AIL 2B:Losing bonus in Dublin

Wanderers FC 20

Sligo RFC 15

Sligo travelled to the capital on Saturday to take on Wanderers FC at Merrion Road for the third outing of their Energia AIL 2B campaign but had to settle for a single match point as the home outfit led by 5 points when the ref blew the long whistle.

On the well manicured surface the home outfit kicked off but it was Sligo who grasped the early initiative. A sweeping left to right move with Daire Byrne prominent brought play deep into Wanderers territory before centre Jack Keegan put a deft grubber kick behind the defence for winger Calum Goddard to race onto and touch down in the right corners. 

Outhalf Euan Brown was narrowly wide with a well struck conversion effort. 

The home team responded and opened their own account with a penalty after 10 minutes and followed up with a try on 15 minutes following a sustained period of pressure on the Sligo line. The conversion drifted wide putting Wanderers into the lead at 8-5.

As the match pushed on both sides looked to gain an advantage, Wanderers were using their pick and drive to make inroads and Sligo were moving the ball wide at every opportunity. 

Sligo has the edge at scrum time with Tom Gormely and Mark Keegan working hard and Shane O’Hehir was linking well with Rob Holian and Ciaran Cassidy to ensure the lineout was fuctioning well. The young Sligo backrow of Brian West, Christian Nielsen and Sean Wynne we’re putting in an excellent afternoons work.

Despite close calls from both sides the scoreboard remained unchanged until the interval. 

Following the resumption it was the visitors that struck next. An excellent Brown penalty kick brought parity before Wanderers retook the lead with an unconverted try. 

Sligo again responded and some fine work from Philip Carter and Enda Gavin coupled with some excellent forward driving resulted in a 5 yard scrum to Sligo. 

Ryan Feehily fed the ball into the scrum and Sligo shunted forward. The initial drive was halted but Feehily had other ideas and the scrum half picked and darted over in typical fashion. Brown converted to move Sligo into a two point lead. 

The home team hit back and a well worked converted try reclaimed the five point advantage with ten minutes remaining. 

Sligo almost snatched the game in the dying moment with an excellent length of the field movement but the last line of Wanderers defence tracked back and prevented the score so it was the Dublin 4 outfit that celebrated when the final whistle was blown. 

Sligo now take a week off from AIL duty before hosting Dungannon RFC at Strandhill on Saturday November 2nd at 2.30.

Sligo: Enda Gavin, Calum Goddard, Jack Keegan, Daire Byrne, Philip Carter, Euan Brown, Ryan Feehily, Mark Keegan, Shane O’Hehir, Tom Gormely, Ciaran Cassidy, Rob Holian, Brian West, Sean Wynne, Christian Nielsen. Reps Ross O’Boyle, Matthew Early, Craig Trimble, Niall Gray, Luke Hogge

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