Tries in either half from Karl Manning and David Geraghty saw Navan win their first AIB Junior Cup title at a rain-sodden Dubarry Park on Saturday.
2007/08 AIB JUNIOR CUP FINAL: Saturday, April 12
NAVAN 20 TULLAMORE 6, Dubarry Park
Scorers: Navan: Tries: Karl Manning, David Geraghty; Cons: Ryan Roberts 2; Pens: Ryan Roberts 2
Tullamore: Pens: Gearoid O’Grady 2
Navan’s greater control at half-back and sterling defence helped them triumph in this all-Leinster affair, while Tullamore’s snappy offloading and powerful maul kept them in the game right until the finish.
A lively, vocal crowd supported both clubs in the final, with Taoiseach-elect Brian Cowen on hand to support Tullamore.
Out-half Ryan Roberts, the AIB man-of-the-match, converted Manning’s 24th-minute try and added a penalty as Navan took a 10-6 interval lead, with number 10 Gearoid O’Grady supplying Tullamore’s points.
But Navan managed to escape from their Offaly opponents’ grasp when both Geraghty had the legs on the cover defence to finish a breakaway try.
This is the first half of a potential cup double for Navan who face Tullow in Sunday week’s Provincial Towns Cup final.
NAVAN: Karl Manning; David Geraghty, Ronan Conaty, Simon Donnelly, Thomas Geraghty; Ryan Roberts, Kieran Mattson; Eoin King, Conor Brady, David King, Brad Harris, Des Crinion, Thomas Clarke, Bernard Smyth (capt), Sylvanus Iro.
Replacements used: Simon Hogan for T Geraghty, Shane Dawson for Crinion (both 55 mins), Niall Welsh for Conaty, Eddie Dunne for King (both 65), Richie Reilly for Brady (77), Sean Gallagher for Harris, Paul Regan for Clarke (79).
TULLAMORE: Dermot Galvin; Rory Deverell, Ivan Dunne, Aaron Deverell, Ivor Scully; Gearoid O’Grady, Richie Hughes; Ronan Glennon, Alan Lewis, Rhys Morgan, Ivor Deverell, Dave Hanlon, Nigel Ravenhill (capt), Rob Connor, Donal Milne.
Replacements used: David Milne for Ravenhill, Paul O’Grady for Dunne (both 49 mins), Eamon Bracken for R Glennon, Liam Mealiffe for Lews (both 78).
Referee: John Lacey (IRFU)