Calasanctius College dethrone All-Ireland golf champions
Connacht champions: Back row, Robert Downes, Marcus Brennan, Damien O’Reilly, Ross Malone, Anton Brennan, Conor Ruane, Eanna Corry, Fergal O’Dea. Front row, Richard Noonan, Shane Francis (assistant manager) Patrick Brennan (manager), Michael Kennelly.
Calansanctius College, Oranmore, has been crowned Connacht golf champions and will represent the province in the All Ireland schools golf semi-finals in April next year.
The team of Robert Downes, Marcus Brennan, Damien O’Reilly, Ross Malone, Anton Brennan, Conor Ruane, Eanna Corry, Fergal O’Dea, Michael Kennelly and Richard Noonan, overcame St Gerald's College, Castlebar, in the final at the Irish Senior Schools Matchplay provincial finals in Claremorris.
However it was the school’s semi-final victory over the reigning provincial and All Ireland champions, Rice College of Westport, that set them up. The two schools had met at the same stage last year with the Mayo school prevailing, and they were once again favourites, having led the qualifiers impressively at Castle Dargan a week earlier.
However a cautious start by the Rice College enabled Calasanctius to get an early foothold, and they went to finish 3/2 winners to dethrone the current champions.
The Oranmore team, managed by Patrick Brennan and assistant Shane Francis, took the top two matches in the final to finish comfortable winners against St Gerald's College, who eased past a youthful St Jarlath's side in their semi-final.