West Offaly Lions 11 :: Sligo 0
With the pitch in Ferbane unplayable, Sligo’s 2nd XV travelled to Ballinasloe on Sunday last to play newcomers to Connacht rugby, West Offaly Lions, in the Connacht Junior 2 league. A squad of 22 players made the long journey, and while they were disappointed with the outcome, a number of positives can be gleaned from the game.
The midlanders were powered by players who achieved Connacht Senior Schools’ success with St. Saran’s College, now Gallen Community School, so they were not lacking in either experience or skill. For their part, Sligo played with a lot of tenacity and no little skill, but could not break down the resolute Offaly defence, so despite doing well territorially, they failed to convert this advantage into scores.
The Sligo pack,well led by captain, David Kilcoyne was impressive and won a lot of possession, and at no. 6, Ralph Lucey gave a man of the match performance. Also to the fore in this sector was second row, Tony Delahunty and hooker, Aaron Tansey. As the game progressed, the backs’ play improved,and in this sector, winger, Simon Coyle, full-back,Tim Jessop, Mick Reynolds and out-half, Brian Hynes, were always dangerous.
Sligo trailed by 5-0 at the interval, and conceded two penalties in the second half, which were converted. On Sunday next, this team will again be in action, and details of the fixture will be given at training on Wednesday at 7.30 pm. While league honours are now beyond the team’s grasp, the potential is in this squad to launch a serious challenge for the Ard na Cregg Cup, which will commence next month, so all squad members are exhorted by the team’s management of Michael Storey, Des Butler, Declan Lynch and Finian O’Driscoll to make a special effort to attend training over the coming weeks.
Sligo: Tim Jessop, Martin Brennan, Owen McDermott, Philip Henry, Simon Coyle, Clive Morris, James Coulter, Ross O’Boyle, Aaron Tansey, David Kilcoyne [c.], Tony Delahunty, Ciaran Stafford, Ralph Lucey, Dermot Kiely, Alan Brennan. Subs [all used]: Michael Conlon, David Delahunty, Mick Reynolds, Sean Kiely, Damien Henry, Jamie Bowes, Brian Hynes, Simon Coulter.
Referee: Mr.Denis Connolly.