Colaiste Iognaid cantered into the semi-final of this year’s Connacht Schools’ Senior Rugby Cup with a comfortable 19 - 0 victory over Garbally at Newcastle, Galway, yesterday.
Last year’s finalists, who were denied a three-in-a-row by Sligo Grammar, were too strong for Garbally, running in three tries with a dominant display.
The two sides met at the same stage last year when Garbally, the most successful school in the competition’s history, made the Jes work hard for a narrow 9 - 3 win, but yesterday, despite a battling performance, their only opportunity to score came in the fourth minute when outhalf Ross Keller’s penalty dropped short. Despite enjoying their fair share of possession, their failure to retain the ball through the phases proved their downfall, and by half time they had allowed the Jes to open up a 12 - 0 lead.
The first try came from their hard-running centre Bryan Dickson who broke from the 22, with right wing Robert Butler adding the extras for a 7 - 0 lead.
It was not long before they claimed their second from a counter-attacking move deep in their own half when No 8 Conor Murphy made the hard yards before Butler supplied left wing Sam Knight who dotted down in the right corner.
Well organised, and strong in the off-load, the Jes possessed all-round superiority where hooker Robert Murray, and the backrow of Michael Burke, James Kennedy and Murphy combined effortlessly with their backline. The second-half petered to its inevitable conclusion as Garbally continued to make too many mistakes, and although the Jes had a man sent to the bin, they added a third try from the hard-working Jordan Healy in the 52nd minute, which Butler converted.
Yellow cards: Ross Brennan (Colaiste Iognaid ) 42m.
Colaiste Iognaid: N Murphy, R Butler, F Bourne, B Dickson, S Knight, D Cunnane, P Power, D Wilkinson, R Murray, R Brennan, J Healy, J O’Donnell, M Burke, J Kennedy, C Murphy. Replacements, R Browne for Knight (52m ), J Divilly for Burke (68m ), Patrick Kelehan for Butler (69m ).
St Joseph’s College, Garbally: M Tiernan, C Clougher, D Freeman, K O’Neill, C Loughney, R Keller, D Murray, T Murphy, D Byrne, D Walsh, S Curtin, A Lougney, N Gibbons, D Curley, J Walshe. Replacements, K Gavin for Murphy (32m ), D Goode for Curtin (HT ), P McCormack for Loughney (43m ), P Connolly for Gibbons (61m ).
Referee: J Doyne (CBIRFU ).