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AIL2B Sligo Disappoint in Malahide

Malahide RFC 43

Sligo RFC 21

A poor first half performance proved Sligo’s downfall as they slumped to a disappointing defeat against a lively Malahide at a blustery Estuary Road on Saturday. The visitors yielded twenty nine points before opening their own account with an uncharacteristically loose defensive showing which left themselves a mountain to climb to try to come away with any reward for their efforts. 

Malahide seized the initiative in the opening moments and opened their account with a try in the third minute. The opening score was followed up with  4 further try’s inside half an hour before Sligo opened their own account with an excellent effort from  Calum Goddard just before the interval. 

Following the resumption, Malahide touched own again following a lineout maul before a powerful run from Daire Byrne yielded Sligo’s second touchdown of the day. 

Malahide picked up their final try and Philip Carter responded with an excellent effort , racing down the left touchline from the thirty metres out. 

With the four try bonus in sight Sligo threw everything into the final moments but had to leave empty handed when the referee blew the long whistle. 

While coaches Paddy Pearson and Jason East will be disappointed with the breakdown of the defensive system they will take heart in the fact that their charges fought to the final whistle and manufactured three excellent try’s. 

Sligo will be looking to immediately get back to winning ways when they entertain Mayo rivals Ballina in an eagerly anticipated clash next Saturday. 

Neither side will require motivation as league points are at a premium and traditional rivalry will add spice to the mix. The match kicks off at the earlier time of 2pm at Hamilton Park next Saturday. 

Sligo Enda Gavin, Calum Goddard, Mark Butler, Ryan Feehily, Philip Carter, Euan Brown, Brendan Cunningham, Matthew Earley, Shane O’Hehir, Tom Gormely, Ciaran Cassidy, Rob Holian, Diarmuid O’Dowd Hill, Brian West, Shane Boyle. Reps James O’Hehir, Sean Mullin, Matthew Davey, Sean Wynne, Daire Byrne

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AIL2B Heartbreak at Hamilton

Out half Euan Brown is tackled high and low

Sligo RFC 26

Blackrock RFC 27

Despite outscoring their illustrious visitors by four try’s to three Sligo fell to an agonising defeat by the narrowest of margins in a thrilling Energia AIL2B encounter at Strandhill on Saturday. 

Going into the closing moments Sligo were ahead by six points, but an injury time converted try snatched victory for the visitors by the smallest margin and broke the hearts of the Sligo faithful. 

On a crisp Strandhill afternoon Blackrock kicked off playing towards the Knocknarea end. Shane Boyle was illegally tackled in the air and Sligo were awarded a penalty.  Euan Brown despatched the kick to touch and Sligo set up camp in the ‘Rock 22.

Sligo’s early initiative was rewarded with an excellent score with six minutes on the clock. A planned backline move,  from a scrum on the 22, gave Brown the opportunity to slip through a gap in the visiting defence. Brown linked with Enda Gavin and the full back timed his pass to allow Winger Calum Goddard the space to use his blistering pace to race in at the right corner. Browns difficult conversion attempt drifted across the posts. 

Blackrock looked to respond and were rewarded with a penalty, converted from outside the Sligo 22. 

Sligo reset and again worked their way into the ‘Rock half of the field. An excellently timed Ryan Feehily pass coupled with an excellent line from Mark Butler opened up the visiting defence and Butler touched down under the posts. Brown converted to push Sligo nine points ahead at the interval.

Following the resumption it was Blackrock that took the early initiative.

Indiscipline from the home team resulted in a second penalty score for the visitors before a converted try put ‘Rock ahead by a single point.

Sligo again showed their mettle and worked their way back into the lead when Rob Holian crashed over following a sustained period of pressure on the Blackrock line. Brown converted to push Sligo ahead by six. 

The game continued to ebb and flow and Blackrock wrestled back the lead with 15 minutes remaining following a try from a five metre mauled lineout.

With the game on a knife edge every inch of ground was being fought for tooth and nail. The home victory looked to have been sealed with a Ciaran Cassidy try, converted by Brown, with eight minutes remaining but the concession of a series of late penalty’s gave Blackrock the opportunity to close the gap with a third try and snatch the win with a final kick conversion.

Sligo had heroes all over the park. Mark Keegan, Tom Gormely and Shane O’Hehir battled intensely in the tight and replacements Ross O’Boyle, James O’Hehir and Matthew Earley added to the cause when introduced. Brian West and Matt Davey covered every inch of ground through the entire match. Brendan Cunningham’s reputation at scrum half continues to grow and Diarmuid O’Dowd Hill continued his return to form with more valuable game time. Philip Carter was his usual ball of energy and a thorn in the visitors side in both attack and defence. 

Despite the loss, Sligo picked up 2 valuable league points with the losing and four try bonus points, but Coaches Paddy Pearson and Jason East will be disappointed that the five points didn’t come to Sligo

Sligo’s AIL2B campaign continues with a trip to Malahide next Saturday. The match kicks off at 2.30 at Estuary Road. 

Sligo: Enda Gavin, Calum Goddard, Mark Butler, Ryan Feehily, Philip Carter, Euan Brown, Brendan Cunningham, Mark Keegan, Shane O’Hehir, Tom Gormely, Ciaran Cassidy, Rob Holian, Shane Boyle, Brian West, Matt Davey. Reps Ross O’Boyle, Matthew Earley, James O’Hehir, Diarmuid O’Dowd Hill, Daire Byrne.

CSC: Sligo Into Cup Final

Galwegians RFC 16

Sligo RFC 31

Sligo advanced to their second Connacht Senior Cup final in 3 seasons with a comprehensive victory over Galwegians at a floodlit Glenina on Saturday evening. Sligo’s victory earns the team the opportunity to face Galway Corinthians at the Sportsground on December 22 in a repeat of the 2017/18 final which saw Sligo lift the trophy for only the second time in the long history of the Strandhill based club.

On a calm evening Sligo kicked off but it was the home team that took the early initiative with a successful penalty kicked from the Sligo 10 metre line. Sligo immediately responded. Ciaran Cassidy got a hand to the restart and Shane Boyle secured the ball, Brian West drove forward and the ball was recycled and moved towards midfield. A well timed pass saw Mark Butler split the defence and race into the 22 before linking up with Ryan Feehily who beat the last defender and finished under the posts. Euan Brown converted and Sligo were up and running. 

A second successful ‘Wegians penalty moved the gap to one point with thirty minutes on the clock but Sligo responded well. Matt Davey picked from a scrum on the left of the ‘Wegians 22 and linked with Brendan Cunningham. The ball was moved quickly across the backline to Calum Goddard who raced to within 5 metres of the line before linking with the supporting Philip Carter who crashed over for Sligo’s second try. Brown hit an excellent conversion to put Sligo into an eight point lead. 

A third Galwegians penalty put the half time score to nine points to fourteen in favour of the visitors.

Following the resumption Sligo continued to press. Cunningham broke down the blind side of a scrum on the Galwegians ten metre line and placed an excellent grubber kick down the line for Goddard to collect and score in the corner. Brown hit an excellent conversion to push his teams total to twentyone.

A sustained period of pressure resulted in a Galwegians converted try, closing the gap to five but Sligo again hit back with another well worked score. 

Brian West tapped a free kick on the Galwegians 22 and drove into the heart of the home defence. Cassidy and Brown both added to the drive before replacement centre Daire Byrne burst through before being stopped just short of the line. From the resulting ruck Feehily fed Butler who twisted his way over for Sligo’s 4th try. Brown again converted and minutes later added a penalty to round off the scoring and seal the place in the final. 

Sligo’s win was built around their excellent team ethos with every player deserving credit. Tom Gormely, Benroy Sala and Mark Keegan provided a solid platform in the tight and continuously put in some huge tackles in open play. Shane O’ Hehir and Matthew Earley and Rob Holian were dynamic in all facets. James O’Hehir made a big addition to the work rate when introduced. Enda Gavin was a rock at full back and Luke Hogge fitted seamlessly into the backline when called into the fray. 

Sligo now turn their attention back to the All Ireland League where they host Blackrock College at Hamilton Park next Saturday. Having suffered a narrow defeat to Blackrock in last seasons promotion playoffs Sligo will not need motivation when facing their Dublin visitors. The match kicks off at 2.30 at Strandhill.

Sligo: Enda Gavin, Calum Goddard, Mark Butler, Ryan Feehily (Co-Capt), Philip Carter, Brendan Cunningham, Benroy Sala, Shane O’Hehir (Co-Capt) Tom Gormely, Ciaran Cassidy, Rob Holian, Shane Boyle, Brian West, Matt Davey. Reps: Mark Keegan, Matthew Earley, James O’Hehir, Daire Byrne, Luke Hogge

AIL2B: Sligo Stun the ‘Stones

Delighted supporters after a win by the narrowest of margins

Greystones RFC 19

Sligo RFC 20

Sligo produced the best performance of their Energia AIL 2B campaign to date to seal victory by the narrowest of margins over a previously unbeaten table topping Greystones outfit at Dr Hickey Park on Saturday. 

Sligo used every ounce of energy, pride and bravery to overcome a strong home outfit and take the points in a match that will live long in the memories of the travelling Sligo faithful.

Playing into the slight breeze Sligo started the match in impressive fashion. The kick off contest resulted in Sligo possession and the visitors set up camp in the Greystones 22. 

The opening score arrived with 8 minutes on the clock. A left to right move across the 22 culminated in a deft Euan Brown grubber kick behind the cover defence and Calum Goddard won the race to touchdown in the right corner.

The home side responded and a midfield break gave a foothold in the Sligo 22. Sligo looked to have snuffed out the immediate danger but the referee determined that the defensive effort was illegal, and despite it being the first penalty conceded by the visitors, Mark Butler was shown the yellow card and Sligo were down to 14. 

Greystones made the most of the numerical advantage and a series of attacks on the Sligo line eventually resulted in full back Mark Meyler racing in on the the left. Outhalf Killian Marmion gave the home side the lead with the extras.

The Wicklow men extended the lead to 12-5 before the interval with a sniping score from scrum half Alex Ryan following a sustained period of pressure.

Following the resumption Sligo upped the ante and took the fight to their hosts. Benroi Sala, Shane O’Hehir and Tom Gormely were powerful at the scrum and in the loose with Gormely in particular tackling everything that moved. Ciaran Cassidy and Rob Holian were bringing physicality to every collision and the back row of Sean Wynne, Shane Boyle and Matt Davey we’re putting in a tremendous shift. 

10 minutes into the half Sligo’s pressure began to tell and Greystones’ influential Outhalf, Marmion, was sent to the bin following a series of indiscretions. It was Sligo’s time to turn the screw and within 2 minutes the Sligo pack were driving over the line with Gormely on hand to touch down. Brown converted and the sides were level.

Sligo were now in the ascendancy and worked hard to retake the lead. Brown and Butler were pinning Greystones back with some fine tactical kicking. Brendan Cunningham was providing fast ball from the base and Ryan Feehily was as always a bundle of energy. The back three of Goddard, Philip Carter and Enda Gavin we’re linking well and counter attacking with purpose. Replacements Brian West, Jason East, Diarmuid O’Dowd Hill and Matthew Earley all added to the cause when introduced.

The lead was restored when the Sligo industry was rewarded on the hour mark with a third try. Ciaran Cassidy was on hand to touch down as the forwards again drove over the line to move the score to 12-17.

Further pressure earned Sligo a penalty on the 10 meter line and Brown bisected the uprights to push the total to 20. 

The home team showed their pedigree by fighting back to within a point with a converted try on the 75th minute setting up a grandstand finish. 

As time ticked down, Greystones threw everything at the visitors, but Sligo held their discipline and the defensive line remained intact. Marmion attempted a drop goal with the final kick but Feehily’s line speed proved too much of a distraction and the ball drifted wide. The long whistle sounded and Sligo were celebrating. 

Next Saturday Sligo’s attention turns to the Connacht Senior Cup when they lock horns with Galwegians. The semi-final kicks off at Crowley Park at 2pm. 

Sligo: Enda Gavin, Calum Goddard, Mark Butler, Ryan Feehily, Philip Carter, Euan Brown, Brendan Cunningham, Benroi Sala, Shane O’Hehir, Tom Gormely, Ciaran Cassidy, Rob Holian, Shane Boyle, Sean Wynne, Matthew Davey, Reps: Matthew Early, Jason East, Brian West, Diarmuid O’Dowd Hill, Daire Byrne.

AIL 2B Sligo fall to powerful Corinthians

Sligo RFC 17

Corinthians RFC 28

Sligo fail to subdue powerful Corinthians 
Sligo’s fifth outing in their Energia AIL 2B campaign ended in disappointment with a home defeat to a powerful and physical Corinthians outfit at Strandhill on Saturday. A purple patch from the visitors which yielded 3 trys in the third quarter proved insurmountable for Sligo who unfortunately saved their best rugby until the game was beyond reach.Despite the overnight heavy rain, Hamilton Park was in good condition when the teams took to the field.  Corinthians kicked off, playing with the stiff breeze towards the Knocknarea end. Brave Sligo defence, with Enda Gavin, Tom Gormely and Sean Wynne particularly prominent saw off the early onslaught from the giant visiting pack. Despite the advantage of the stiff breeze, good game management meant the visitors scores were limited to two long range penalties putting the half time score at six points to nil in favour of the visitors.Sligo turned into the second half with the wind in their favour and full of confidence but it was the tribesmen who took the initiative. A well timed offload offload in midfield opened up the home defence and suddenly Sligo’s job became a lot more difficult.The locals reacted and immediately tried to close the gap but inaccuracy resulted in the visitors capitalising with another converted try and the deficit was up to 23 and in the shadow of Knocknarea, Sligo had their own mountain to climb. To their credit, Sligo continued to work to make their way back into the game. Ryan Feehily was a threat as always, Ciaran Cassidy brought his usual physicality and Brian West continued to enhance his growing reputation in the back row.The home teams resilience was rewarded when substituted Matt Davey breached the line with 70 minutes on the clock.Sligo Speedster Calum Goddard raced in to follow up with his teams second and the losing bonus point looked possible but from the kickoff Corinthians pounced on Sligo indecisiveness to earn the four try bonus point and put the final nail in the Sligo coffin.But Sligo were not finished and Goddard again showed his class with a superb kick and chase to touch down to pick up his brace and Sligo’s third. Unfortunately it was too late for a Sligo comeback but Coaches Paddy Pearson and Jason East will be happy that that their charges fought to the end and were unfortunate not to earn at least a losing bonus point for their efforts.Next for Sligo is a trip to Leinster to take on Greystones RFC. The hosts are currently sitting on top of AIL2B but Sligo will be travelling in the knowledge that their ‘A’ game can trouble anyone in division 2B. The match kicks off at Dr Hickey Park at 2.30 next Saturday.Sligo: Mark Butler, Calum Goddard, Enda Gavin, Daire Byrne, Philip Carter, Euan Brown, Ryan Feehily, Benroi Sala, Shane O’Hehir, Tom Gormely, Ciaran Cassidy, Shane Boyle, Brian West, Sean Wynne, Ross Hickey. reps. Matthew Earley, Ross O’Boyle, Matthew Davey, Craig Trimble, Brendan Cunningham.

I

AIL2B Second Win For Sligo

Daire \Byrne with the ball

Sligo RFC 14
Dungannon RFC 10
Sligo ground out their second win of their Energia All Ireland League division 2B campaign with a two point victory over a physical Dungannon side at Strandhill on Saturday. Two converted trys proved enough to see off their northern visitors in a tense and physical affair.
With Friday nights incessant rain making conditions less than ideal, The match kicked off with Sligo playing towards Knocknarea. The opening exchanges were tight with both teams looking for an advantage but Sligo took the early initiative with the front row of Mark Keegan, Matthew Earley and Tom Gormely getting on top at the scrum. Rob Holian and Shane Boyle were secure from touch.
Sligo’s dominance soon turned into points. Some excellent positional kicking placed Sligo inside the visitors 22. The forwards took over and pummelled the Dungannon defence until second row Ciaran Cassidy breached the line for Sligo’s opening points. Euan Brown converted and Sligo were up and running.
Sligo continued to press and were rewarded for their efforts with a superb solo try from outstanding scrum half Ryan Feehily after 26 minutes. The live wire scrum half picked from a ruck on the Dungannon 22 and darted down the right hand side, evading three would be tacklers before touching down in the right corner. Browns excellent conversion split the posts and Sligo were purring.
The momentum was now with the locals but unfortunately the team failed to capitalise. Indiscipline in the Dungannon 22 resulted in a Sligo yellow card and a shift in play culminated in Dungannon crossing the whitewash in the right corner of the Sligo in goal area. Dungannon failed to convert so Sligo went into the interval with a nine point advantage.
Following the resumption, playing into the breeze , Sligo started the second half brightly, The back three of Niall Gray, Brendan Cunningham and Philip Carter were mopping up all that the visitors threw at them, open side Brian West was a menace in open play, centres Enda Gavin and Daire Byrne were bringing the fight to the visitors and number eight Ross Hickey was marshalling affairs with authority. 
Shane O’Hehir, Craig Trimble and Sean Wynne added dynamism from the bench.
Disregarding Sligo’s dominance the visitors reflected their pedigree and worked their way back into contention. An excellently executed tackle by Sligo’s Benroi Sala was incredibly deemed illegal by the blind sided touch judge and a second yellow card meant Sligo were back to fourteen. 
Dungannon pressed hard to make the most of the numerical advantage but the Sligo defence stood strong and were even coping with a third yellow with moments remaining.
Despite heroic defensive efforts the thirteen men from Sligo were breached in the final moments, but the late score failed to dampen the spirits of the Sligo faithful and when the long whistle sounded the Yeats men celebrated a well earned four league points.
Next for Sligo is a Connacht Derby against Galway Corinthians. With both teams hungry for points a cracking encounter is is instore. The match kicks off at Hamilton Park next Saturday at 2.30Sligo: Niall Gray, Brendan Cunningham, Daire Byrne, Enda Gavin, Philip Carter, Euan Brown, Ryan Feehily, Mark Keegan, Tom Gormely, Ciaran Cassidy, Rob Holian, Shane Boyle, Brian West, Ross Hickey, Reps Shane O’Hehir, Benroi Sala, Craig Trimble,  Sean Wynne.

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

AIL2B Bonus Point Win For Slick Sligo

Sligo RFC 45

Belfast Harlequins RFC 14

Sligo jump started their Energia All Ireland League division 2B campaign with a six try demolition of Belfast Harlequins at Strandhill on Saturday. Sligos teamwork and tempo proved to be too much for their visitors on a perfect day for rugby at Hamilton Park.

Having fallen to Galwegians in the opening round of the AIL, Sligo were determined to get their season back on track and produce a performance reflective of the undoubted potential of the squad. 

‘Quinns  kicked off playing towards Knocknarea but it was Sligo who took the early initiative. The work put in by Sligos coaching team of Paddy Pearson and Jason East  regarding retention of possession payed dividends early on as their charges owned the ball in the early exchanges. 

With ten minutes on the clock Sligo reaped the reward of the early dominance. A period of pressure on the ‘Quinns line concluded with Rob Holian driving over for the opening score. Euan Brown added the extras and the Yeats men were up and running.

The locals were now in full flow and doubled their tally 20 minutes in. A left to right move in the ‘Quinns 22 resulted in hooker Shane O’Hehir racing in at the right corner. Brown converted with an excellently struck kick. 

Halfway to the bonus point for Sligo, halftime arrived, but it was the visitors who struck next. A well work converted try halved the lead but Sligo were in determined form and immediately hit back with an excellent score from Matt Davey. Brown slotted the conversion and the gap moved back out to 14. 

On 55 minutes the visitors again struck with a converted try but to their credit Sligo again immediately hit back with a powerful effort from Ross Hickey. Brown chipped over the conversion and the 14 point gap was restored. 

Sligo were now in control and a Brown penalty from the 10 metre line further increased the advantage before a pinpoint kick pass from Ryan Feehily was plucked from the air by the excellent Philip Carter and the wingers’ well timed pass

allowed his fellow winger Calum Goddard a chance to run in under the posts. Once again Brown was accurate from the tee to move the score to 38-14.

Sligo were rampant and were putting their guests under serious pressure. Mark Keegan and Ross O’Boyle were in control at the scrum with East providing excellent support. Ciaran Cassidy and Craig Trimble added power and Mata Fifita and Brian West were outstanding in the loose. Mark Butler was controlling the tempo of the game and Enda Gavin marshalled the midfield with calm assurance. Brendan Cunningham and Matt Early made telling contributions from the bench.

With 5 minutes remaining Sligo put the final nail in the ‘Quins coffin. Jack Keegan capped an excellent performance with a intuitive read of a long midfield pass to intercept and race to the posts for a well deserved try. Brown completed a great day with the boot by making it 7 from 7.

Next for Sligo is a trip to Dublin on Saturday to lock horns with Wanderers RFC. With Ireland scheduled to play New Zealand in the rugby World Cup on the same day the kick off time has yet to be finalised. Up to date information will be available on the Sligo RFC website and Facebook page. 

Sligo: Euan Brown, Calum Goddard, Jack Keegan, Enda Gavin, Philip Carter, Mark Butler, Ryan Feehily, Ross O’Boyle, Shane O’Hehir, Mark Keegan, Ciaran Cassidy, Rob Holian, Mata Fifita, Brian West, Ross Hickey. Reps Jason East, Matthew Earley, Matthew Davey, Craig Trimble, Brendan Cunningham. 

AIL 2B Sligo fall short in Galway

Sligo’s Ryan Feehily and Mata Fifita double team a Galwegians player

Galwegians RFC 18

Sligo RFC 10

Sligo’s Energia All Ireland League 2B campaign opened in disappointment when they fell to an 8 point defeat to Galwegians at Crowley Park on Saturday. Despite handing their hosts a heavy defeat in the Connacht Senior League a fortnight earlier Sligo failed to get out of the blocks and suffered the consequences of a lacklustre performance.

Despite torrential rain prior to the kickoff Crowley Park was in good shape as the teams took to the field. The early exchanges were tight with both sides looking to gain a foothold. Sligo’s Mark Keegan, Shane O’ Hehir and Tom Gormely were on top in the scrum but worryingly Sligo were struggling to secure clean ball from the lineout. 

The home side opened the scoring on 25 minutes with an unconverted try but Sligo hit back almost immediately with a well struck Euan Brown penalty. 

‘Wegians again struck with a converted try on 35 minutes to move the the scoreboard to 12-3. 

Sligo responded with their best period of the match and worked their way into the ‘Wegians scoring zone. Sligo pressure earned a five yard scrum and a Ciaran Cassidy and Craig Trimble supported the front row to shove the hosts back allowing Ryan Feehily the chance to snipe down the left and crash over the line. Brown converted and the ref blew the half time whistle.

With only two points between the teams, the large travelling support optimistically anticipated a Sligo comeback in the second half but the resurrection never materialised and Sligo failed to add to their total.

‘Wegians increased their lead with penalty kicks on the 50th and 70th minutes and Sligo’s failure to secure meaningful possession proved costly as the final score of 18-10 meant the Yeats men returned home without even a losing bonus point. 

Sligo will be looking to bounce back immediately when they host Belfast Harlequins at Hamilton Park next Saturday. The match kicks off at 2.30.

Sligo Euan Brown, Calum Goddard, Enda Gavin, Mata Fifita, Philip Carter, Mark Butler, Ryan Feehily, Mark Keegan, Shane O’Hehir, Tom Gormely, Craig Trimble, Ciaran Cassidy, Rob Holian, Brian West, Ross Hickey. Reps Sean Mullin, Matthew Earley, Matthew Davey, Brendan Cunningham, Daire Byrne

CSL: Connacht Champions

Galwegians RFC 7

Sligo RFC             33  

Sligo RFC made history by securing the Connacht Senior League title for the first time by finishing out their campaign with well crafted bonus point win over Galwegians at Glenina on Saturday. 

Sligo went into the game equal on league points with Buccaneers but with a superior points difference so securing a bonus point win would be required to ensure the best chance of claiming the title. 

On a dry track with a stiff crosswind Sligo kicked off and immediately put pressure on the hosts. Shane Boyle, Ciaran Cassidy and Rob Holian made notable carries, Shane O’Hehir was accurate at the lineout and props Mark Keegan and Tom Gormely were in control at the scrum. 

With 15 minutes on the clock Sligo’s dominance came to fruition. A five metre lineout was secured and the pack rumbled to the line. Scrum half Ryan Feehily collected and crashed over on the left. Full back Euan Brown added the extras with a well judged strike.

Sligo continued to press and doubled the lead on the half hour. Powerhouse centre Mata Fifita burst his way through in midfield and touched down under the sticks. Brown again added the extras. 

Try number three was picked up with five minutes left in the half. Sligo drove the Wegians scrum back and headed for the line. The initial drive was halted so the ball was moved wide across the backline to Brown who squeezed in at the corner flag. The difficult conversion drifted wide to leave the half time score at 19-0 in favour of the visitors. 

Following the resumption Wegians picked up their only score when a loose Sligo pass was intercepted allowing a free run to the posts. 

Sligo immediately responded and went hunting for the all important bonus point. Another big Sligo scrum ten metres out put the home defence on the back foot. The ball was moved left and a huge miss pass in midfield was collected by Philip Carter and the winger raced to the corner to touch down. 

Sligo were now on top in all areas. The scrum was marching forward at every opportunity. The lineout was secure and Brian West and Ross Hickey were a menace at the breakdown. Mark Butler was running the game from out half and Enda Gavin was rock solid in midfield. 

Matt Davey, Ross O Boyle, Niall Gray, Craig Trimble, Matthew Earley, Daire Byrne and Brendan Cunningham were introduced to the play and all fitted in seamlessly.

With time almost done Cunningham made a sublime break from inside his own half before linking with flying winger Calum Goddard. Goddard beat the last line of defence and raced in under the posts. Brown converted to complete the scoring. 

Wegians restarted, but the word had come from Athlone that Buccaneers had been defeated so when Sligo regained possession the ball was put to touch, history was made and the celebrations began. 

Connacht branch officer Ciaran Smith presented the League trophy to Sligo co-captains Feehily and O’Hehir to the delight of the large travelling Sligo support.

Sligo now take a well deserve one week break before commencing their All Ireland League campaign with another trip to Glenina on October 6th to lock horns again with Galwegians. While coaches Paddy Pearson and Jason east will be delighted with the win they will undoubtedly be quick to resume focus on the upcoming AIL campaign.

Sligo: Euan Brown, Calum Goddard, Enda Gavin, Mata Fifita, Philip Carter, Mark Butler, Ryan Feehily, Mark Keegan, Shane O’Hehir, Tom Gormely, Ciaran Cassidy, Rob Holian, Shane Boyle, Brian West, Ross Hickey. Reps: Matt Davey, Ross O Boyle, Niall Gray, Craig Trimble, Matthew Earley, Daire Byrne,Brendan Cunningham.