Brothers Kevin and Brian Cooper were the heroes as Marist College bridged a 35-year gap to capture the Connacht Schools Senior Cup at the Sportsground yesterday.
Sligo needed a good start and almost got it but Colm Egan, younger brother of Westlife’s Cian, was narrowly off target with a penalty from 43 metres into the wind.
Marist pressure quickly yielded results with Brian Cooper scoring after 11 minutes.
Ben Carty was off target with the conversion. Seven minutes from the break Kevin Cooper finished off a good move for a second try, converted by Carty to make it 12-0.
The Marist defence was excellent as they dealt with the waves of Sligo attacks during the second half with skipper Robbie Henshaw providing guidance as they held firm to secure the Connacht crown.
MARIST COLLEGE, ATHLONE: C Seery; H Hughes, R Henshaw, R Sheridan, E O’Reilly; B Carty, R Ashe; B Teape, E Kelly, S Meunargia; N Carr (S Dempsey, 42), C White; D Lynch (S Chitsatso, 63), B Cooper, K Cooper.
SLIGO GRAMMAR SCHOOL: C Egan; D Higgins, J McGoldrick (P Deering, 42), M Martin, C Cooper; M Green (P Maloney, 38), E Gavin; E Kilroy, Martin Davey, Matthew Davey; R Hehir (P Britten, 42); D O’Dowd-Hill; S Boyle, S Mullaney, T Ferrari.
Referee: D Collins (CBIRFU).
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