The Connacht Schools Under-17 Sevens tournament was held recently at St. Joseph’s, Garbally College, with the six participating teams forming two preliminary pools with three teams in each.
The Bish came out on top in pool 1, with Summerhill winning out in pool 2. Both these teams along with Garbally, who were the best placed runners-up, advanced to form a pool of three sides to contest the Cup.
The remaining three teams – Marist ‘A’, Ballygar and Marist ‘B’ – battled it out in a pool for the Plate title.
The Plate competition saw the most entertaining and high scoring game of the day when St. Mary’s, Ballygar took on Marist ‘B’. The game had a total of 11 tries with Ballygar just pipping Marist ‘B’ on a 38-31 scoreline.
Marist ‘A’, however, proved too strong for Ballygar in the subsequent pool match. This meant that Marist ‘A’ were crowed Plate champions on the day.
The pool to contest the Cup went right down to the wire. Garbally were unlucky in that they lost both their games by very small margins while playing some very entertaining rugby.
This set up a winner-takes-all situation for the final match of the day between the Bish and Summerhill. Summerhill just edged home, winning by one point on a scoreline of 15-14 with the Bish battling right until the final whistle.
David O’Brien, who was co-coordinator on the day along with his fellow Connacht Community Rugby Officer Charlie Couper, said: “Congratulations to Summerhill on a deserved win in the Cup and to Marist in the Plate. Well done to all the schools who travelled and took part on the day.
“I would also like to thank all the referees who took part on the day and to Garbally College who provided such an excellent venue for the day.
“There are more Schools Sevens tournaments planned for the beginning of next season. With the Sevens game now included in the Olympic programme in 2016, the profile and importance of the seven-a-side game in Ireland has never been higher.
“By running these tournaments, it is hoped that we can raise the exposure of players to the seven-a-side game and thus produce and identify the seven-a-side stars of the future.”