Tuam RFC

Founded 1970

Co. Galway

Tuam win Cawley Cup 23/24







Tuam 24 Dunmore 22


History was made in Crowley Park at the weekend as Tuam were crowned Cawley Cup champions for the first time. No matter what happened on Sunday in the 20th edition of the competition's final, a new name would be etched on the trophy as neither team had previously experienced success in this tournament.


It was Dunmore who started the better with a try after just four minutes when Gert Coetzee kicked a lovely ball to the corner which Conor Burns chased and touched down. A perfect start for Dunmore who were without the influential duo of Martin and Ryan Cummins.


Tuam responded well and went in search of their own score but having weathered the Tuam attack, Dunmore doubled their lead in the fourteenth minute. Tuam, when clearing their lines saw their kick blocked down which allowed Coetzee to spread a beautiful skipped pass out wide to Burns to score his and Dunmore's second try.


Tuam were dealt a further blow in the 20th minute when they lost Jamie Murphy to a leg injury. Murphy had started in place of Dave Lally who got injured in the warm up. 


Needing a score, Tuam went through the phases inside the Dunmore '22 and their pressure on their opponents told when Coetzee was sent to the sin bin in the 28th minute. Tuam immediately made their numerical advantage count when Alan Finnerty went over for his sides first score of the day. Carl Ward added the conversion. The try came at a cost for Tuam though as they lost Owen Halion to another leg injury in the build up to the try. 


Tuam were definitely on top now and looked to be in for a second try in the 38th minute but a skipped past was intercepted by Cameron Carruthers who virtually ran the length of the pitch to score Dunmore's third try of the day. A real sucker punch for Tuam and a real tonic for Dunmore who at this stage were still down to fourteen men. That left it 15-7 to Dunmore at the break.


Tuam as expected came out with all guns blazing in the second half, dominating the early possession and they made it count on the scoreboard in the fiftieth minute when Alan Finnerty, on his 30th birthday, got over for his and Tuam's second try of the day. Carl Ward added the extra to put just one point between the sides. 


On the hour mark, Tuam took the lead for the first time when a driving maul saw Seàn Maughan touch down and Ward once more added the extras. 


The defining moment of the game came in the 64th minute when after phase after phase of attack deep inside Tuam's '22, Dunmore looked like to be in for a try but Allen Lagaiaa intercepted, offloaded to Eoin Fowley who made ground before kicking for Seàn O'Sullivan to chase. Tuam regathered the ball and Carl Ward executed a brilliant drop goal from just over 40 yards out to put two scores between the sides. Tuam leading 24-15. 


Dunmore went in search of a fourth try and although a driving maul inside Tuam's '22 resulted in a Jamie Geraghty converted try two minutes into added time, Tuam were not to be denied as moments later, Shane Tuohy blew the final whistle. 


It sparked wild celebrations for Tuam as they joined teams like Creggs, Ballina, Westport and last year's champions Connemara, in winning the Cawley Cup. 


Tuam were in two finals on Sunday with their development team edged out by Monivea in the Curley Shield final, also by 2 points. 24-22 was the final score there.


After the game Tuam head coach, Barry Ruane, told the Herald he was delighted for the lads. 


"I'm delighted for the lads. They deserved the victory. We have a great mix of younger and older lads and there's a great team spirit there so I'm just really happy with the win. We picked up a few injuries so we'll assess them during the week and get ready for the Creggs game on Sunday."


Tuam's final game of the year is Creggs away in the league on Sunday while Dunmore travel to Westport on Saturday evening for their final game of 2023.


TUAM: J. Murphy, E. Fowley, S. O'Sullivan, R. Fahy, I. Murphy, C. Ward, A. Tierney, D. Noone, S. Maughan, N. Carney, J. Fahy, O. Halion, A. Finnerty, B. Ruane, J. Terblanche.


Replacements: Mika, C. Breathnach McGinn, A. Lagaiaa, S. Browne, O. Swan, D. Gleeson.


DUNMORE: J. Coen, C. Carruthers, C. Burns, M. Walshe, D. Brady, G. Coetzee, C. Lyons, A. Glynn, J. Geraghty, S. O'Toole, D. Slattery, B. Walsh, A. Brummer, A. Doherty, C. Fahy.

Replacements: L. Coyne, R. Mullin, M. Mannion, J. Bowens, B. Hughes.


REFEREE: Shane Tuohy

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