Coláiste Iognáid 18 Roscommon CBS 16
Coláiste Iognáid (The Jes) secured their place in the 2022 Connacht Schools Senior Cup final in the most dramatic fashion imaginable on Thursday afternoon when Patrick Nash's penalty just one minute before the final whistle nudged them over the line against a Roscommon CBS side that was more than a match for their Galway city opponents throughout an absorbing contest at Galwegians RFC.
It looked like CBS were destined to reach just their second ever senior cup final when DJ Hession nudged them in front after 33 minutes with a well-struck penalty, but Coláiste Iognáid were to get two more chances to salvage their season, missing the first when Andrew Sherlock pushed a penalty wide.
They immediately gathered the reastart and drove hard at CBS to earn another chance when the defending side failed to roll away from the rearside of a ruck, with the subsequent penalty struck straight and true by Patrick Nash to secure the win.
3-3 at half-time was a fair reflection of a tight game that really opened up just three minutes after the break when Robert McHugh made a smart break and offloaded to David Kelly, with the lock forward showing a clean pair of heels to beat two tacklers before touching down under the posts.
So began a period of tit for tat scores that saw Aodhán Looby reply for Roscommon, Paddy Fahy use his power to drive over for a Jes try to make it 15-8, and then Jack Donnelly sneak into the right corner after DJ Hession's quick pass gave him enough room to get under the Jes defence.
A late and high hit by Hugh Kelly on Darren Gately left Hession, who played both minor hurling and football for Roscommon in 2021, the task of giving Roscommon CBS their first lead of the game with two minutes to play.
Hession was up to the challenge, but despite the yellow card that was shown to Kelly, Coláiste Iognáid were also able to find a reply when they needed it most.
Coláiste Iognáid: Tries: D Kelly 38 mins, P Fahy 51 mins; Pens: P Nash, 8 mins, 70 mins; Con: P Nash 38 mins.
Roscommon CBS: Tries: A Looby 45 mins, J Donnelly, 58 mins; Pens: DJ Hession 35 mins, 68 mins.
Coláiste Iognáid: B O'Malley; H Kelly, A Madden, R McHugh, C Toner; P Nash, A Sherlock; P Fahy, C Leonard, L Cloherty ; R Lally, D Kelly; R Kavanagh, S McGovern, J Quinn.
Replacements: C Bogue for McGovern (42 mins), C Ó Floinn for Toner (42 mins), AJ Solan for Cloherty (67 mins), F Hanney for Lally (70 mins).
Roscommon CBS: D Gately; S Lambe, A Looby, E Filho, J Fleming; DJ Hession, C Dolan; A Gorman, T Tiernan , B Johnson; A Hoare, E Kelly; C Purcell, T Etette, L Kilcoyne.
Replacements: J Murray for Gorman (16 mins), M McAteer for Hoare (h/t), A Oates for Murray (44 mins), J Donnelly for Fleming (51 mins), S Rohan for Tiernan (64 mins).
Referee: J Craughwell.