June 2011

Bish Win Connacht Schools U-15 Rugby Blitz

The BISH overcome the Jes to claim Connacht Schools U-15 
Blitz Cup 

The Bish won the Connacht Schools U-15 Rugby Blitz in Ballinasloe on Wednesday. They overcame a plucky Jes team in the Final. The Bish defeated many old and new rivals along the way to their unbeaten victory. 

Their opening game was against bitter rivals of the past, Garbally, in a 15-a-side, 9minute half’s of all out rugby as conversions weren’t counted! Rugby was the order of the day and the Bish didn’t disappoint. They opened their scoring with Colin Joyce charging, as he did all day, over the line early in the 1st half. Joyce was followed by Ciaran Gaffney and Christopher Dunne either side of the half time whistle. Garbally failed to score against their old rivals and this was a common trend throughout the series of Bish matches.

The adventurous Marist College Athlone paid the price when the solid Bish defence forced the turn over on the Marist 22metre line and the electric pace of James Mitchell saw him over the line. Mitchell was followed by the hard straight running of Gaffney close in to leave it at 10-0 at half time. The second half was capped with a brace of tries from the tireless Aonghus Naughton. 

The Bish’s newest city rivals Calsantus were a tough opposition with a strong pack, but the Bish boys met the challenge head on, led by Phelim McGovern, Frank Jennings and pack leader, Ciaran Gavin. While both packs fought for dominance the class was shown out wide with slick hands from Gaffney to Cathal Evans who fought his way over the line from close range. A solid Bish scrum set the platform for the games second and final try. A well worked backrow move saw the ball off-loaded between six sets of hands before James Mitchell cantered over the whitewash for the team try of the day. So that left it with the Bish unbeaten in the group stages, three wins out of three.

The semi-final was set with the Jes topping the opposite group and the Bish topping theirs, they might only meet in the final! The Bish faced a sturgeon task of beating St. Geralds of Castlebar. An early score from the hard working Rory Bleeker quelled St. Geralds fire. The ever present Naughton and controlling Gaffney got over for two well worked tries. Solid defence in the second half denied the strong running No. 8 of St. Geralds on many occasions. But it was Eoin Waldron’s 40 metre jinking foot work that killed off the game with a superb try and with it the St. Geralds threat. The Bish were on the way to the Final against their oldest rivals, the Jes.

The final stared in true Bish versus Jes manner, hammer and thongs. The Bish kicked to the Jes pack and it was the hard work of Frank Jennings and Ciaran Gavin that created the turn over and a neat back line move saw Waldron with some space and he danced his way past the defenders and wrestled his way over the line with two defenders I very close proximity! A good controlled take from the restart saw the influential Gaffney playing for territory and again the Bish were in the Jes half. A solid Bish backline defence, led by Cian Moran saw the Jes cough up the ball on their 22metre line. The Bish pack worked the hard yards close to the ruck and the diligent Mark O’Carroll dived over the line for the second score of the match just before half time.

As the second half kicked off you could see that it had been a long day and that bodies and minds were tired and felt every minute of the hot, sunny day in Ballinasloe. But it was the Bish who finished the much stronger spending long periods in the Jes half and it was only a clearing kick from the Jes out-half that produced the individual try of the day. Eamon Brannigan claimed the ball just inside his own half, looked up and set off on a mazy run that saw him side-step past his first would be tackler, dummy his second would be tackler and shoe his true pace as he was pursued by two Jes defenders to crash over the whitewash to leave the final saw to the Bish and a final score of 15-0. Well done to whole the Bish squad who were all involved in the unbeaten capturing of the Connacht Schools U-15 Rugby Blitz Cup.

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