On Sunday next, October 1st, 2006. In Hamilton Park Sligo play Galwegians in Round 3 of the Connacht Junior League. Kick-Off is at 3 p.m. – Please support your Team!
Monthly Archive for September, 2006
Sligo 26 Creggs 3
Sligo travelled to Creggs on Sunday last and scored an emphatic victory over the battling home side in the second round of the Connacht Junior 1 League. Although fielding without the unavailable Trevor Sweeney and the injured Jordan Farrington, Joe Sweeney and Niall Draper, Sligo proved to be a much stronger side.
The first half was evenly contested, after which Sligo led 5-3, but Sligo ran in three second half tries to put the issue beyond all doubt, and in the process secured a bonus point for the second week in succession. Sligo’s hero on the day was second row, Jamie Livingstone, who played the proverbial blinder, capping a memorable performance by being on hand to receive Andrew McHale’s brilliant off-load,and score under the posts, after the prop had shown pace and power to spreadeagle the Creggs defence. A superb flowing movement by the backs led to Sligo’s first try, expertly finished by left winger, Roger Burrows.Sligo’s other tries were scored by Cathal Culhane, and by Warner Wilders, after debutant Steven Connolly had created the opening. It was a very impressive team display by Sligo, with all 18 players used making notable contributions. Unfortunately, Julian Rippon received a knee injury which is likely to keep him side-lined for a few weeks.
Sligo: Gary Boland, Julian Rippon, Andrew Feeney, Cathal Culhane, Roger Burrows, Gavin Foley, Billy Leahy, Martin Feeney, Ross Mannion, Joe Kelly, Jamie Livingstone, Andrew Williams, Gary Conneally, Peter Mullan [Capt.], Warner Wilders. Subs Used: Adrian McHale, Neil Williams, Steven Connolly.
Because all activity in County Mayo will come to a standstill on Sunday next, the Connacht Branch have understandably made the decision to postpone all Connacht Junior 1 games fixed for next week-end. Accordingly, the Sligo v. Corrib game, fixed for Hamilton Park, has been deferred.
The majority of our members will be rooting for Mayo, although coach, Pat Curran, who has strong family links with the Kingdom, is a staunch Kerry supporter.
The classic Mayo/Dublin semi-final made a huge impression on all sports people. Shortly after that game I had a conversation with two club members, Simon Galvin and Michael Storey, who were both born and reared outside Ireland, and each remarked that they would have relished the opportunity to play Gaelic football.
One could imagine Simon, at six feet five inches, with his agility and football brain being a full-forward in the Kieran Donaghy mould, while Michael would surely have been a wily corner forward, kicking points with either foot like Gooch or Mike Frank.
Rugby will be well represented on Sunday by Ger and David Brady. I last saw Ger in a live game, when he played on the wing for Galwegians in an A.I.L. Division 1 game v. UL Bohs four years ago. His team-mates then included Eric Elwood, Gavin Duffy, Jerry Flannery, Johnny Oâ€™Connor and Damien Browne. Against Dublin, he made very good use of his power and pace, and made a major contribution to the victory.
While 31 counties will be supporting Mayo, I am fearful that the aforementioned Donaghy and Gooch may spoil the party, and I am not referring to Messrs. Galvan and Storey.
Last Sundayâ€™s victory over Corinthians marked a Sligo 1st teams first victory over their old rivals in Galway for well over 30 years. Neither stalwart supporter, Joe Coulter, or John Kane, who has an enclopaedic knowledge of Sligo RFC statistics, could recall a Sligo 1st team victory over Corinthians in Galway in a competitive outing.
Despite fielding a somewhat depleted side, Sligo now top the league table by virtue of securing the bonus point. They are joined at the top by Monivea, who also got a bonus.
The surprise of the first round was the defeat of the holders, Westport by Loughrea.
Congratulations to former player, Ken Draper and his bride Sandra Williams who were married on Saturday last. The President, on behalf of the Committee and members extends best wishes to Ken and Sandra for a long life of health and happiness together.
This seasonâ€™s booklet is a bigger publication than its predecessor, and features addresses from various club personnel, fixture details, International ticket application forms, a range of photographs, lists of club officers and past Presidents, members capped for Connacht and Ireland, and the list of Life members.Graphic artist, Annie West worked unsparingly on the production, and the club is also indebted to Jonathan Hill, Infacta for the typographical work, and to Carl Brennan (Sligo Champion), Damian McCallion and Maura Townsend for the photography. Many thanks to all our advertisers, and members are urged to support them.
Hon. Membership Secretary, Rory Raftery, will be in contact with all of last seasonâ€™s members within the next few days, and intending new members should contact Rory at 087-2613011.
Youth Chairman, Michael Oâ€™Hehir has been busy during the closed season recruiting coaching personnel for the warriors club sides in the U-13 to U-18 age groups. Adrian Barrett will again serve as a specialist coach to all teams in this section. Among the youth coaches are Michael Oâ€™Hehir, Gerry Oâ€™Daly, Tom McGoldrick, Peter Brady, Niall Gray, Dean Weaver, Tony Heath, Padraig Quinn, John Davey, Ciaran Foley and Roy Cooper.
Niall Gray, who gave sterling service to Sligo as a centre during their A.I.L. days will work with Peter Brady at U-15 and U-16 levels. Director of Rugby, Bernie Kelly a former New Zealander Schools and New Zealand U-16 International coach will be on hand to assist the coaches.
With such an array of talented coaches available, the skills of all youth players should be well honed when competitive action commences in October.
Since Sligo RFC moved to Strandhill they have always enjoyed the hospitality and generosity provided by the proprietors of Breeâ€™s Bar, Sonny (R.I.P.) and Bridie Bree. This tradition has been maintained by the present owners, Geraldine and Johnny Kivlehan. The President and Committee wish to thank them for the use of their premises for various meetings and are particularly grateful to Geraldine for the refreshments provided on training nights.
Training for the U-18 side commences on Friday next at 7p.m. sharp. Membership subscriptions are now due, and will be collected prior to training. Both the U-15 and U-16 squads also have training on Friday, and all outstanding membership subscriptions must be paid by that date.
Both U-13 and U-14 squad members should note that training will be held on Saturday next at 12p.m., and not at 2pm, as previously communicated to squad member. All outstanding membership subscriptions will be collected prior to training.
SLIGO 25 – CORINTHIANS 6NOT EVEN the most optimistic of Sligoâ€™s supporters would have envisaged this scoreline, Sligo travelled to Corinthians Park on Sunday last mindful of their unenviable record at the venue.
Their task was made more difficult to line out without their New Zealand starlet, Jordan Farrington and last seasonâ€™s skipper, Trevor Sweeney.
However, not only did a Sligo RFC 1st XV score their first away victory over Corinthians in over 30 years, but the side also gained a precious bonus point by scoring five tries.
There was little to suggest in the opening 20 minutes that Sligo would score such a facile victory. In that opening wind, Sligo were pinned inside their own half. They were tentative and prone to errors and conceded a few cheap penalties.
Corinthians went ahead after 4 minutes when Sligo were penalised for obstruction in front of the posts on the â€˜22â€™, and Frenchmen, Adrian West landed the points. In the 9th minute, a blatant Sligo offside on the â€˜22â€™ presented West with a â€˜sitterâ€™ but incredibly he missed. However, he atoned for this in the 11th minute by landing a fine penalty from 42 metres. Sligo now trailed by 6-0, and were under continuous pressure, but the defence held firm.
Eventually Sligo raised the siege, and in their first incursion into Corinthian territory they scored a spectacular try. In the 23rd minute, the packs excellent picking and driving sucked in the defence, and great play from Julian Rippon and Gary Boland created just enough space for outside centre, Andrew Feeney. to squeeze in at the right corner.
However, directly from the kick-off Gary Conneally who gathered the restart was penalised for holding on, but to the dismay of the home side, West clipped the kick wide.
A further Corinthian attack was stymied by a crunching Joe Sweeney tackle. In the 35th minute, Sligo again broke out and Gary Boland was foiled, as he followed up Cathal Culhaneâ€™s deft kick through by a despairing fly kick to touch by Corinthians full-back Ciaran Dunne.
From Ross Mannionâ€™s accurate line throw, Jamie Livingston secured possession, and the pack mauled for 10 metres, with second row Andrew Williams touching down at the corner flag. Sligo now led by 10-6, despite their limited first half possession.
With wind advantage, Sligo dominated the second half, and their pack was in control. It is certainly a long time since a Sligo pack scrummaged, rucked and mauled so well, while the line-out was outstanding. After a flowing back-line movement, Andrew Feeney forced his way over in the right-corner after 10 minutes to increase the lead to 15-6, and four minutes later they led by 20-6 and guaranteed themselves a bonus point with their fourth try.
On this occasion Sligo forced a line out 15 metres from the line, and after Livingstonâ€™s take, the excellent ensuing maul resulted in Andrew Williams scoring his second try.
In the 25th minute, another line-out take by Livingstone saw Sligo again maul over the line, but the unsighted referee awarded them a five metre scrum. A concerted effort by the pack pushed the Corinthians eight backwards, and No. 8, Peter Mullan picked up and crashed over to complete the scoring.
In an outstanding team display, which reflected very favourably on the management quartet of manager, Aidan Buckley and coaches Pat Curran, Gavin Foley and Bernie Kelly, each team member played his part.
Scrum-half, Billy Leahy gave a man of the match display at scrum-half, and his coolness in the opening quartet was invaluable. At full-back, Gary Bolandâ€™s lightning incursions into the line created havoc in the Corinthians defence Joe Sweeney marked his return to action with an impressive outing on the left wing, while on the right wing, Julien Rippon had one of his best outings in Sligoâ€™s colours.
At outside centre, Andrew Feeney grabbed two golden tries and had an excellent outing, while Warner Wilder, initially at first centre and later at wing forward put in some big tackles.
Out-half, Gavin Foley had a big second half, and proved to be an excellent line-kicker, who pinned Corinthians back.
As a unit, the pack was outstanding, and the excellent work being done on the training ground ensured that they were still going strong at the end. Hooker, Ross Mannion made a major impact, both in the loose, and at line-out time, while his props, Martin Feeney and Joe Kelly, and their replacements in the final ten minutes, Adrian McHale and Neil Williams, ensured that the scrum was always going forward .
New Zealander, Jamie Livingstone is a major acquisition, jumping well at No. 2 in the line-out and making his presence felt in all facets of the game. His second row partner Andrew Williams had another outstanding game, highlighted by two priceless tries. Cathal Culhane, both at open side, and later at first centre, had a very fine outing, while blind side, Gary Conneally will be very satisfied with his first competitive outing with the club. Warner Wilders was another to shine.
For Corinthians, out-half Barry Oâ€™Sullivan, winger Adrian West, second row Dave Maher and No. 8 Cormac McGuckian were best.
Sligo: Gary Boland, Julian Rippon, Andrew Feeney, Warner Wilders, Joe Sweeney, Gavin Foley, Billy Leahy, Martin Feeney, Ross Mannion, Joe Kelly, Jamie Livingstone, Andrew Williams, Gary Conneally, Peter Mullan (Capt.), Cathal Culhane. Subs – Adrian McHale for Kelly (70 mins), Neil Williams for M. Feeney (71 mins), Geoffrey Draper (not used).
Corinthians: Ciaran Dunne, Adrian West, Dave Oâ€™Sullivan, Colm Power (Capt.), Julian Leonard, Barry Oâ€™Sullivan, Ciaran Dolan, Graham Oâ€™Neill, Alan Walsh, Jonathan Madden, Dave Maher, Ross McInerney, Seamus Cantillon, Adrian Pilkington, Cormac McGuckian. Subs – William Olivier, Padraig Storey, Dave Gaule.
Referee - Mr. Seamus Phillips (Connacht branch).
Welcome to the new Sligo RFC website. There’s a good bit of work to be done over the coming days and weeks so please bare with us as we get things in order.
CONNACHT rugby is making its mark in Munster, as evidenced by the result of the 23rd annual Pat Lawler Tournament, which takes place in Thomond Park every year, prior to the start of the rugby season.
This year the Under 13s from Sligo RFC were invited to take part in the tournament for the first time, and were pitted against teams from across the country, teams with a long history of success on the rugby pitch who have consistently turned out players of the calibre of Peter Stringer, Paul Oâ€™Connell and Anthony Foley.
The Sligo squad made the trip down to Limerick on Friday evening ready for the tournament on Saturday. Playing on the main pitch at Thomond Park might have intimidated some, but not these boys, who were prepared for the tournament by coaches John Davey, Gerry Oâ€™Daly and Dean Weaver.
In the qualifying group stage, Sligo was drawn against Kilfeacle and Richmond in the and surprised the opposition in both matches by recording victories on scorelines of 3-0 in respectively. The Munster teams started to sit up and take notice on their Connacht opponents at this stage and Sligo were through to the quarter-final, this time drawing the Shannon team as opponents.
This was a serious match, but the Sligo side saw off the opposition with a 2-1 victory, tries being scored by Diarmuid Oâ€™Dowd Hill and Kieran Blake. Sligo had started to make an impact, and on reaching the semi-final, found themselves up against the UL Bohemians â€˜Aâ€™ team, the defending champions.
This was perhaps the hardest match of the tournament for Sligo. Every decision seemed to go against the Sligo boys and yet the first try of the match was scored by Sligo scrum-half Enda Gavin before the half-time whistle blew. Bohemians fought back with a try in the second half, and the two teams fought tooth and nail for victory, with a place in the final at stake.
The match inevitably went to extra-time, with four minutes each side and a “golden try” deciding who would go through to the final. The atmosphere was tense, both on and off the pitch, with the Sligo contingent urging their side on from the touchline.
Some strong defending meant that no ground was conceded and, with no further score after eight minutes of play, the Sligo team were through to the final by virtue of having scored the first try. The roar from the supporters was deafening!
With barely a moment to draw breath, the team were out again this time taking on Young Munster for the trophy. The Sligo boys did a mighty job, but the efforts of the day had taken their toll and the team conceded three tries in the first half. Fighting back in the second half, Sligoâ€™s Eoghan Flanagan scored a try to bring the score up to 3-1. Unfortunately, time ran out and Young Munster took the title, well-deserved after being runners-up in 2005.
It was a great honour for the Sligo side to be invited to take part in the tournament and the hospitality received by the players, coaches and supporters was exceptional. For the team from Sligo to reach the final in what has always been a Munster-dominated tournament shows how far rugby has come in Connacht. The team and their coaches would like to express their thanks to the organisers of the tournament for the opportunity to take part, and Sligo looks forward to returning to Munster next year, with victory in mind.
More photos from the event can be found here.