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Baba's double delivers glory for St Gerald's

St Gerald's, Castlebar 36 Roscommon CBS 22
Connacht Schools Jnr Cup final

Published 20/03/2014 | 02:30

St. Gerald's Castlebar players celebrate after the game
St. Gerald's Castlebar players celebrate after the game
Mark Balask, St. Gerald's Castlebar, goes over to score his side's third try
Tomas Prenderast, St. Gerald's Castlebar, is tackled by Michael Feeley, left, and Daire Byrne
Mark Balask, St. Gerald's Castlebar, is tackled by Ian Conlon, CBS Roscommon

Two tries from Thierry Baba helped St Gerald's claim their first Connacht junior cup title with victory over Roscommon CBS at the Sportsground.

With five minutes to go, the sides were tied at 22-22, but late tries from Baba and fly-half Barry Walsh sealed a deserved victory for the Mayo side.

In the first half it looked as if St Gerald's were going to run away with the game after Baba, Sean Tonra and Mark Balaski all ran in tries and Walsh kicked expertly in the windy conditions for a 19-3 lead by the 28th minute.

But Roscommon CBS were thrown a lifeline just before the break when James Fetherstone barged over and Michael Farrell converted to cut St Gerald's half-time lead to 19-10.

After the break they continued to make inroads and after coming close on a number of occasions, James Brandon crossed and Farrell again converted to make it 19-17. Walsh kicked an important penalty from distance for Castlebar before Brian Diffley's 41st-minute try levelled the game after a period of superiority from the Roscommon men.

Seven minutes from time CBS were hit with a severe blow when centre Conor Shanagher was sin-binned and with a one-man advantage the Mayo school set up camp in the Roscommon '22'.

Winger Dara King came close to the winning score in the left corner, but once Baba raced in for his second try of the day and Walsh danced over from halfway in the last minute, the victory was theirs.

St Gerald's Castlebar – M Balaski; C Brohan, M Benson, R Loughran, D King; B Walsh, R Padden; S Tonra, R Curran, S O'Connell; T Prendergast, C Walsh; S O'Callaghan, T Baba, J Heavey.

Roscommon CBS – M Farrell; N Cunniffe, J Hoare, C Shanagher, C Gatley; S Purcell, E Coyle; D Butt, S Doorly, J Murray (M Coneth 35 blood); J Fetherstone, M Feeley; D Byrne (E Clinton 37), J Brandon, B Diffley.

Ref – E Dormer (CBIRFU)

Irish Independent

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