Galwegians hold off local rivals' late charge to secure Cup glory
Galwegians 8 Corinthians 7 Connacht U-17 Cup Final
Corinthians, who will contest the league final next weekend, were pipped in the first leg of a potential double, losing narrowly to Galwegians in the cup decider.
Corinthians started the brighter of the two teams at the Sportsground but the early stages were littered with handling errors from both teams.
Both the Galwegians No 10 Aditya Donovan and his Corinthians counterpart Declan Gill carried well in the opening ten minutes but neither could unlock the opposition defence. After 22 minutes a kick in behind by Gill threatened to unhinge the Galwegians defence but the Wegians winger Ruairi Breathnach won the race to get the ball to safety.
On 27 minutes Galwegians had the opportunity to land the first points of the match when Corinthians conceded a penalty for not releasing but Ewan Heapes couldn't convert when kicking into a strong breeze from the 10-metre line. The match was proving to be a tight and scrappy affair and referee Shane McElwee had to speak to both captains on multiple occasions due to persistent infringements. He finally had enough on 30 minutes and Corinthians' Cian Huxford found himself in the sin-bin.
On 35 minutes, Corinthians spurned their best chance to break the deadlock as they missed a penalty which sailed to the left and wide from the boot of Gill. This left the score at 0-0 at half-time. The second half began much like the first with both teams finding it difficult to hold on to possession.
On 37 minutes Galwegians captain, Heapes, finally opened the scoring as he landed a penalty to make it 3-0. On 49 minutes Galwegians found themselves a man down after Neil Mulcahy was shown a yellow card by the referee, again for persistent team infringements. Corinthians couldn't make this advantage count as they struggled to break down the stubborn Wegians defence. On 63 minutes the game finally burst into life.
A well-worked move down the right side of the pitch resulted in Breathnach gathering a well-judged kick through to get in a Galwegians try. The resulting conversion was missed to leave the score 8-0 in favour of Wegians. Corinthians didn't let this setback affect them as they battled to find a response.
On 69 minutes Corinthians got the try their hard work deserved, Declan Gill added the conversion to leave the scoreline at 8-7 with only added time remaining. Corinthians gathered the restart and held on to possession through several phases of play as they went in search of the score which would hand them the game. The Galwegians defence held firm and when the impressive Jordan Fogerty prodded the ball into touch the referee blew the final whistle to hand Galwegians a narrow victory over their local rivals.
Corinthians - 1. Colm Joyce 2. Ruairi Waldron Caulfield 3. Lorcan Roche 4. Cian Huxford 5. Aodhfinn Broderick 6. Jamie Kelliher 7. Dylan Tierney 8. Morgan O'Brien 9. Jack Whyte 10. Declan Gill 11. Tomas Forde 12. Macdara O'Duibhir 13. Harry O'Donghaile 14. Gary Collumb 15. Ciaran Weldon 16. Liam Melia 17. Dara Nee 18. Jack Egan 19. Jack Nevin 20. Ben Lavelle 21. Liam Costello 22. Oisin O' Flatharta 23. Ronan Ipek
Galwegians - 1. Jonathan Joyce 2. Callum Palmer 3. Ronan Corless 4. James Butler 5. Jordan Fogerty 6. Ian Wynne 7. Neil Mulcahy 8. Daniel Johnson 9. Michael O'Donnell 10. Aditya Donovan 11. Julius Byrne 12. Aaron White Martyn 13. Cillian McCabe 14. Ruairi Breathnach 15. Ewan Heapes 16. Conor O'Regan 17. Ethan Conroy 18. Conor Gillespie 19. Timothy Regan 20. Cathal McGuinness 21. Martin McGrath 22. Colm Tarpey 23. Dylan Hamill