear. It was they that looked the most likely to threaten the tryline in the early stages of the half, with a number of charges going close, and but for some handling errors and some stubborn defense a solitary de Buitléir penalty the only points that the St. Enda’s defense would surrender.

The concession of those points seemed to stir St. Enda’s into life, and they finally enjoyed some attacking territory. Much like their opponents, just when they looked likely to threaten the line, a handling error or a turnover would snatch the opportunity away from them. Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiaráin couldn’t get out of their 22 though, and with five minutes left, a strong drive through several defenders resulted in a try for St. Enda’s. The conversion brought the scores to within one point, and with de Buitléir putting the resulting restart out on the full, Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiaráin were rattled. Indeed, de Buitléir was resorting more and more to putting boot to ball, inviting the St. Enda’s backline to attack time and time again. A score never resulted, and Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiaráin finally got an attacking platform. With time running out, a snap de Buitléir drop goal to push the scores out was missed, giving St. Enda’s one final opportunity.

Unfortunately for them, a break from de Buitléir released his outside backs, only for the Enda’s defense to stop them at the try line. Two phases later, the insurance score came from openside O’Cuinn which rounded off a terrific personal showing. de Buitléir made the impressive conversion from out wide. Both sides will have benefitted from this run out, and Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiaráin will be fancying themselves for further honours as the cup continues.680

 

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