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Junior Boys Cup team reach Volleyball Semis

Elphin Community College have qualified for the National semifinals next Thursday 3rd of May in the University of Limerick where they will play Drumshanbo Vocational school. They qualified as runners up in a 3 way quarter final beating Fethard 25-8, 26-24 and then losing to St. Brigid’s Loughrea 25-23, 25-16.
Elphin beat Fethard 25-16, 26-24.
This match probably sums up the teams whole campaign. They started brightly, controlling the game with good setting from H. Dowd and hitting from S. Rodden, Some fine serving from D. Main and then C. Burke opened up a commanding lead. E. Gunn was introduced for A. Shanahan and the 1st year student showed little nerves with a number of important touches.
The second set started well for Elphin with them leading 10-4. As in previous matches however, when Fethard won 4 scores from unforced errors, the Roscommon side began to panic. An over reliance on using the forearm pass and a loss of concentration contributed to Fethard taking a 22-17 and then 24-21. However Elphin did show resilience when the set seemed lost and D. Main closed out the set with 5 unanswered serves to win 26-24.

When Loughrea beat Fethard both Elphin and Loughrea knew that they were into the semifinals but if they could top the group it would mean avoiding Drumshambo V.S. who were impressive in the previous round.

The first set was a tight affair with the lead not more than 2 points for most of the opening exchanges. Elphin led 12-10 then 19-16 and 21-18. Elphin’s A. Gormley recovered a difficult ball to leave Elphn needing one score to win the first set 24-22. However unforced errors again were to be their undoing, with Loughran scoring 4 unanswered points to win 26-24.
This team has plenty of ability and can go all the way in this competition but when scores go against them they compound the situation with a loss of concentration and forget to do the basics well. Loughrea opened up an early lead in the second set, 10-3 and then 19-11. They easily finished off the Elphin challenge 25-13.

Elphin now face Drumshanbo V. S. in another national semi-final. The two schools have never met in a final at any level, despite all the finals both schools have been involved in. The Roscommon team will have to show great character to add to their undouted ability if they are to upset the odds and reach the final which takes place on the same day.

Team as follows:
Colin Burke, Henry Dowd, Sam Rodden, Alan Gormley, Andrew Shanahan, Declan Main, Evan Gunn.

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