Top Oil Emerging Cup Final

St Tiernan’s Crossmolina 14

St Jarlath’s Tuam 19

By Rob Murphy at the Sportsground.

A brace of tries from Liam Costello helped St Jarlath’s College Tuam to secure the inaugural Top Oil Connacht Schools Emerging Junior Cup title at a cold and windy Sportsground in Galway on Wednesday.

Emerging Cup 2015 500The form of both the finalists during the pool stages had indicated that a close game was in store and after a frenetic first half, where the lead changed hands four times, St Tiernan’s of Crossmolina held a narrow two point lead.

The opening score of the game had gone to the Tuam side with their highly influential loose head prop Niall Carney getting over for the perfect start and a five point lead. That merely sparked the talented north Mayo school into action and a long spell of pressure eventually brought them their first try.

It came from an error by St Jarlath’s on their own lineout, St Tiernan’s flanker Keith O’Malley burst through to collect a loose ball 20 metres out and charged towards the line to score holding off two attempted tackles, out half Eoin Pritchett edged his side in front with an important conversion.

The supremely talented Pritchett played a key role for the Russell O’Brien coached Crossmolina side during the first half along with Luke Fergus and Luk Gilmartin in the centres but their ascendency lasted a mere 10 minutes as a try from Jarlath’s centre Liam Costello and a Jack Ward conversion with half time approaching restored the Jarlath’s lead at 12-7.

The twists and turns continued with Tiernans striking back in first half injury time when Gilmartin intercepted a Jarlath’s pass 30 metres from the try line and out ran the cover for the try and what was to turn into a 14-12 half time lead after a well taken Pritchett conversion.

Either side of half time Ward missed two chances to put Jarlath’s in front but during a tight and tense second half, the Tuam side slowly began to assert dominance and finally found a lead score with seven minutes left when Ward moved the ball wide in the 22 and Dara Silke linked well with Costello for what provided to be the match winning score.

Emerging Cup 2015 564There was still time for another Tiernan’s attack and Jarlath’s captain Michael Mitchell saw yellow for coming in from the side during a tense finale but good tackles Regan Warde, Adam Brady and Cormac Deignan among others helped the Tuam side see it through. The coaching team of Kieran Murphy, Michael Spring, John Ward and Jimmy Maughan have helped to make some history for the Tuam school.

St Tiernans: Niall Maughan; Declan O’Boyle, Luke Fergus, Luke Gilmartin, Cian Mullen; Eoin Pritchett, Conor Cadden; Ronan McAndrew, Eoin O’Malley, Darragh Ruane; Sean Gallagher, Stephen McLoughlin; Keith O’Malley, Joseph Canavan, Ronan Lavelle.

St Jarlath’s Tuam: Fionan Cahill; Matthew Fitzmaurice, Dara Silke, Liam Costello, Kane Boal; Jack Ward, Mark King; Niall Carney, Regan Warde, Conor Melia; Michael Mitchell, Adam Brady; Cormac Diegnan, Ciaran Gleeson, Conor Powdery.

Replacements: Damien Boyle for Kane Boal; Alex Walsh for Conor Melia.

 

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