Corinthians deliver breakthrough in Purcell Cup

Corinthians have become the first Connacht club to qualify for Leinster Rugby’s U20 Purcell Cup final.

The Galway side prevailed by 24-19 win over Buccaneers in an all-Connacht semi-final played in blustery conditions in Corinthian Park at the weekend.

The two teams had met twice already in the Leinster League, and on both occasions Corinthians had come out on top in tight games. This semi-final again proved an epic battle between two evenly matched sides, but a deserving Corinthians, having finished second in the league behind Terenure, will now face the same opposition in the decider.

Buccaneers showed potential early, racing into a 10-0 lead before Corinthians responded with an excellent try from Blaine Barry, profiting from great work from the pack. Feargal MacCearra added the conversion to leave just three between the teams at the break.

Corinthians, with a strong pack took control with Max Flynn went over on the 47th minute, with MacCearra again adding the extras. Corinthians continued to pull the strings, with Eimhin Mulligan to the fore in the line-out, and flanker Eoin Sweeney working tirelessly, covering every blade of grass.

Ryan Flynn and James Duffy took over front row duties to continue Corinthians' domination in the scrum, but Buccaneers showed their ability to score a try under the posts with 20 minutes remaining.

Corinthians, true to their form all season, maintained the pressure and were rewarded with a MacCearra penalty to level matters, and straight from the resulting restart, he had a chance to kick Corinthians back into the lead, only for his penalty to veer agonisingly wide.

With time almost up, Corinthians carved one more chance. Aaron Flynn gathered and was stopped on the Buccaneers' 10m line, but strong carries from Ryan Flynn, Max Flynn and Adam Nasher found Jack Conway, who sent Jim Fenton away before MacCearra was stopped just short. However, Blaine Barry was at the ready to score his second try, sending Corinthians into the final.

Corinthians: Fearghal MacCearra, James Byrne, Conor Goode, Luke Walsh, Aaron Flynn, Jimi Fenton, Blaine Barry, Brandon Hynes, Charlie Leonard, Alex Burke, Sam Concannon, Eimhin Mulligan, Eoin Sweeney, Adam Nash (C ), Max Flynn. Subs: James Duffy, Ryan Flynn, Eoin O’Connor, Ryan Gaughan, Donagh Broderick, Jack Conway, Ruairi Moylan, Thomas Grealish.


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