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Fitzgibbon pounces late

A try nine minutes from full-time by Irish Schools international Conor Fitzgibbon gave Marist, Athlone, victory over a battling Calasanctius in Oranmore yesterday.

Marist, who now face Gallen CC in the semi-finals, recovered from a 9-5 half-time deficit as they turned around a game they looked like losing for long periods.

Calasanctius took the lead when excellent full-back Jonathan Kelleher landed the first of his three opening-half penalties after 11 minutes.

Three minutes later Marist crossed for their first try after a clinical move involving Ben Carty saw Fitzgibbon putting in Robert Henshaw in at the left corner.

However, two further penalties from Kelleher, including a huge effort from halfway, saw Calasanctius hold a deserved lead at the break.

Inspired by Sean O'Brien, they maintained their impressive forward play in the second half, but their efforts proved in vain as Fitzgibbon struck with time running out and Carty kicked a splendid conversion from the sideline.

MARIST -- R Henshaw; E Maher (R Corcoran 46), C Seery, R Sheridan, C Fitzgibbon; B Carty, B Digby; B Teape, S Flanagan, S Meunargia; K Cooper, T Thornton; S Ryan, E Kelly (C Langdon 51), M Doddy.

Calasanctius -- J Kelleher; M Kavanagh (M Daly 66), R Burke, P O'Donnell, B O'Connell (K Finneran 61); D Joyce, R O'Donnell; C Folan (T Huxford 61), S Dunne, E Breen (C Considine 51); D Greene, B Huxford (L Foland 47); P Hackett (D Comer 61), E Grealish, S O'Brien.

Ref -- D Flood (CBIRFU).

Irish Independent