Table topping Cashel RFC came to Hamilton Park with an unbeaten record and showed their class with an 18 point to 6 victory over a hardworking Sligo on Saturday. Cashel’s superior physicality proved too strong for a brave Sligo side who carried the battle to their visitors right to the final whistle.
With heavy morning rain causing difficult underfoot conditions it was the visitors who kicked off and immediately put their hosts under pressure. The early pressure was rewarded three minutes in with a well struck penalty from centre Colin Morrissey.
The Cashel number 12 repeated the dose after 13 minutes when his side were rewarded with another penalty for a ruck infringement. Sligo’s Shane Mc Guinness was shown the yellow card and was sent from play for 10 minutes.
The munster men upped the intensity and tried to use their numerical advantage to full effect. A sweeping move from right to left looked set to reap the full reward but a massive Cathal Finneran tackle forced the turnover and the danger was averted.
Sligo’s line was finally breached after 30 mins when following a line out catch and drive inside the Sligo 22 prop forward Horward Stanley touched down. To move his teams total to 11. Morrissey added the extras.
5 minutes from half time Cashel went further ahead when Ed Leamy, brother of Irish international Dennis, crashed over in the corner following some fine off-loading play by the visitors.
Sligo started the second half in determined fashion and began to take the game to their hosts. James Wilson and Peter Mullan were successfully competing from touch, Jamie Bowes was carrying powerfully and Rory Kerins and Aidan Mc Nulty were making inroads at the breakdown. Matele Fifita’s powerful running was causing concern for Cashel and Hugo Lafitte’s pace was always a threat.
A Daniel Hawkins penalty after 50 minutes put Sligo on the scoreboard and this was added to by a monster drop goal from David Gerrity 10 minutes later.
Both sides created chances in the final quarter, but defences were on top and when the final whistle was blown the score read 6-18 in favour of the visitors.
Next up Sligo Tavel north to second placed Banbridge. The match takes place on Saturday 18th of February and Sligo will be hoping to gather a big travelling support for the day.
David Gerrity, Cathal Finneran, Mataele Fifita, Gavin Foley, Hugo Lafitte, Daniel Hawkins, Billy Leahy, Adrian Mc Hale, Gary Conneely, Shane Mc Guinness, Jamie Bowes, Peter Mullan, Paddy Conlon (capt), Rory Kerins, Aidan Mc Nulty. Reps Ross Mannion, Brian Keane, James Wilson, David Heath, Gary O Hehir
Rory O Connor, Kevin Leamy, Jack Ryan, Colin Morrissey, Pat O Connor, Brian Silke, Ollie Mc Glinchey, Mike Kelly, Dave Mc Cormack, Howard Stanley, Llyod Foot, Sean Walsh, Brendan O Connor (capt), Ed Leamy, John Ed O Connor. Reps Barry Moloney, Danny Lambe, Albie Devitt, Michael Hickey, Alan O Donnell.
Referee Brian Montayne LBIRFU.
Photos by Rory Raftery – See the full match gallery on Facebook