Sligo 5 :: Tuam 22
Sligo’s 2nd team were defeated by Tuam in Hamilton Park on Sunday last in the opening round of the Ard na Cregg Cup. The game was played on the club’s second pitch, following the referee’s controversial, and to some, amusing decision to declare the second pitch playable and the first pitch unplayable. To most regular attendees at Hamilton Park, the main pitch had not been in such good condition for months following the overnight drying wind.
Sligo played against the strong wind in the first half, and were forced to defend for most of the opening quarter. Tuam scored an unconverted try after 17 minutes, and they stretched their lead to 10-0 after 26 minutes with another unconverted try. Sligo’s play improved considerably after this, and for the remainder of the first half, they took the game to Tuam, and camped in their territory. Early in the second half, Sligo’s prospects received a mortal blow when Tuam scored a converted try against the run of play, to lead by 17-0. Sligo were soon back on the attack, but they could not break down the well organised winners’ defence. Sligo introduced Warner Wilder in the final quarter, and his leadership was soon apparent, as they now laid siege to the Tuam line. In the 38th minute Gary Boland crossed for a try to reduce the deficit, but Tuam had the final say, as in the 7th minute of second half injury time they crossed for another try.
Sligo’s best performer on the day was No 8, Dermot Kiely, who worked very hard throughout. The Skreen man is certain to be strongly in contention for a senior team position next season. Centre Ralph Lucey also impressed and should be a valued acquisition for the senior squad next season also. Elsewhere, full-back, Tim Jessop, Gary Boland, when moved to the wing, Alan Brennan, David Kilcoyne, James Coulter, Simon Coyle, and substitutes, Dara Cox and Matthew Drury performed well.
After the game, in a presentation in the Clubhouse, club President, Tom Gilligan presented Dermot Kiely with his ”man of the match” award, while loose head prop, Ciaran Stafford, was presented with his ”2nd’s Player of the Season” award.
Sligo: Tim Jessop, Michael Conlon, Ralph Lucey, Robert Orbinski, Damien Henry, Gary Boland, James Coulter, Ciaran Stafford, Aaron Tansey, David Kilcoyne [c.], Tony Delahunty, Dave Delahunty, Simon Coyle, Dermot Kiely, Alan Brennan. Subs [Used]: Dara Cox, Warner Wilders, Matthew Drury, John Hynes, Michael Devaney.
More photos from the match can be viewed here.