Garda College pictured after their cup win.
Templemore Garda College claimed their first ever Student Sport Ireland/IRFU Brendan Johnston Cup with a 24-12 win over IT Carlow in Buccaneers RFC on Wednesday, March 21st.
A powerful second half performance from the Garda College drove them to glory as they held IT Carlow scoreless and had crucial second half scores from Jamie Heuston and Alan Gaughan.
There was a signficant Tipperary input to the Garda College team and mangement.
In a repeat of last year’s final, it was first blood to the Templemore based outfit as persistent pressure from the forwards yielded a penalty, that was slotted between the posts by Alan Gaughan.
After weathering the early pressure IT Carlow kept their goal line intact and turned defence into attack for a superb opening try that was touched down by David Murphy from Naas and was converted by Aiden McDonald to give IT Carlow a 7-3 lead.
The response was immediate from Garda College with Eoin Duffy breaking the IT Carlow line to touch down for a try which was converted by the boot of Alan Gaughan.
Both sides were now going hammer and tongs at the game and the frantic pace made for enjoyable watching for the big crowd and the fast hands of the IT Carlow backs saw David Murphy get in for a second try to establish a 12-10 lead.
The final act of the opening half fell to Alan Gaughan who kicked a mammoth penalty to give Garda College a 13-12 lead at the interval.
Garda College who had fallen short by one-point last year were really focused for the second half and as they stepped up the pace they forced IT Carlow into conceding numerous penalties which eventually saw Alan Gaughan kick three more points and ended with IT Carlow having a player in the sin bin.
Momentum was with Garda College now and a moment of genius saw Jamie Heuston drop a goal to make the lead 19-12, and the game was sealed when again Jamie Heuston got in for a brilliant try in the left corner to cap victory for Garda College. In winning this wonderful final the Garda College have completed a league and cup double at the top level of 3rd Level Colleges Rugby which is a fantastic achievement.
Garda College – Conor Muldoon (Nenagh RFC), Barry O’Connor (Gorey RFC), Eoin King (Navan RFC), Gary Crowe (Garda RFC St Senans RFC), Kevin Seymour (Nenagh RFC), Vinny Lyons (Scarriff RFC), Leon Fox (Midland Warriors),Sean Glynn (Mallow RFC), Gavin Heuston (Kilfeacle RFC), Alan Gaughan (Buccaneers RFC), Fionn Mulligan (Garda RFC), Brendan McSweeny (Clanwilliam RFC) Capt, Eoin Duffy (Boyne RFC), Dylan Sheehan (Garryowen), Jamie Heuston (Kilfeacle RFC) subs Gary White (Garda RFC), Shane McGuire (Naas RFC), Colm Randle (Ashbourne RFC), Jack Codyre (Galwegians RFC), Declan Byrne (Buccaneers RFC), Shane Eoin Kennedy (Ashbourne RFC), Michael O’Neill (Clanwilliam RFC). Martin Cocoman, Shane Claffey, David Harney, Shane Maloney (Thurles RFC), David Biggins, Eoin McCabe (Shannon RFC), Niall Murphy.
Management -Ivor Wilkinson (Clanwilliam) Mick Hally (Cashel RFC) Andrew Lacey (Clanwilliam/UL Bohs) Matt Brown (Clanwilliam/Old Crescent)