DCU Regain Brendan Johnston Cup After Epic Final

Dublin City University winners of the 2024 Student Sport Ireland IRFU Brendan Johnston Cup

Dublin City University 31

SETU Carlow 24

In recent years Dublin City University (D.C.U.) and South-East Technological University Carlow have a habit of bringing the very maximum from each other on the rugby pitch in Student Sport Ireland / IRFU Brendan Johnston Cup finals and this years renewal was to be no different, as DCU claimed a seven point victory.

The very last play of this game emphasised the epic encounter as SETU Carlow went for the line close to the posts, but were held up and the referee blew his full time whistle. With almost 800 spectators packing the stand and sideline in SETU Carlow the home crowd were rewarded early in play as SETU Carlow out half and captain Adam Johnson converted a penalty, and moments later the home side grabbed the first try of the night as hooker Eoin Walsh burrowed his way across the whitewash for an 8-0 lead.

It was a night for the number 2’s scoring as Walsh’s counterpart David Dowse got DCU up and running with a fine try. Adam Johnson converted another penalty for SETU Carlow to put them 11-5 in front. A try from Daniel Leane and the conversion from Senan Hogan had DCU in front for the first time.

The final act of the opening half saw DCU lose a player to the sin bin for a late tackle and from the resultant penalty SETU Carlow regained the lead and went to the changing rooms in front 14-12.

With the numerical advantage early in the second half, the 15 men inflicted more pain on DCU as Sean Quinlan touched down, and the conversion from Adam Johnson, gave SETU Carlow a 21-12 lead.

DCU needed the next score to stay on the coattails of SETU Carlow, and they were rewarded as number 8 and team captain Cian Connolly inspired his side with a try to close the gap to four points. SETU Carlow quickly moved back seven in front as Adam Johnson continued his flawless kicking with a fine penalty.

The bench was ran for both sides and the strength in depth of DCU soon became apparent as they grabbed a converted try to tie the game up. Cometh the hour cometh the man and Cian Connolly added his second try of the night to give DCU the lead once again and when his out half Senan Hogan converted a super kick it was a 31-24 lead.

No one could question the heart and desire of both sides from here to the end, with every effort left on the pitch, with some wonderful passages of play, tackling and defending. SETU Carlow were camped on the line at the death and lady luck fell the way of DCU, as their defence got under the final effort of SETU Carlow to hold up the ball and regain the Brendan Johnston Cup which they relinquished 12 months ago to the same opposition.

DCU – Liam Granville, David Dowse, Shane O’Connor, Daniel Leane, Callum Cawley, Aidan O’Kane, Sean Cronin, Cian Connolly ( C ) , Matteo Cardiff, Senan Hogan, Matt Maguire, Stefan Bors, Conor Gibney, David Griffiths, Ben Crotty (VC), Darragh Walsh, Cian Russell, Ruairi Clarke, Oscar Hunt-Quinn, Jack Dunne, Shane McGuinness, Conor Cribbin, Barry Mangan.

SETU Carlow – Oluwamayomikun Omoniwa, Eoin Walsh, Gavin Redmond, Aaron Bolger, Sean Ward, Jack Brennan, Max McLoughlin, Scott O’Sullivan Magne, Conor Halpenny, Adam Johnson (C ), Killian Creed, Sam Cullen, Sean Quinlan, Dean Symes, Oran Farrell, Conor Elliot, Brian Donohoe, Tom Connors, Shane O’Rourke, Tristan Gronewald, Eoin Beunoventura, Diego Sanchez, Shane Duffy.