Superb pace of Butler cousins too much for brave Gallen
Sligo GS 45
Gallen CS 13
CONNACHT SCHOOLS SENIOR CUP
Three tries in a five-minute spell just before the break at Ferbane yesterday earned Sligo Grammar a place in the final against Colaiste Iognaid, who will be bidding to complete a three-in-a-row for the first time in the school's history.
Gallen CS battled bravely against the wind in the opening half as they played their second game in four days. In fact, a shock seemed possible when they led by 6-5 approaching half-time.
Two penalties from impressive out-half Callum Boland, either side of the opening try from Sligo full-back Scott Oates, gave the losers that slender lead approaching the break.
But then, the sheer power and pace of Sligo Grammar blew them away as the superb running of cousins David and Stephen Butler in the centre carved open the home defence.
Flanker Tom Callaghan got in for a try to put Sligo into a lead they never lost and by half-time the game was over as a contest, as tries from Aaron Spring and Gary McConnell gave them a 24-6 interval lead.
The power of Spring, No 8 Danny Qualter and prop Tom Ferrari, coupled with the excellence of out-half Pat Hughes, was too much for Gallen.
Spring and Hughes crossed for second-half tries to seal the deal, but Gallen never gave up and were rewarded with a fine try from Clinton Auret in the closing stages.
But Sligo Grammar, who will be bidding for their ninth crown in next Wednesday's final, having been beaten in four of the last six deciders, finished in style with Hughes getting over for their seventh try.
Sligo GS -- S Oates; S Creamer, D Butler (E Doherty 59), S Butler (J Healy 39), P Laffey; P Hughes, O Van der Grijn; T Ferrari (C Brady 64), G McConnell (D Rooney 66), J Gill (B McCormack 51); J Clarke (P Carson 64), E O'Donnell; A Spring, T Callaghan, D Qualter (D Heath 54).
Gallen CS -- D Corbett; C Lowry, C Auret, L Claffey, J Egan; C Boland, W Healy (M Auret 47); D Higgins, E O'Brien, G Dunne (L Fox 48, D Egan 68); G Duignan ( A Kelly 65), E Casey; C Hanniffy, D Duignan (N Quinn 68), E Keena.
Ref -- K Collins (CBIRFU).