Sligo RFC 20 – Wanderers FC 28
Sligo hosted Wanderers FC in their second home All Ireland League match of the season, but despite scoring four try’s to the visitors three, had to settle for a single match point as the Landsdowne road based outfit held an eight point lead at the final whistle.
Despite the incessant heavy Strandhill rain on Saturday morning the pitch was in excellent condition as the teams crossed the whitewash. Sligo kicked off playing towards the airport end but it was Wanderers who took the initiative and made an early attack on the Sligo line. Sligo’s defence prevented the line from being breached and a strong scrum earned a relieving penalty.
Wanderers continued to press and eventually opened their account with a Peter Brougham penalty with fifteen minutes on the clock.
Sligo responded immediately. From the restart the Wanderers clearance was collected by Sligo’s Callum Goddard. The Full back counter attacked into midfield before linking up with Philip Carter. Carter was held on the ten metre line and Sligo quickly recycled. Scrum half Brendan Cunningham moved the ball infield to Mark Butler who timed his pass perfectly to put Kuba Wojtkowicz through the gap. The rampaging prop burst through the defence and used all of his considerable power to make it all the way to the line for Sligo’s opening score.
It was Wanderers turn to react, and a sustained period of pressure on the Sligo line resulted in centre Rob O’Byrne crashing over to reclaim the lead. Brougham converted and Wanderers were up by five.
Again Sligo hit back when good work from Sean Mullin and Mata Fifita gave position in the visitors 22. Shane Boyle made a strong carry followed up by further good play from Shane O’Hehir and Wojtkowicz. The play continued right and Butlers long pass to Goddard allowed the full back the space to feed Carter who squeezed over in the corner to level the scores.
Right on the stroke of half time the visitors regained the lead. A penalty on half way was kicked to the corner. Wanderers used their pick and drive to work the ball close to the line and a switch move in midfield caused enough hesitation to allow Martin O’Neill the space to crash over at the posts. Brougham converted and the blue side went into the interval with a seven point lead.
Ten minutes into the second half the visitors pushed the lead out to ten points with another well struck Brougham penalty before moving further ahead with try out wide from winger Martin Bosch.
Sligo hit back with an excellently taken score when a sweeping backline move following a scrum on the left gave Goddard the chance to use his pace to race in to the right hand corner.
Wanderers closed out their account with another Brougham penalty with five minutes remaining before Ryan Feehily earned a try bonus point for Sligo with an excellent finish in the right corner.
Sligo now sit in sixth place in the division 2B table and next up is a trip to the capital to lock horns with second placed Greystones RFC. The match kicks off at 2.30 at Dr Hickey Park next Saturday.
Sligo: Calum Goddard, Sean Mullin, Ryan Feehily, Mata Fifita, Philip Carter, Mark Butler, Brendan Cunningham, Kuba Wojtkowicz, Shane O’Hehir, Tom Gormely, Jason Havea, Ciaran Cassidy, Shane Boyle, Matt Davey, Ross Hickey, Conor Mitchell, Ross O’Boyle, Rob Holian, Matthew Cosgrove, Enda Gavin