Cronin brothers combine to help Garryowen seal Bateman Cup
Garryowen got their hands on the Bateman Cup for the first time since 2012, as brothers Neil and Liam Cronin combined for three tries in their 45-21 win over first-time finalists City of Armagh at Templeville Road.
Head coach Conan Doyle, who was the Light Blues’ club captain seven years ago, said afterwards: “For guys to win a national trophy, it means a huge amount. You’re always competing at All-Ireland League and it’s not easy to get a shot at the Bateman. Maybe a bit disappointing not to get to the (league) semi-finals, but it’s great to have this to finish off a good season.
“We got a bit of a lead in the first half after a helluva lot of pressure from Armagh. They came back hard at us and I suppose we got scores as they were getting scores. We kept that bit of distance between us.”
Division 1B club Armagh gave a very good account of themselves, trailing 14-7 at one stage and scoring tries through captain Chris Colvin, replacement Andrew Willis and Shea O’Brien.
However, Garryowen built a 24-7 half-time lead and maintained the gap, thanks to tries from Bryan Fitzgerald, Peadar Collins, Jamie Heuston, Neil and Liam Cronin (two), and teenage out-half Ben Healy’s 13-point kicking haul.
CITY OF ARMAGH – T McNiece; E Crummie (A Willis 48), C Colvin (capt), J Pollok, S O’Brien; H Boyd (C Fox 48), H Doyle (G Treanor 60); P Mullen (Fletcher 70), J Morton (Andrew Smyth 32), P Fletcher (O Kiernan 29, replaced by Mullen 80 +1), P Starrett (J Hanna 29), J McKinley (Starrett 46), N Simpson, R Whitten (J Morton 65), N Faloon.
Garryowen – J Heuston; B Fitzgerald, D McCarthy, P Collins (A O’Byrne 55), C O’Shea; B Healy (J Galvin 62), N Cronin (R Guerin 62); N Horan (J Mullany 31-38, C Fitzgerald 69), L Cronin, A Keating, K Seymour, D Moore (capt) (R Whelan 64), T Ferguson, J Daly, D Ryan (A Fitzgerald 57).
REF – N Correll (IRFU)