With just four league games remaining, and Sligo just a single point ahead of OLBC at the danger zone of the table, next Sunday’s Connacht Junior 1 League tie between Sligo and OLBC in Hamilton Park [kick-off 2.30 pm], is of major importance to both teams.
The losers of this game are certain to be engaged in a relegation scrap for the remainder of the season, while for the winners, there will be more than a chink of light in the tunnel. With the stakes so high, neither side will lack in motivation, so both sets of supporters are likely to witness a game played with cup tie intensity.
Sligo will approach this game greatly heartened after their memorable performance against Coleraine in the AIB All-Ireland Junior Cup, and with home advantage will be in determined mood. Training has gone really well, and selectors, Joe Walsh and Brendan Leahy now have the welcome dilemma of whether to retain confidence in the side which performed so heroically against Coleraine or to recall the personnel who were absent due to injury or flu on that day. With the exception of the injured Joe Sweeney, Sligo should select from a full squad, with Andrew Williams likely to be back in contention.
Sligo will not need reminding that their recent record against OLBC is not impressive. Earlier this season the Galway city side defeated Sligo in the ‘warm-up ‘ league semi-final in Galway, while last season [on October 29th’06] at the Sportsgrounds, they comprehensively beat Sligo [20-10], in the Junior 1 League. These results will not have gone unnoticed by the team’s management, so Sligo will have to take the initiative from the start on Sunday.
The home side registered their biggest score of the season against Coleraine, and after the drought of scores in their last three league games, this is a good morale booster, as the side played its best rugby of the season in that game. A repeat performance on Sunday would probably suffice in keeping the points at home. A big, vocal support would be appreciated.