Abbey Crowned Connacht Kings Once Again
Abbey Community College 8 : St Joseph’s Foxford 5
Ronan Flanagan at The Sportsground.
Abbey Community College retained the Top Oil Junior Emerging Cup for the second year in succession following a hard fought three point win vs St. Joseph’s Foxford in a wet and windy Galway on Wednesday.
Ironically, the North Roscommon school defeated the same opposition in last year’s decider at the same venue.
This year’s final was just as tight.
Aengus Martin’s side started the brighter. With the aid of a strong wind, “The Boys in Blue” looked to gain an early advantage. Following a scrum near halfway, Scrum-half Oisín Cregg found Cathal Feely, whose grubber kick was chased and finished by winger Josh Cronin. Dáire Cregg’s resulting conversion fell just short afterwards.
The Mayo school applied huge pressure following the restart, however, following a knock-on, Dáire Cregg split the posts with a penalty after ten minutes.
Throughout the game, Foxford dominated the scrum stakes. The front row of Liam McEvoy, Tyler Guilfoyle and Donal McLoughlin gained the upper-hand on their Boyle counterparts. However, their pressure did not come to fruition as dropped balls and relentless Abbey defending from the likes of Adam Langan and Danny Funke to name a few, left them frustrated and left the half time score: Abbey CC 8, St Joseph’s Foxford 0.
After the interval, Foxford came out looking to get some points on the board. Five minutes into the second period, they must have thought they had a try of their own, as Mikey McHale raced through, only to be excellently stopped just short of the line by Abbey Full-back Antonio Chilton.
Their scrum dominance continued in the second half, and after continuously looking for the line, Prop Forward and Captain Liam McEvoy crossed the whitewash. The conversion afterwards was missed by Fionán Cruise.
The influential Max King was introduced by Abbey and his ball running ability tired out the Foxford defence. The East Mayo school lost try scorer McEvoy to injury after forty eight minutes and lacked power in the scrum after his absence.
Following scrum after scrum and a lengthy injury stoppage, time ticked away which played to Abbey’s advantage. In the dying seconds, Foxford turned the ball over, but unfortunately for them, the ball was dropped. The referee blew the full time which sparked wild celebrations both on the pitch and in the Clan Terrace were the Boyle supporters were roaring on the team.
Full Time: Abbey CC 8, St Joseph’s Foxford 5.
Abbey CC: (1-15) L. Connolly, D. Dowd, J. Young, A. Langan, J. Flanagan, C. Beirne, C. Feely, D. Funke, O. Cregg, D. Cregg, D. Valentine, J. Reynolds, T. Demeter, J. Cronin, A. Chilton.
Replacements: D. Winters, J. McNamara, M. Lawlor, M. King, S. Garavan, B. O’ Connor, D. Casey, D. Flanagan, L. McKenna.
St Josephs Foxford: (1-15) L. McEvoy, T. Gulfoyle, D. McLoughlin, C. McHale, M. Holmes, C. Loftus, T. Hannigan, A. Gallagher, K. Smith, F. Cruise, M. McHale, C. Lowndes, T. Ruane, J. Neary, E. Reape.
Replacements: S. King, C. Bell, S. Corcoran, M. Ormsby, E. Bourke, P. O’ Hora, L. Sulej, N. Boukioud.
I would like to wish Abbey CC Scrum- half Oisín Cregg a healthy and speedy recovery after receiving a horrific looking injury.
Dáire Cregg (©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo)[/caption]