Preview Duff Cup Final
April 5, 2016 12:00 am client
Dundalk Grammar will play Scoil Chonglais in the Bank of Ireland Duff Cup Final this Wednesday in Donnybrook Stadium, KO 12pm.
Dundalk Grammar will go all out to make it two trophies out of four from what has been a winning season like no other.
The unprecedented harvest has yielded a one-point win over St Joseph’s from Drogheda (11-10) in the Development Junior Cup, the devastating loss to Gorey Community School in the final of the Fr Godfrey Cup and a first round exit to Newbridge College in the Junior Cup.
Rugby Gamesmaster Alan Norton has been there through the lean times.
It is only right that he should take pride from the work done by a fine group of players, captained by out-half Jack Connolly.
“It has been a brilliant season for the boys, but quite long and testing from the four competitions,” said Norton
It remains to be seen how much the defeat to Gorey has taken out of The Grammar.
“I don’t think it will take much for the lads to raise their game. Obviously, there was a lot of disappointment from the Junior Cup loss and then the Bank of Ireland Fr.CGodfrey loss in Donnybrook.
“The lads are looking at this as an opportunity to end the season on a high. They just want their final memory to be a good one.”
Scoil Chonglais are no lambs to the slaughter either. They have had quit the season too, upsetting Gorey 34-10 in the semi-final.
“We were surprised at the scoreline in the semi-final,” said Norton.
“We would have liked to have had another crack at Gorey, who beat us in the Fr Godfrey final, while there is the excitement of playing a new school in their third final.
“This is the last one. It is great to be there and a great way to finish off the season.”
Scoil Chonglais have five back from the team that won the Development Cup last year in captain Tadhg O’Toole and Pauric McMahon, both centres, full-back Jordan Deans, wing Aaron Byrne and second row William Rogers.
“Ideally, we like to play as much rugby as we can,” said Eoin Bailey.
They certainly put their experience and their talent on show in taking Gorey apart in the Duff semi-final with a slick three-quarter line.
“They were missing a couple of players, to be honest,” he said, modestly.
“We caught them on the hop. We started very well, got two tries to give us momentum and they were taken by surprise.
“To be fair, it was the best we played all year.”
The Baltinglass have boys have to make up for their Fr Godfrey first round loss to Dundalk (15-10) and for the semi-final defeats to Maynooth Post Primary in the last two years of this competition.
“Our main goal at the start of the year was to make it to the final of the Duff Cup,” he said.
“Realistically, we’re looking for progression from year-to-year. We have made the final. We would love to win it.
“It would be massive for the school winning back-to-back Leinsters, the Development and the Duff.”
Entry into the match is €;5 adults and €;2 for U18’s.
PATH TO THE FINAL
First Round: Dundalk received Bye; Scoil Chonglais received bye.
Second round: Dundalk 22 Ardscoil na Trionoide 5; Scoil Chonglais 16 St Joseph’s, Drogheda 12.
Quarter-final: Dundalk 36 Ashbourne CS 7; Scoil Chonglais 5 CBS Enniscorthy 5 & received walkover from replay.
Semi-final: Dundalk 43 CBS Naas 0; Scoil Chonglais beat Gorey CS 34-10.
Dundalk (Possible): Flyn Kiernan; Dillon Dunne, David Murdock, Max McGloin, Thomas Clarke; Jack Connolly (capt), Gerald Boylan; Tobi Akinseloyin, Zac Coan, Peter Curley, Luke McSherry, Jake Moran, Daniel Molloy, Andrew Cox, Darragh McCoy.
Scoil Chonglais (Possible): Jordan Deans; Aaron Byrne, Pauric McMahon, Tadhg O’Toole (capt), Alan Barrett; Dillon O’Toole, Johnny Keogh; Jason Steed, Jason Sinnott, Diamantino Marcu, William Rogers, Sean Doody, Senan Molloy, Alan Doyle, Michael Clynch.