Towards a century at the heart of Connacht rugby

U17s 23 – Castlebar 7

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Match Result

  • Result: Galwegians U17 23 - Castlebar 7
  • Venue: Sportsground on Sun Apr 26th 2015
  • Competition: Connacht U17 Cup
  • Match photos

Match Report

Galwegians U17’s capped a memorable week when they secured the double, seeing off a gallant Castlebar side at a sun-kissed Sportsground on Sunday.

In a fixture-congested end of season, the young Blues had to play three games within seven days. Having seen off Buccs last weekend to claim the League title, the Glenina youngsters had to travel again on Wednesday  evening, this time to Creggs who they beat 23-3 in the Cup semi-final which earned them their place in the Final.

The Blues made a near perfect start and opened the scoring after just 3 minutes, when centre Jonah Culligan burst over the line near the corner for the opening try. The Blues kept up the pressure and pinned the Mayomen in their half in the opening exchanges. On 15 minutes they doubled their lead with a second unconverted try, this time winger Hugh Lane showing great speed and determination to fend off two attempted tackles and scorch over in the corner.

There was to be no let-up for a luckless Castlebar, and Wegians scored try number three just before the half-hour, when some excellent work and hands in the centres saw Culligan cross for his second try of the game. Although again unconverted, the Blues now had a commanding 15-0 lead. Culligan missed a penalty attempt soon after, but he did find his range right on half-time after an injury sustained by iconic lock forward Terry Al Abayoni, stretching the lead to 18-0.

In the second-half the Mayomen had a breeze behind them from the Bohermore end, and they set about eating into the deficit. However they were dealt a killer blow when early pressure saw the Blues break from their own line, and moments later some superlative rugby resulted in a wonder try for full-back Jasper Byrne, which put the Blues virtually out of sight at 23-0.

However credit the opposition who refused to give up. Castlebar took the fight to Wegians and threw everything at them in their search for scores. They deservedly broke through on 52 minutes with a try from Matthew Flynn, which was converted to reduce the gap to sixteen points.

The remainder of the half was more of the same, as Castlebar kept searching for more points, only to meet a determined and resolute Blues defence who simply refused to buckle. They were putting bodies on the line regularly, exemplified by their talismanic out-half Rory Gaffney who had to retire shortly before the end.

Time eventually ran out for the Mayomen, and the full-time whistle signalled jubilant scenes for the Glenina boys. Captain on the day Jasper Byrne then received his side's second provincial trophy in a week, making these young Blues the undoubted kingpins of Connacht rugby in their age grade.

 

Players

2014-15 Squad:

Aaron O’Halloran, Abdul-Haq Abayoni, Antoine Hubert, Callum Heapes, Cathal O'Brien, Cian Dillon, Cian Healy, Cian Parsons, Conall Fallon, Connall MacCuartha, Conor Casey, Craig Fox, David Robb, Dylan Neary, Eamonn Kelly, Eanna O'Foighil, Eoghan Dobey, Ewan Heapes, Federico Schroeder, Fionn Durkin, Hugh Lane, James Hill, Jasper Byrne, Eoghan O’Connell, Joe McNicholl, John Lenehan, Jonah Culligan, Killian Byrne, Michael Higgins, Michael Kerin, Robert Hennessy, Ronan Corless, Rory Gaffney, Tiernan Surlis , Tommy Butler

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