The Top Oil 2020 Connacht Schools Cups continue tomorrow with six week in all across four cups at Senior and Junior level.
 
The sole Senior A Cup comes from Pool 2 where Marist College play host to Sligo Grammar. With both sides already through to the semi-finals, this tie will determine who tops the pool and faces the runners-up in Pool 1.
 
It’s a big day in the Junior A Cup with two games that could have big ramifications on the make-up of the knockout stages. In Pool 1 Garbally College face Sligo Grammar, with Sligo knowing a win sends them into the semi-finals. With Marist (6 points) sitting between Sligo (9) and Garbally (5), they’ll also be eagerly awaiting the result from Garbally before their meeting with the reigning champions next week.
 
Things are slightly less complicated in Pool 2 where Summerhill take on St. Muiredach’s in a winner-takes-all final pool game. The victors will seal a runners-up spot behind CBS Roscommon and are guaranteed a place in the last four.
 
In the B ranks there’s one game at Senior level with St. Pauls Oughterard facing The Bish. Victory for the Bish will send them to the semi-finals while St. Pauls need a win to keep their qualification hopes alive.
 
Lastly there’s two games in the Junior B Cup with Pres Headford taking on Pres Athenry in Pool 1, and St. Geralds Castlebar facing Rice College in Pool 3.
 
TOP OIL 2020 CONNACHT SCHOOLS CUP FIXTURES (WEDNESDAY 5 FEBRUARY)

Junior A Cup
Garbally College v Sligo Grammar
Summerhill v St. Muiredachs
 
Junior B Cup
Presentation Headford v Presentation Athenry
St. Geralds Castlebar v Rice College
 
TOP OIL 2020 CONNACHT SCHOOLS CUP FIXTURES (THURSDAY 6 FEBRUARY)

Senior B Cup
St. Pauls Oughterard v The Bish
 
TOP OIL 2020 CONNACHT SCHOOLS CUP FIXTURES (FRIDAY 7 FEBRUARY)

Senior A Cup
Marist College v Sligo Grammar
 
CLICK HERE FOR ALL CLUB & COMMUNITY FIXTURES

Marist College and Sligo Grammar will join last year’s finalists Garbally College and CBS Roscommon in the semi-finals of the 2020 Top Oil Connacht Schools Senior A Cup.
 
With most of the pools games now played, the four sides have booked their place in the knockout stages with a game to spare at the expense of Summerhill and Colaiste Iognaid, and all that’s left to decide now is who will play who in the semi-finals.
 
The Junior A Cup has so far proven to be a much tighter affair with only one team so far assured of their place in the semi-finals.
 
CBS Roscommon are safely through after picking up a perfect 15 points from 15, meaning it’s a straight shootout between Summerhill and St. Muiredachs next week to decide who qualifies as runners-up in Pool 2.
 
In Pool 1 The Bish have exited the competition after three defeats, and one of Sligo Grammar, Marist and Garbally will join them. Sligo have 2 wins from 2 so far so they’ll be guaranteed a knock-out place if they defeat Garbally next week. If they do so the following week’s game between the reigning champions and Marist will decide who moves on to the semi-finals.
 

 
In the Senior B Cup it’s still relatively early days with Presentation Athenry in Pool 3 the only team so far guaranteed a semi-finals spot, while St. Muiredachs in Pool 2 will join them if they can overcome Presentation Headford.
 
Meanwhile we know 3 of the 4 semi-finalists in the Senior C division, with Colaiste Bhaile Chlair, Gortnor Abbey and Foxford all moving on to the next stage. The remaining spot goes to the victors of next month’s Pool 3 game between Gallen and Clifden CS.
 
The Junior B ranks have seen Colaiste Einde and Athlone CC qualify for the semi-finals, and Gallen CS can also look forward to the knock-outs if they can finish Pool 1 with a 100% record and defeat Pres Headford. The remaining semi-final place goes to the best runner-up from Pools 1 and 3 and so there’s still plenty to play for here.
 
Lastly the Junior C Cup pool stages have already given us our four semi-finalists. Sancta Maria College, Colaiste Chiaran, St Marys Ballygar and Enniscrone all come through their respective pools to move on the knockouts.
 
CLICK HERE FOR ALL CLUB & COMMUNITY FIXTURES

Another year of Top Oil Connacht Schools Cup action gets going this week with 22 games across Senior and Junior Level.
 
The majority of those games take place on Wednesday, with seven games on Thursday and just the one tomorrow to get things going. That one sees St Pauls Oughterard face The Bish in the Senior B Cup.
 
All of this week’s fixtures are as follows:
 
WEDNESDAY 15TH JANUARY 2020

Top Oil Senior A Cup Pool 2
1245: Sligo Grammar v Colaiste Iognaid @ Sligo Grammar

Top Oil Senior B Cup Pool 1
1200: St Jarlaths College v Colaiste Einde @ Tuam RFC

Top Oil Senior B Cup Pool 2
1230: St Muiredachs v Scoil Chuimsiteach Chiarain @ Ballina RFC

Top Oil Senior B Cup Pool 3
1200: HRC Mountbellew v Pres Athenry @ Monivea RFC

Top Oil Senior C Cup Pool 2
1115: Abbey CC v St Tiernans Crossmolina @ Carrick RFC

Top Oil Junior A Cup Pool 2
1200: St Muiredachs v Colaiste Iognaid @ Ballina RFC

Top Oil Junior B Cup Pool 1
1200: Gallen CS v Calasanctius Oranmore @ Ferbane

Top Oil Junior B Cup Pool 3
1230: Athlone CC v Colaiste Bhaile Chlair @ Athlone CC

Top Oil Junior C Cup Pool 1
1200: Scoil Chuimsiteach Chiarain v Sancta Maria College @ An Cheathru Rua

Top Oil Junior C Cup Pool 2
1200: Achill v Gortnor Abbey @ Westport RFC

Top Oil Junior C Cup Pool 3
1200: St Marys Ballygar v Swinford @ Creggs RFC
 
THURSDAY 16TH JANUARY 2020

Top Oil Senior A Cup Pool 1
1400: Garbally College v CBS Roscommon @ Ballinasloe RFC

Top Oil Senior C Cup Pool 1
1130: Sancta Maria College v Gortnor Abbey @ Westport RFC

Top Oil Junior C Cup Pool 4
1145: Enniscrone v Clifden CS @ Ballina RFC

Top Oil Junior B Cup Pool 1
1200: Pres Headford v Pres Athenry @ Corrib RFC

Top Oil Junior A Cup Pool 1
1230: The Bish v Sligo Grammar @ Newcastle-Galway
1200: Marist College v Garbally College @ Marist College

Top Oil Junior B Cup Pool 2
1200: Colaiste Einde v St Pauls Oughterard @ Colaiste Einde Salthill

A repeat of last year’s Top Oil Connacht Schools Senior A Cup final will kick-off the 2020 edition of the tournament.
 
Reigning champions Garbally College and finalists CBS Roscommon have been paired together in Pool 1, and they’ll meet in the opening pool game on the week of the 13th January with Garbally having home advantage.
 
Summerhill College are the third team in Pool 1, while Pool 2 is made up of Marist College, Sligo Grammar and The Jes.
 
The draw for all six Cups took place at the Sportsground’s Heineken Clubhouse last Saturday prior to Connacht’s Guinness PRO14 game with the Southern Kings.
 
In the Junior A Cup Garbally also go in as reigning champions, and they’ve been paired alongside Marist College, Sligo Grammar and The Bish in Pool 1.
 
Pool 2 consists of The Jes, St. Muiredach’s, Summerhill College and CBS Roscommon, and those opening pool games also take place the week of the 13th January.
 
The finals take place in March 2020 at The Sportsground, with the Senior A, Junior A and Senior B deciders on Wednesday 11th, and the Junior B, Senior C and Junior C finals two weeks later on Wednesday 25th.
 
The full fixture list and pool details can be found HERE
 
TOP OIL 2020 CONNACHT SCHOOLS CUP DRAW
 
Senior A Cup
Pool 1: Garbally College, CBS Roscommon, Summerhill College
Pool 2: Marist College, Sligo Grammar, Colaiste Iognaid
 
Junior A Cup
Pool 1: Garbally College, Marist College, Sligo Grammar, The Bish
Pool 2: Colaiste Iognaid, St. Muiredach’s, Summerhill College, CBS Roscommon
 
Senior B Cup
Pool 1: The Bish, St. Paul’s Oughterard, Colaiste Einde, St. Jarlath’s College
Pool 2: Presentation Headford, Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiarain, St Muiredach’s
Pool 3: Gort CS, Presentation Athenry, HRC Mountbellew
 
Junior B Cup
Pool 1: Presentation Athenry, Presentation Headford, Calasanctius Oranmore, Gallen CS
Pool 2: HRC Mountbellew, St Paul’s Oughterard, Colaiste Einde
Pool 3: St Gerald’s Castlebar, Colaiste Bhaile Chlair, Athlone CC
 
Senior C Cup
Pool 1: Gortnor Abbey, Sancta Maria College, Colaiste Bhaile Chlair, Roscommon CC
Pool 2: St Brigid’s Loughrea, Foxford, St Tiernan’s Crossmolina, Abbey CC
Pool 3: Athlone CC, Clifden CS, Gallen CS
 
Junior C Cup
Pool 1: Portumna CS, Sancta Maria College, Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiarain
Pool 2: Colaiste Chiaran, Gortnor Abbey, Rice College
Pool 3: Abbey CC, Swinford, St Mary’s Ballygar
Pool 4: St Jarlath’s College, Clifden CS, Enniscrone

The 2019 Top Oil Connacht Schools Cup Finals saw six teams from five schools compete in a triple header of finals at Senior A, Junior A and Senior Development level last Wednesday at The Sportsground.
 
Here’s how they got on!
 

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.
 

Garbally College 22
The Jes 15

 
The Juniors of Garbally College ensured they went one better than the agony of 2018 as they clinched the Top Oil Connacht Schools Junior A Cup with an impressed victory over Coláiste Iognáid (The Jes).
 
It was Marist College that got the better of Garbally in last year’s decider by just 3 points so those involved with the Ballinasloe side again this year were looking to make sure they didn’t fall at the final hurdle again. Despite a gallant effort from The Jes, a 22-15 victory gave Garbally the first of a brilliant double at Junior and Senior level.
 

The opening quarter was mostly played on Garbally’s terms as they dominated territory and possession but were being held back by a strong Jes defence. The pressure eventually told on the 16 minute mark as a converted try gave them a 7-0 lead, but the Jes struck straight back with their first dangerous attack of the game when James Harrison touched down out wide to bring it back to 7-5. However Garbally finished the 1st half strongly with 10 unanswered points from a Daithi Blackweir try and Adam O’Carroll penalty to make it 17-5 at the break.
 
The second half ebbed and flowed before The Jes started to narrow the deficit thanks to a try from Adam Madden and a Charlie Power penalty. Like the Senior Development Cup before it we were down to a one score game entering the closing minutes, but again it was the leading side that secured a late try to seal the deal. Samuel Almeida was the man to touch down in the corner for Garbally and the final whistle blew soon after.
 

Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiaráin 25
Gallen CS 19

 
The Top Oil Connacht Schools Cup Finals got underway in style as Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiaráin from An Cheathrú Rua and Gallen CS played out a thoroughly entertaining Senior Development Cup Final at the Sportsground.
 
Both sides dealt with some challenging conditions to play out a back-and-forth encounter, and in the end it was SCC who eventually came out on top 25-19 to claim an historic Senior Development Cup title for the Ghaeltacht region.
 

 
SCC made good use of the wind advantage in the first half as they raced into a 15-0 lead in the opening quarter thanks to tries from Colm Mac Donnacha and Warren Seoighe. However Gallen ensured they went into the break with something on the board with Bernard Corcoran spotting a gap after a 5 minute scrum to touch down.
 
Cian Ó Scanláin ensured SCC started the second half all guns blazing as he scored their third try of the day to regain their 15 point lead, but from then on Gallen started to control proceedings as converted tries from Dawson Maher and Ronan McDonagh ensured there was just a point between the teams entering the closing stages.
 
However SCC weren’t to be denied as Ó Scanláin touched down for his second try and SCC’s fourth to seal a famous 25-19 victory and spark jubilant scenes at The Sportsground.
 

The dates, venues and kick-off times have all been confirmed for the 2019 Top Oil Connacht Schools Senior A and Junior A semi-finals.
 
The games will be played across three days next week in three different venues, with six schools in all represented in the knock-out stages.
 
The first Senior A semi-final takes place on Tuesday 26th February when reigning champions Garbally College will play host to Sligo Grammar (k/o 4.00pm). The victors will play the winners of the other last four tie which will be contested by CBS Roscommon and Colaiste Iognaid on Thursday 28th February at CBS Roscommon (k/o 12.30pm)
 
In the Junior A Cup, Crowley Park in Galway will play host to the first semi-final between Colaiste Iognaid and St Muiredachs on Wednesday 27th February (k/o 12.00pm). The following day it’s the meeting of Garbally College and Marist College in the other semi-final with Garbally enjoying home advantage (k/o 3.30pm).
 
Both finals will be held at The Sportsground on Wednesday 13th March as part of a triple header with the final of the Senior Development Cup final.
 
TOP OIL CONNACHT SCHOOLS SENIOR A CUP SEMI-FINALS
Tuesday 26th February 2019
1600: Garbally College v Sligo Grammar @ Garbally College
Thursday 28th February 2019
1230: CBS Roscommon v Colaiste Iognaid @ Creggs RFC
 
TOP OIL CONNACHT SCHOOLS JUNIOR A CUP SEMI-FINALS
Wednesday 27th February 2019
1200: Colaiste Iognaid v St Muiredachs @ Crowley Park
Thursday 28th February 2019
1530: Garbally College v Marist College @ Garbally College

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