New order as boot of Goode guides Marist College past Garbally to second successive final win
Athlone school claim Connacht senior crown
The Marist College team celebrate their victory over Garbally College in the Connacht Schools Senior Cup Final at the Sportsground in Galway. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
Date: 13 March, 2013
The new order held sway at the Galway Sportsground yesterday when Marist College Athlone captured their second successive Connacht Senior Schools Cup for the first time. Favourites to win their third senior cup – the first being some 36 years ago – their superiority and experience ensured they were deserving winners over the former Connacht kingpins Garbally College in this centenary year of the Connacht schools cup.
Marist looked the more threatening with ball in hand. Always in front, they were made to work hard to seal the victory after Garbally reduced the arrears to four points midway through the second half.
Marist outhalf Barry Goode, who scored 13 points gave his side the lead with a penalty on 16 minutes as St Joseph’s No 8 and captain Jack Codyre was yellow carded for not rolling away after the tackle. As Garbally struggled to escape their own half, Marist continued to dominate the territorial stakes.
Right wing Harry Hughes ran in from 20m to score in the corner, and a super touchline conversion from Goode gave the title holders a 10- 0 lead after 27 minutes. Goode added another two penalties as Garbally were unable to make any headway before the break as Marist led 13-0.
However Garbally started brightly in the second half as scrumhalf and captain Sean Horan struck a 30m penalty two minutes later after the Athlone outfit were caught offside to reduce the arrears to 10 points.
Two minutes later Goode restored the lead with a 22nd minute penalty, but in a second half dominated by penalties, Marist found themselves conceding at the breakdown for a side entry, and Horan potted his second effort two minutes later. The game swung in Garbally’s favour, thanks to some astute line kicking, and when Marist centre Seán Dempsey was sinbinned for impeding a Garbally player, the 44-times champions laid siege on the Marist line.
Locks Peter Claffey’s charge to the line was held up, but No 8 Jack Codyre was able to smuggle the ball over the line for a Ballinasloe try. Horan added the conversion, reducing the deficit to 11-16 to give the title challengers some hope of causing an upset.
However Marist sealed the match two minutes later when Robbie McMicken crossed for his side’s second try after a superb touchline run. Goode added the extras to ensure his side the win.
Garbally, seeking a 45th crown, were contesting their first final since 2007, the last year of boarding at the school. On that occasion they overturned a Marist outfit still trying to make the breakthrough. In the interim Garbally coach Michael Horan can take huge credit in keeping rugby alive at the school, while his counterpart Mick Loftus can salute another successful season.
In the curtainraiser between the two Senior Development Cup finalists, St Enda’s prevailed by over Clifden Community School by 10-7.
GARBALLY COLLEGE: A Mannion; R Kelly, C Barrett, I Duffy, S Tierney; S Keller, S Horan; D Walshe, P Gilsenon, D O’Hara; P Claffey, S Holland; D Connolly, D Curley, J Codyre (cpt). Replacements: S Lyons for Walsh, C Dooley for Mannion (both 69 mins), B Wilmore for Connolly (74 mins).
MARIST COLLEGE: E O’Reilly; H Hughes, S Dempsey, C Langdon, R McMicken; B Goode, R Ashe (cpt); J Gormley, J O’Meara, C O’Brien; J Flynn, C White; B Cooper, E Glavin. Replacements: C Morrissey for Cooper (65 mins), S Meunarga for O’Meara (66 mins), T Finucane for Langdon, C McMicken for Gode (both 69 mins).
Referee: Joe Langan (IRFU).