GarballyGarbally College v Sligo Grammar

March 19th, 4pm, Sportsground

The 101st Connacht Senior Schools Cup sponsored by Elverys will be contested between two powerhouses of Connacht schools. Garbally College from Ballinasloe will be chasing their 45th title, while Sligo Grammar, in their 20th final, will be looking for their 10th success.

There is no doubt that the two best teams in the competition have made it to the final, with both looking impressive in their cup run, and their pre cup form pointing to two strong teams. They have the top two numbers of Connacht youth representatives in their sides, Garbally with seven and Sligo have four. 

These teams contested the Schools League final aswell before Christmas, with Garbally coming out on top 11-6 in a close contest.

It’s likely to be a forward orientated battle, with the majority of the representatives on show being forwards. Sligo have Connacht back row forwards Mathew Cosgrove and Joe Conway providing ball carrying ballast from the centres, with both more than capable at the breakdown. Garbally will be looking to match that with the ball carrying of their back five in the pack; with all of Sam Holland, Peter Claffey, Jack Codyre, Dylan Connolly and Conor Barrett all looking lively with ball in hand in the semi final.

Sean Horan of Garbally will have his hands full trying to contain Cosgrove in defence, will the placekicking duel between Cosgrove and Simon Keller will be intriguing with only one kick between them missed in their semi finals. Keller has plenty to offer in open play too, and brought his outside runners into play very well in their duel against Marist. Stephen Tierney is a livewire from fullback if given the opportunity, and will punish Sligo if they kick loosely. 

SligoSligo have a similar weapon in their back three armoury, with the pacey Ryan Feehily at full back poised to counter any Garbally mistake. Feehily didn’t get much ball coming his way in the semi final, perhaps due to the poor weather conditions, but conditions look set to be dry and sunny setting this up to be a great contest.

This is anybody’s game, and while Garbally are perhaps slight favourites due to the dominating manner in which they dispatched Marist, Sligo will have seen enough from that game that will give them cause for optimism. This will be an intriguing game.

Admission is €5 for students/ €10 for adults.

KO 4pm, after the Junior Cup final.

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