Connacht colleges take home Senior crowns on Schools National Finals day

Leah Lennon, Anna Higgins and Olivia Costello of the victorious Convent of Mercy team. Photo: Thos Caffrey / Golffile.

Milltown Golf Club played host to the Schools National Finals Day again this year with Roscommon and Galway representatives the big winners in South Dublin.

Convent of Mercy (Roscommon) were crowned Senior Girls champions while Calasanctius College Oranmore (Galway) were victorious in the Senior Boys section. The Junior Boys crown went to Lagan College Belfast (Antrim) and St Angela’s Ursuline Convent (Waterford) won the Junior Girls title.

A week after her famous triumph in the Scottish Girls’ Open Championship, Olivia Costello was on hand to help Convent of Mercy claim the Senior Girls title.


Costello led the scoring charts with a blistering 37 gross stableford while Leah Lennon (27) and Anna Higgins (17) were also on target as Mercy Convent bridged an almost 40-year gap.

“We have had plenty of good teams and qualified out of Connacht for years and years but we never got over the hurdle of actually winning it,” said Mercy Convent captain Mary Seymour.

“The standard has improved a lot over the years and it’s fantastic to see the ability Olivia has, it’s amazing. Her striking of a ball out there is just pin-point accurate and it’s a pleasure to watch.”

Play was delayed early on Monday morning due to heavy rain but the Senior Boys semi-final eventually teed off at 9.30am with reigning champions Terenure College (Dublin) and Calasanctius College Oranmore advancing to the decider.

And after they defeated De La Salle (Waterford) in the semi-finals, it was the challengers who claimed a 3&2 victory, the first in the history of the college.

The team of Caelan Coleman, Mikie Grealy, Cathal Penney, Hugh Costello, Dylan Smyth, Ryan Leydon and Jack Leahy completed a Connacht double.

“Great for the school, every guy here contributed a point today, so fantastic,” said Calasanctius College Oranmore captain Paudie Dennehy.

“They really dug it out this morning, a really tough match against De La Salle and then Terenure, past champions, worthy past champions.

“I’m just delighted it’s the first time in the history of the school that this has happened and hopefully it will be the first of many.

“It’s a great day for Connacht, a really good day.”

The Junior Girls got out at 11am with St Angela’s Ursuline Convent crowned champions. Lilly Fives top scored with a total of 44 points, with Eimear Cadogan and Charlotte Frampton also helping them over the line.

“It was absolutely incredible today, they’re the only girls in the school playing golf so it’s a great achievement,” said St Angela’s captain Ger Cadogan.

Lagan College Belfast scored 75 points en route to their win in the Junior Boys section, with their emotional captain Andrew Morris dedicating the victory to the late Gary Wardlow.

“It means a lot. We didn’t have a golf team until nine months ago and Gary Wardlow got it formed in the school,” said Morris.

“He got the boys the day off school and we went and we won the Ulster section and we took over and came on and finished it off.”

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