Codyre holds nerve to take glory for Jes
Connacht Senior Cup Final: Colaiste Iognaid 16 Garbally 15
Colaiste Iognaid coach Stephen Parkinson was proud of his students as they claimed a last-ditch victory over the most prolific winners Garbally College in an exciting final at the Sportsground.
The hero for 'the Jes' was Morgan Codyre, who followed up his semi-final heroics by landing a late penalty to clinch it in an action-packed final.
It was Galway city school's 13th crown, making up for last year's disappointment in the junior decider to claim their first senior title since 2011.
The win was spear-headed by the Codyre brothers, out-half Morgan and full-back Diarmuid.
Colaiste Iognaid qualified for the decider with a 6-0 win over Marist College, when Morgan Codyre landed two penalties, but they showed much more attacking intent in a highly entertaining final.
Reigning champions Garbally had lock Stephen Grenham yellow-carded for a dangerous tackle, and they couldn't break the Jes rearguard down again.
"It was so close and it was nerve-wracking but we knew it would be that way," said Parkinson.
"They had some big ball-carriers, and they broke through us a few times but I felt we were a bit mobile and that stood to us. Morgan showed a lot of nerve at the end. He has been doing that all season.
It was a thrilling opening half packed full of attacking rugby, and both sides had their opportunities but it was 10-10 at the break.
Garbally had the big match experience, and they began well. They got the first try after eight minutes, when Michael O'Neill used his physical strength to break through after Colm O'Brien spotted an opportunity, and the move finished with out-half Frank Hopkins crossing the whitewash in the right corner.
Colm Reilly missed the conversion and Jes fought their way back, with Morgan Codyre slotting a 14th minute penalty.
Diarmuid Codyre set up the next Jes' score, a try in the 24th minute, when he broke down the left and kicked over for the on-rushing David Molloy to touch down.
His brother's conversion made it 10-5, but Garbally struck for their second try with O'Neill powering his way over for a good try.
That tied it up 10-10 at half-time, before another Morgan Codyre penalty gave Jes the lead.
O'Neill crossed over for Garbally's third try and they were in the ascendency until Grenham got yellow after being adjudged to have tip-tackled Adam Corbett before Codyre slotted a late penalty for the win.
It was a cruel finish for Garbally but coach Kevin Tierney said Jes deserved their win.
"It was disappointing to finish that close and lose. It was a learning experience, and Jes just had that bit extra on the day," he said.
Colaiste Iognaid - D Codyre; C McCabe, R Hunt, J Hill (S Monaghan 70), D Molloy; M Codyre, J Byrne; A Corbett, C Fallon, G Keane; A Mannion, R Gorey; C Parsons (C McGuinness 63), F Durkin, J Gallagher.
St Joseph's Garbally - B Horkan; E Galvin, C O'Brien, J Devine, B McKenna; F Hopkins, C Reilly; J Alova (C Smyth 49), E Costello, C Coffey (R Khan 53); C Harewood, S Grenham; M Abdallah (G Donoghue h-t), C Tumelty (I Muldoon 68), M O'Neill.
Ref - G Sheridan.
Winnett leads Marist to victory
Connacht Schools Jnr Cup Final: Marist College 25 Garbally College 0
Liam Winnett, a first cousin of Ireland international Robbie Henshaw, scored two tries as Marist claimed an impressive win over rivals Garbally at the Sportsground.
The big No 8 scored twice in the second-half as Marist pushed on from their 10-0 half-time lead to seal sixth title and their first since 2013.
Coach Donal Scannell was delighted with his side's efforts, as Mattie Nally also crossed twice.
"Things went our way, the boys have trained very hard all year. And it all paid off in the finish and we are delighted with the win," he said. Marist dominated the opening half using their power to full effect and after Winnett nearly crashed over, the ball was recycled for Nally to touch down.
Tom O'Carroll had slotted a penalty and his conversion gave Marist had a 10-0 interval lead.
Winnett got a deserved try 12 minutes into the second half, when he pirouetted his way over, and after Nally added his second, Winnett sealed it late on.
Marist Col - A Murtagh; D Mulvihill (L McFarlane 62), M Nally, R Dempsey, C Larkin (N O'Neill 64); C Sugrue, T O'Carroll; C O'Grady (C Daly 61), D Browne (P Ryan 51), J Downes; M Tallon (R Lowe 63), J Scouler; F Galvin, M O'Neill, L Winnett.
Garbally - C Treacy; N Horan, S Jennings, S O'Carroll, R Parker (J Coughlan 54); S Grenham (S Horkan 44), S Mannion (M Smyth 54); P Reddy (J Carry 48-49), P Grehan, J Dempsey; O Dooley, C Clark (J Noone 54); O McCormack, R Donnellan, M Comerford.
Ref - P Gaughan