Tuesday 23 January 2018

Butler guides Iognaid to glory

Colaister Iognaid 23
Sligo Grammar 13
Connacht Schools Senior cup Final

Robert Butler -- son of former Mayo footballer Mark -- was the hero as Colaiste Iognaid captured the provincial title for the fifth time in seven years at the Sportsground yesterday.

For a long time it seemed that the display of Sligo Grammar out-half Colm Egan -- younger brother of Westlife star Kian -- was going to secure the crown again for the reigning champions.

This was the third year in a row that these sides have met in the final and Sligo Grammar, who have now lost five of the last eight deciders, looked good for victory when they opened up a 13-3 lead after 18 minutes.

Egan gave his side an early boost with a penalty and then scrum-half Enda Gavin offloaded superbly to No 8 David Heath, who crossed for a tremendous try after 14 minutes.

Four minutes later Egan intercepted and broke from deep, with centre John Healy duly arriving on time to finish a superb move.

But persistent fouling from the Sligo outfit allowed their Galway city opponents back into the contest and Michael Burke got over for a touchdown from a tapped penalty.

Butler added the conversion and then landed a penalty to leave the score at 13-10 at the interval.

Four minutes into the second period, a break from Brian Dixon provided the crucial moment as he put Butler over for the decisive try, which the winger converted for a 17-13 lead.

And Colaiste Iognaid never looked back after that, with Butler adding two more penalties to secure their 10th title in the grade.

Colaiste Iognaid -- N Murphy; R Butler, F Bourne, B Dixon, C Divilly (S Knight, 64); D Cunnane (P Kelehan, 66), P Power (R Browne, 66); R Brennan (S Fallon, 66), R Murray, D Wilkinson; J Healy, J O'Donnell; M Burke (J Dooley, 66), J Kennedy, C Murphy.

Sligo Grammar --J McGoldrick; M Martin, J Healy, K McGoldrick (C Cooper, 58), M Green; C Egan, E Gavin; T Ferrari, D Rooney, B McCormack; S Boyle, D O'Dowd Hill; C Brady, C Goulden ((P Deering, 66), D Heath.

Ref -- K Collins (CBIRFU).

Irish Independent

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