Sligo RFC 27
Tullamore RFC 10
Sligo secured another 5 Ulster Bank League points with a bonus point win over previously unbeaten Tullamore RFC in a superb display of power and control at Hamilton Park on Saturday. Sligo’s win has moved them to third place in the division 2b table, just 1 point behind current leaders Highfield RFC.
Sligo kicked off playing with the advantage of the breeze but it was the Offaly outfit that seized the early initiative. A searing Jordan Conroy break paved the way for a well taken try with Aaron Deverill converting to put his team into an early lead. Deverill further compounded Sligo’s woes with a well struck penalty with 10 minutes gone.
Sligo refused to panic and began to impose themselves on the game. The front row work of Conan O Donnell, Tadgh Power and Conor Mitchell at scrum time began to reap rewards and some important penalties were won which allowed Sligo establish a foothold in enemy territory.
With 20 minutes on the clock Sligo struck for their opening score. A period of pressure in the Tullamore red zone saw Jamie Bowes, Rory Kerins and Aaron Spring all carrying strongly before the ball was moved left to Michael Allen and the winger made no mistake with a well taken finish. Conor Kerins’ well struck conversion attempt unfortunately came back off the upright. Kerins did open his account just before the break with a well struck penalty to move his side within two of the midlanders.
The second half began much as the first ended with Sligo dominating in all facets of play. James Wilson and David Heath were lording the lineouts and Sligo’s intensity at the breakdown was earning useful turnovers.
10 minutes into the half Sligo moved into the lead. A well secured lineout on the Tullamore 22 was driven towards the line before scrum half Enda Gavin linked with Brooke Tremayne and the out half’s well timed pass allowed Mark Rooney the opportunity to finish in the right corner.
Sligo continued to press and more good work from the pack allowed the opportunity to set up camp in the visitors 22. A five metre scrum allowed the front row the chance to put on the squeeze and the scrum shunted towards the line. Tullamore illegally prevented the inevitable try and the referee had no hesitation in going under the posts and awarding the penalty try. Kerins popped over the conversion to stretch the lead to 10 points.
Sligo were now on the hunt for the precious try bonus point and with 10 minutes remaining the prize was secured. In an almost carbon copy situation Sligo were awarded another 5 metre scrum and again Tullamore caved in under pressure giving the ref no choice but to award a second penalty try. Kerins capped a fine outing with another two pointer.
Sligo now move into a three week break from League action before they make the trip south to take on Cork city outfit Sunday’s Well on the 1st of November.
Conor Kerins, Michael Allen, Richard Childs, Aaron Spring, Mark Rooney, Brooke Treymane, Enda Gavin, Conan O’Donnell, Tadgh Power, Conor Mitchell, James Wilson, Jamie Bowes, David Heath, Rory Kerins, Eddie Connell. Reps Adrian McHale, Aidan McNulty, Niall O’Hara, Andrew Williams, Matt Davey