Garbally College 31
CBS Roscommon 6

Garbally College justified their strong favourites tag with a powerful display to seal an incredible 47th Top Oil Connacht Schools Senior A Cup title for the college.
The Ballinasloe side have appeared in over 50 Senior Cup finals, but never before in a decider had they faced CBS Roscommon who made history earlier in the month by reaching their first ever Senior Cup final after a memorable win over The Jes at Creggs RFC.

In front of a raucous travelling support from Roscommon, CBS certainly weren’t overawed by the occasion as they competed brilliant in defence and at the breakdown in the opening stages. Garbally had the majority of possession but it took them 27 minutes to finally make the breakthrough, with some quick hands from the backs releasing Sean Horkan who showed some incredible pace to break down the wing and score underneath the posts.
A further try was to follow just before the break as Shea Hennessy touched down in the corner while Stephen Mannion nailed a brilliant conversion to make it a 14 point game at the break.
CBS knew they had to start the second half all guns blazing, and that’s exactly what they did as two incredible penalties from Mark Purcell on the half-way line brought the gap down to 8 points, and suddenly a major shock was on the cards. However from then on Garbally were able to find an extra gear, as further tries from Stephen Mannion and Oisin McCormack helped the Ballinasloe side pull away for a deserved victory.

It’s the biggest day in the Connacht schools rugby calendar tomorrow when six teams from five schools compete in a triple-header of Top Oil Schools Cup finals at The Sportsground.
The Senior A, Junior A and Senior Development Cups will all be decided tomorrow with a huge crowd expected at the home of Connacht Rugby for the games.
Here’s a look ahead to the three fixtures with all you need to know about the ties.

Never before has a Senior A Cup final pitted together two sides on such polar opposites of the schools rugby spectrum. On one side you’ve got a Garbally College gunning for an incredible 47th Schools Cup title since they won the very first final in 1913. They won’t be short of motivation however, since they’re aiming to win back-to-back Cups for the first time since the last 1990s when they won four-in-a-row. The Ballinasloe side have been as impressive as ever during the 2019 campaign – defeating the Jes and Summerhill in the group stage before a 26 point victory over Sligo Grammar to book their place in the final.

Their opponents meanwhile have already made rugby history, but they don’t intend stopping there. Two weeks ago among joyous scenes at Creggs RFC, CBS Roscommon booked a first ever place in the Senior A Cup final with a 16-8 victory over The Jes. The win was the culmination of many years work at the school, especially considering they only joined the Senior ranks a number of years ago. CBS are the first ever school from Roscommon to reach a Senior Cup final, with their semi-final win coming after group stage wins over Marist and Sligo Grammar.

Will it be the kingpins from Ballinasloe who’ll add another title to their collection, or will there be a new name to add to the Senior Schools history books? We’ll find out from 4pm tomorrow.


At Garbally it’s not just the seniors who are still looking to be the team to beat. Their Juniors are on four wins from four in this year’s Junior Cup campaign, overcoming St Muiredachs, CBS Roscommon and The Bish in the round robin before gaining some bit of revenge on Marist College by beating them in the semi-finals, 12 months after Marist got the better of them in the Junior Cup final.

This year’s decider is a meeting of two old rivals on the Schools Cup scene with The Jes standing in their way. Like their opponents, The Jes are also unbeaten in 2019 with three wins in the group stages before a 27-7 victory over Muiredachs in the last four.

Games between these two schools are always hotly anticipated affairs whatever the level, and more of the same is expected tomorrow from 2pm.

Tomorrow’s action gets underway with a unique pairing in the Senior Development Cup final, as SCC Carraroe from the heart of Connemara take on a Gallen side travelling from Ferbane in Offaly.

11 schools competed in this year’s Senior Development tournament, and like the later games it features two teams who navigated the group stages with 100% records, while they both had extremely tight semi-final encounters. Gallen beat the Presentations from Headford and Athenry before they qualified for the final after a tight and tense repeat clash with Headford.

Meanwhile it’s been a long journey for SCC who have navigated through three group games as well as an additional quarter-final before their hugely impressive semi-final win over St. Muiredachs. If it’s anything like their previous knock-out games en route to today’s decider, it promises to be a cracking game to kick off the day.
Tickets for the games are €10 for adult and €5 for teenagers while U12s go free. Please note this is a cash only event. There is no parking available at the ground and we ask all attendees to please respect local residents if parking in the vicinity.
The Junior Development, Senior Emerging and Junior Emerging Cup finals will also be held at The Sportsground with the games underway at 4pm, 2pm an 12pm respectively on Wednesday March 27th.

There were scenes of jubilation at Creggs RFC this afternoon where CBS Roscommon made history by booking a place in the Top Oil Connacht Schools Senior A Cup Final.
They overcame a 3-0 half-time deficit to defeat The Jes (Colaiste Iognaid) 16-8, clinching a spot in Wednesday week’s final against reigning champions Garbally College at The Sportsground.
It’s the first time in the school’s history that the side have reached a Senior A final – a result made all the more impressive given they only joined the senior ranks a number of years previously.
We caught up with coach Evan Griffith and out-half Tim Lambe after the game.


Garbally see off gallant CBS Roscommon to win 47th Senior A Schools Cup

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