Top Oil Connacht Schools Junior Emerging Cup Final
Abbey Community College 24-18 St Joseph’s Foxford
An outstanding individual try from Abbey Community College captain Max King snatched a dramatic win for his side in the Top Oil Junior Emerging Cup final at the Sportsground.
It was a thrilling decider with both sides playing excellent rugby and putting their all into the clash with the hard work being done at their schools and clubs paying dividends.
Abbey Community College edged an end-to-end opening with the game bursting into life on 20 minutes. It was Abbey who drew first blood after a decent spell of pressure as lock Kyle Cosgrove did superbly to stretch and touch down in the left corner.
Josh Cronin saw his well-struck touchline conversion drift just wide and Abbey led 5-0.
The response from St Joseph’s Foxford was immediate as flanker Jason Doherty picked from the base of a scrum and showed serious pace to loop around the outside of the defence on the blind side and dive over in the right corner. The tricky conversion was missed by out-half Adam Naughton and the sides were level at 5 apiece at the interval.
Foxford took the lead shortly after the break as Caolan Hopkins powered over from close range after a dominant start to the half from St Joseph’s to make it 10-5.
An outstanding team move from Abbey that started with a Sean Garvin catch on the right touchline and included a number of offloads ended with Adam O’Connor crossing with Cronin adding the conversion to make it 12-10 to Abbey.
The momentum swung back Foxford’s way when Hopkins barged over for his second try in the left corner to move his side into a 15-12 lead.
Abbey hit back once again however and King stretched to touch down as the game entered the final 10 minutes to regain his side’s two-point lead.
Adam Naughton nervelessly knocked over a penalty for Foxford that looked to be the winning score as they moved 18-17 ahead.
But King scored his second try to snatch the win as he hacked through from halfway and showed incredible speed to reach the ball first and touch down. Cosgrove added the extras and that proved to be the last score as Abbey Community College took the title.
St Joseph’s Foxford: Shea Pye; Evan Reape, Mikey McHale, Tadhg Ruane, Ryan Kenny; Adam Naughton, Kienan Smyth; Donal McLoughlin, Darragh Gaughan, Caolan Hopkins; Thomas Hannigan, Cullin Bell; Ryan Herbert, Jason Doherty, Liam McEvoy.
Replacements: Frankie Morris, Cian Timlin, Connell Dempsey, Leo Sulej, Jason Neary
Abbey Community College squad: Jamie Reynolds; Antonio Chilton, Josh Cronin, Max King, Martin Kennedy; Daire Cregg, Eoin Dowd; Oisin McLoughlin, Brian Hannon, Daire MacTiernan; Kyle Cosgrove, Danney Funke; Adam Langan, Adam O’Connor, Ethan Beirne, Cadell Beirne, Diarmuid Dowd, Mathew Lawlor, Jack Flannigan, Cathal Feely, Kelvin Morris, Shayne Hayden, Adam Simon.