Dramatic Comebacks take two Cups to Clare

The Volleyball Ireland 2019/20 Senior Schools Cup Finals exceeded any expectations with excitement, energy and downright drama throughout. Two Hollywood-esque come backs from the cliff edge of defeat made for a thrilling day of School Volleyball with successes from St Flannans and Colaiste Mhuire taking the trophies back to Ennis, Co Clare.
 
Senior A Girls Final
First up was the Girls Senior A Final where last years Senior B winners Rockford Manor raced into a 2set lead. Led by the u17 National Coach Gianni Massa, the Dubliners were well organised and ruthless in attack. DVC player Laura Connolly the standout player early on. In the third set Rockford were 22-20 up, and in control but write the Banner off at your peril. MVP Una Ni Choileain led by example and some fierce serving from Serodie Luyindaladio wrestled the set back and got the Ennis team started. By the middle of the fourth you can sense momentum changing and Colaiste took the game to a 5th with ease. Maria Jones, was hitting well from the middle ably supported by Edith Kearney.
 
The crowd were vociferous throughout, adding atmosphere to one of the best Schools Finals in history.
 
The final set was back and forth and with tiring legs on both sides, and despite some heroics from captain Lauren Hayes it was the experience of Colaiste that ran out, taking the decider 15-13 to win successive

Colaiste Mhuire beat Rockford Manor (16-25, 21-25, 25-22, 25-19, 15-13).

 Colaiste Mhuire
3 E Kearney
4 E Kilroy
12 E Ikiebley
8 L Keane
5 M Jones
 6 R Moore
10 S Luyindaladio
7 U Ni Choileain
Rockford Manor
26 L Hayes
25 A lo Giudice
19 C Robbiati
15 J Sophie
18 K Tabea Kley
9 L Racanella
24 M Chiara
7 N Bolger
2 V Biazzia
4 A Hoskins
12 L Connolly

Senior A Boys Final
Matching the girls final was going to be nigh on impossible, but the boys did just that as St Flannans and Drumshanbo Vocational School of Leitrim battled out another gigantic tussle. There were star studded names on both side of the net with Cian Humphreys and Cathal Dwyer of Munster Thunder and St Flannans doing battle with Gareth Gilmartin and the impressive Peter Winters of DVS. In fact, it was Gilmartin who despite the defeat claimed the MVP award with an assured performance leading from the front.
 
The team in red & white, like Rockford Manor previously, started strong and comfortably took the first set 25-18. But Flannans, who looked a little nervy in the first struck back with some hard hitting at the net running out winners 25-16 and it looked like they would go on and cruise to victory. However, if one thing Drumshanbo have, it is spirit and with Gilmartin showing his leadership skills they wrestled back control clinching a tight third by three points.
 
The fourth set see-sawed, with DVS edging ahead again before Flannans, somehow saved two match points and took the game all the way with a 26-24 win.  Flannans gained control early in the decider with Jesus Quaye Saya coming to the fore and dictating play. With the ever impressive Dwyer and his aggressive attacking hitting some ferocious spikes Flannans ran out 15-10 winners and took the second Senior title back to County Clare. It was another year of heartbreak for the Leitrim team who fell at the same stage last year to rivals St Brigids of Loughrea. Hopefully, they can take some pride from the part they played in a fantastic final.
 
Gareth Gilmartin took the MVP award and bows out after a wonderful Schools Volleyball career.
 
St Flannans beat Drumshanbo VS, (18-25, 25-16, 22-25, 26-24, 15-10 in 1hr 32mins)
 Teams
St Flannans
1 C Humphreys
6 A Lima
4 B Higgins
7 C O’Riordain
9 J Q Saya
2 J Browne
5 Ciaran Jones
11 P Kennedy
12 C Dwyer
Drumshanbo VS
1 G Gilmartin
4 E Moran
7 P Winters
6 Ronan Moran
11 D McWeeney
13 C McGourty
12 E Foley
14 B McWeeney
9 B Gunning
 

​Reviews of the Snr B and C Finals will follow shortly.

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