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Back to Winning Ways

Back to winning ways.

Sligo RFC 29

Dungannon RFC 19

Sligo ended their recent Energia All Ireland League division 2B losing streak with a 10 point victory over a powerful Dungannon outfit at Hamilton Park on Saturday. 

With the 4 try bonus point also earned Sligo have secured their position at 6th place in the league table with one game remaining.

Despite the margin of victory, Sligo were made work for their win, and had to overturn a 14 point deficit at half time on the way to victory. 

On an perfect day for running rugby Dungannon kicked off playing towards the Knocknarea end and were on top in the early exchanges. 

The visitors early dominance was rewarded with trys on the 9th and 19th minutes with converted trys both stemming from lineout drives close to the Sligo line. No further scores were registered in the opening half. 

Following the resumption a much improved Sligo upped the tempo and began to impose their game on the visitors and Euan Brown opened the account with a penalty 3 minutes into the half. 

The Dungannon lead was further reduced on 55 minutes when Brown crossed the whitewash to the right of the posts following some powerfull carrying by Kuba Wojtkowicz, Rob Holian and Craig Trimble. The outhalf added the extras and Sligo were within a score of the lead. 

Almost immediately from the restart Sligo struck again. A powerful Enda Gavin tackle on the Sligo 10 meter line broke up a Dungannon attack and the ball was reclaimed by Ryan Feehily. The elusive centre brilliantly stepped the first defender and outpaced the cover all the way to the left corner to give Sligo the lead for the first time. 

Sligo continued to press and again worked their way into the scoring zone. Eoin Ryan secured the ball from touch and powerful driving from Rob Holian sucked in the defenders allowing Brown release Calum Goddard with a huge skip pass. The winger touched down out wide on the right. Brown successfully converted and Sligo were ahead by two scores. 

The bonus point score was picked up with 6 minutes remaining. Holian made a trademark burst on the halfway line bringing play close to the Dungannon 22. A quick recycle saw the ball moved right with Gavin , Guliherme  Coghetto and Wojtkowicz handling handling before releasing Goddard.  The winger was stopped outside the 5 meter line but Hubert Gilvarry collected and ducked inside the cover before being hauled down short of the line. The forwards took over and James O’Hehir forced his way over sealing the win with Sligo’s 4th try. Brown rounded off a good day with another well struck conversion.

Dungannon replied with a consolation score at the death with the unsuccessful conversion attempt signalling the final action of an entertaining encounter. 

Next Saturday Sligo will finish out their campaign with a trip to the capitol to face Wanderers RFC at their Merrion Road base. The match kicks off at 2.30. 

Sligo Guilherme Coghetto, Calum Goddard, Ryan Feehily, Enda Gavin, Philip Carter, Euan Brown, Brendan Cunningham (co-captain),Matthew Earley (co-captain), James O’Hehir, Pedro Bengalo, Eoin Ryan, Craig Trimble, Rob Holian, Sean Wynne, Kuba Wojtkowicz, Reps: Eddie Coyle, Finn Young, Michael McMorrow, Hubert Gilvarry, Stefano Giantorno 

Sligo 22 Corinthians 28

Sligo’s bid to make the top four play-off positions in the Energia All Ireland league Division 2b shipped a major blow when they went down to a strong Corinthians outfit at Strandhill on Saturday. Sligo’s brave effort, scoring three excellently executed Trys, unfortunately fell just short as the visitors held a 6 point lead at the final whistle.

Sligo can take some compensation from the spirit of the performance, fighting right to the end and gaining a losing bonus point with the final kick of the match.

On a beautiful spring afternoon, with the sun beaming down around Knocknarea onto Hamilton Park, Sligo started brightly and signalled their intent by moving the ball wide and early with purpose. The home team looked to have taken an early lead when a pinpoint cross kick from full back Guilherme Coghetto was collected by Philip Carter who touched down in the corner. Unfortunately for Sligo, to the amazement of watching supporters (from both sides) , the score was overruled by the touch judge who claimed that Carter had been bundled into touch.

The early ambition was eventually rewarded with a successful penalty from outhalf Euan Brown, who made a welcome return following an extend absence through injury.

The initial lead was short lived however as Corinthians responded with a try in the left corner following a searing run from Michael O’Reilly. Cathal Forde added the extras.

Sligo knuckled down and continued to play with tempo. Donnacha Byrne and Kuba Wojtkowicz were prominent in the loose exchanges, Eddie Coyle and Craig Trimble’s power steadied the Sligo scrum and Matthew Early was connecting well with Ross Hickey and Rob Holian at the lineout set piece. James O’Hehir was tackling everything that moved.

Sligo’s retook the lead with 35 minutes gone. From a lineout on the left hand side in the Corinthians 22, Scrum half Hubert Gilvarry moved the ball quickly infield where Brown, Ryan Feehily and Calum Goddard combined to free right winger Stefano Giantorno who touch down on the right. Brown slotted the conversion to move the score to 10-7.

Unfortunately for Sligo the lead was short lived as a mix-up at the restart gave Corinthians an immediate foothold with a penalty outside the 22. The visitors went to the corner and attacked with their powerful maul to earn their first try. Forde again converted to give the visitors a 10-14 lead at half time.

Following the resumption, Sligo picked themselves up and again looked to width to attack. Giantorno and Coghetto countered a Corinthian clearance brilliantly down the right touchline resulting in an excellent second try of the day for the right winger to put Sligo ahead by the slimmest of margins.

Corinthians responded again and used their powerful maul to drive Sligo back, scoring two almost identical Trys from close in lineout mauls. Forde converted both moving the score to 15-28.

Sligo salvaged the losing bonus right at the death with a super score from Feehily and Browns excellent touchline conversion but it was a case of what might have been when for the Yeats county men when the ref blew the final whistle.

Next up for Sligo is the visit of Blackrock RFC. The match kicks off at 2.30 at Hamilton park next Saturday.

Sligo: Guilherme Coghetto, Stefano Giantorno, Calum Goddard, Ryan Feehily, Philip Carter, Euan Brown, Hubert Gilvarry, Edward Coyle, Matthew Earley, Kuba Wojtkowicz, Craig Trimble, Robert Holian, Ross hickey, James O’Hehir, Donnacha Byrne.

Reps Eoin Ryan, Brian West, Sean Wynne, Brendan Cunningham, Enda Gavin

Semi Final Dissapointment for Sligo

Buccaneers RFC 22

Sligo RFC 5 

Sligo’s hopes of lifting the Connacht Senior cup were dashed at the penultimate stage with a defeat to Buccaneers in the semi final in Dubarry Park on Saturday. 

The hosts outscored the visitors by three trys to one in a well contested encounter. 

Sligo’s cause was not helped with a long list of absentees through injury and illness but the team that took to the the field gave a good account of themselves against an outfit the play in a division above Sligo in the All Ireland League. 

The pitch at Dubarry park was heavy when the teams crossed the whitewash but both sides signalled their intent to move the ball in the early stages. The strong breeze favoured the hosts in the first half and Sligo found it difficult to exit their own half in the early stages. 

Buccaneers fired the first shot with a successful penalty kick  after 13 minutes but minutes later Sligo were the first to breach the tryline.

Brendan Cunningham cleverly collected a Bucc’s clearance outside the Sligo 22 and opted to counter attack to the 10 metre line. James O’Hehir and Eoin Ryan combined well before Kuba Wojtkowicz set off on a barnstorming run the brought Sligo to the Buccs 10 meter line. A quick recycle saw the ball moved to Enda Gavin who released Calum Goddard. Goddard’s well timed pass gave Ryan Feehily the chance to round the defending winger before excellent footwark stood up the fullback and the Sligo centre raced in to score. 

Unfortunately for Sligo this was to be the only time the the scoreboard was moved in their favour.

Buccaneers retook the lead on 25 minutes with a touchdown following a clever chip through and extended their lead with another opportunist score from a well place cross kick just before half time. 

Both sides hunted for scores in the second half but it was the locals that were the only ones to increase their tally with a try on 75 minutes following a sustained period of pressure. 

Next week Sligo resume Energia All Ireland league action with the much anticipated visit of Blackrock College RFC. The meetings of the two clubs have always been close affairs, with plenty of drama, and late scores deciding the outcomes. Another cracking game is anticipated. The match kicks off at 2.30 on Saturday.

Sligo: Calum Goddard, Enda Gavin, Ryan Feehily, Aaron Spring, Finn Young, Guilherme Coghetto, Brendan Cunningham, Eddie Coyle, Matthew Earley, Craig Trimble, Eoin Ryan, Kuba Wojtkowicz, James O’Hehir, Brian West, Cristian Nielsen. Reps Aaron Tansey, Jake Sexton, Sean Wynne, Jacob Fleming, Jack Gormely,

The Perfect Start to the New Year

Galwegians RFC 0

Sligo RFC 28

2022 has begun in perfect for fashion for the Sligo RFC senior squad as they picked up an excellently crafted bonus point win against Galwegians at Glenina on Saturday. With the four try win, not only did the Porter Ford sponsored Sligo outfit collect five valuable Energia All Ireland League division 2B points, but also booked their place in the Connacht Senior Cup semi final where they will match up to Buccaneers RFC for a place in the final.

Conditions were perfect in Galway as the teams lined up for a minutes silence prior to kickoff, in a tribute to the late Aisling Murphy and in solidarity with her family at this tragic time.

Galwegians kicked off and made the early running with some strong carrying from a solid pack of forwards and a hard press in defence using the double tackle to great effect. 

Sligo settled into the game and began to put their own patterns into play. Christian Nielsen was proving a good source of supply for hooker Matthew Earley at the lineout and Pedro Bengalo at tighthead prop was the cornerstone of a solid Sligo scrum. Eddie Coyle was a bundle of energy in the loose, carrying powerfully at every opportunity. Enda Gavin and Stefano Giantorno both made telling contributions early on. 

With 12 minutes gone on the clock Sligo struck the first blow. Earley threw to Nielsen from a lineout on the right of the halfway line. Scrum Half Brendan Cunningham collected and immediately fed outhalf Josh Reeves. Reeves stepped inside for a half break , turning the defence before offloading to powerhouse second-row Craig Trimble. Trimble carried well past the 10 metre line before been hauled down and Cunningham quickly fed Donnacha Byrne who continued the momentum with a strong drive. Sligo loaded the left hand side and Sean Wynne and Kuba Wojtkowicz handled before moving the ball to Ryan Feehily. Feehily drew the cover before creating an excellent offload to give Philip Carter the sight of the line. The winger didn’t need a second invitation and raced home for an excellent try. Reeves added the extras with a well judged strike.

The half continued with both sides being tested but defences were on top with huge commitment from both sides keeping their lines intact for the remainder of the half. 

As is often the case, good teams make the most of the third quarter, described by many as the Championship quarter, and this was certainly the case for Sligo on Saturday.

With five minutes of the half gone Sligo struck a mighty blow. A Galwegians scrum on the right hand side of the Sligo 22 was turned over by the Sligo pack. Cunningham fed Reeves, who immediately looked to counter, linking with Feehily. Feehily fed Calum Goddard who took off on a blistering run outside the ‘Wegians midfield making his way into the blues half. Goddard fed Guilherme Coghetto who raced along the touchline into the 22 before putting a perfectly weighted chip to the midfield where Feehily collected and raced over to score. Reeves again added the extras and Sligo were up by 14 to nil.

‘Wegians restarted and Sligo turned the knife. Carter collected the kick in the Sligo 22 and evaded the onrushing chasing line before racing out to the 10 metre line and linking with Feehily. Feehily was hauled down outside the ‘Wegians 22. From the recycle Cunningham moved the play to the right where Reeves and Nielsen put in long passes to release Coghetto. Coghetto stepped inside and split the cover before linking up with Cunningham who finished under the posts. Reeves kept his 100 % record intact with his third conversion of the day. 

Sligo continued to hunt for the all important fourth try but were made wait until the end for the icing on the cake. 

With two minutes left on the clock, Sligo were awarded a scrum 10 metres from the right touchline on the ‘Wegians 22. The Sligo pack produced a perfect ball for Cunningham to attack the blindside before releasing Goddard who raced to the corner for the well deserved bonus point try. Reeves completed the perfect day with a touchline conversion success. 

Next Saturday Sligo resume home action when they host table toppers Greystones RFC at Hamilton park. Sligo will be looking to continue the form shown in Galway on Saturday to overturn the Wicklow based outfit.

Sligo: Guilherme Coghetto, Stefano Giantorno, Ryan Feehily, Enda Gavin, Philip Carter, Josh Reeves, Brendan Cunningham, Eddie Coyle, Matthew Earley, Pedro Bengalo, Craig Trimble, Kuba Wojtkowicz, Christian Nielsen Sean Wynne, Donnacha Byrne. Reps James O’Hehir, Robert Holian, Ross Hickey, Finn Young, Calum Goddard. 

Christmas Bonus For Sligo

Sligo RFC 29

Galwegians RFC 8

Sligo move into the Christmas break of the Energia All Ireland League in rude health having picked up the maximum five match points against visitors Galwegians in a well contested battle at Hamilton park on Saturday. 

Sligo scored two trys in each half to despatch the visitors and gain the all important bonus point which puts their league points total to 27, just two points behind second placed Corinthians RFC.

Having availed of the excellent facility at Fitness 4 All Strandhill for the pre match preparation, Sligo started brightly and used the kicking game to put the early pressure on the visitors and opened the scoring with a well struck Josh Reeves penalty. 

Sligo increased the lead with 12 minutes gone. Second row Eoin Ryan stole a Galwegians lineout on the visitors 22. Daire Byrne and Craig Trimble made telling carries before the ball was moved to Reeves. Reeves cross kicked to the right wing where full back Guilherme Coghetto met the ball on the volley and kicked it through the defence to the in goal area. Ryan Feehily won the race to the touchdown. Reeves converted to put Sligo into an 10-0 lead. 

The visitors struck back on 20 minutes with a three pointer from powerful fullback Conor Shaughnessy before Sligo struck with a second try 5 minutes later. 

A penalty on the half way was despatched to the corner. Matthew Earley found Byrne at the tail and the maul headed for the line. Rob Holian and Trimble made bursts before the backline was released and quick hands from Enda Gavin and Feehily gave Coghetto the space to finish on the right giving Sligo a halftime lead of 15-3.

Following the interval Sligo picked up where they left off further increasing the lead with an opportunist try that took almost everyone by surprise. From inside his own half, Reeves put a pinpoint kick down the left hand touchline which bounced into touch 7 metres from the line. With Sligo awarded the lineout due to the 50:22 law, Scrum Half Brendan Cunningham reacted quickest and threw the ball to Reeves who raced in at the corner before the visiting defence had time to set. Reeves added the extras with an excellently struck kick and Sligo were out of sight. 

‘Wegians responded and used their powerful carrying forwards to pick up a try of their own but Sligo put the game to bed almost immediately with an excellent effort from Stefano Giantorno. 

A Galwegians defensive clearance was collected by Reeves on the halfway line. Reeves fed Ross Hickey who drove forward with Kuba Wojtkowicz and Matthew O’Hara in support. The ball was moved wide to the left before Coghetto was stopped on the 10 meter line. Cunningham switched the play back to the right and Giantorno timed his run to perfection to split the defence and race to the line beating three defenders on the way. Reeves conversion put the final score to 29-8.

Sligo now take a break from AIL action until the return fixture against Galwegians on Jan 15th. In the meantime Sligo will meet the same opponents in the Connacht Senior Cup at Strandhill on Jan 08th. 

Sligo Guilherme Coghetto, Stefano Giantorno, Ryan Feehily, Enda Gavin, Philip Carter, Josh Reeves, Brendan Cunningham, Eddie Coyle, Matthew Earley, Pedro Bengalo, Eoin Ryan, Craig Trimble, Rob Holian, Daire Byrne, Ross Hickey. Reps Kuba Wojtkowicz, Matthew O’Hara, Jake Sexton, Christian Nielsen, Thomas Valliant

5th Win for Sligo

Sligo RFC 20
Belfast Harlequins RFC 16

Sligo picked up their 5th win of their 21/22 Energia All Ireland Division 2B league campaign with a hard fought win over a powerful Belfast Harlequins side at Strandhill on Saturday.

The win moves Sligo to a share of second place in the table, equal on points with Wanderers FC behind runaway leaders Greystones RFC.

Thankfully storm Arwen had mostly abated come kick off time at Hamilton Park and Sligo kicked off playing towards the road end. The visitors took the early initiative with a penalty score after 3 minutes and pulled further ahead with a converted try 10 minutes later with a chip and chase through the Sligo defence.

Sligo knuckled down and began to use their hard running back row of Daire Byrne, Donnacha Byrne and Ross Hickey to drive the defence back. The endeavour was rewarded on 17 minutes when Josh Reeves converted a penalty from 30 meters. 
Reeves repeated the dose 5 minutes later with an excellent effort from wide on the left to move the score to 6-10. 

Sligo were up and running and their offloading game was causing the visitors all sorts of trouble.  

The Yeats men took the lead which they never relinquished with 27 minutes on the clock. A penalty on the ‘Quinns 22 was despatched to the corner. Hooker Matthew Earley threw to Hickey and the pack rumbled forward. The two recycles saw Rob Holian receive 5 metres out and the second row used all his strength to touch down under the cross bar. Reeves added the extras and Sligo were up to 13.

‘Quinn’s came close with a raid down the Sligo right touchline just prior to the interval, resulting in a series of close-in penalties, but the Sligo defensive wall refused to crumble and the turnover was forced and the halftime whistle sounded. 

The early second half action was dominated by a kicking battle with both sides looking to gain a foothold in opposition territory. 

Five minutes into the half Sligo struck the decisive blow. A lineout on the half way was played off the top by Holian to scrum half Brendan Cunningham. Cunningham moved it quickly infield where Donnacha Byrne carried ferociously. The play was switched back to the left and Phillip Carter timed his pass to release Earley. The hooker burst into the ‘Quinns 22 before being hauled down. The ball was shifted wide again where Byrne , Hickey and James O’Hehir all carried powerfully before a ruck was set 3 meters out. Patience came to the fore as Sligo looked for the chink in the defence and Holian repeated his first half exploits crashing over from close range. Reeves chipped over the extras and Sligo were up to 20. 

Quinns responded with a 3 pointer on the 50th minute but it was Sligo that looked more likely to add to the try count with some excellent combination plays and powerful carry’s. 

Eddie Coyle and Pedro Bengalo were rock solid in the tight and Matthew O’Haras workrate was a huge asset to the Sligo cause. Enda Gavin and Ryan Feehily were combining well in the centre in both attack and defence, and Guilherme Coghetto and Stefano Giantorno attacked with pace and power when brought into play.

Unfortunately, Sligo were unable to capitalise on the excellent play, getting on the wrong side of the referees whistle at crucial times. 

‘ Quinns closed the gap with a third penalty in the 75th minute but Sligo were not going to be beaten and come the final whistle it was the locals that claimed the match points. 

Next for Sligo is a visit to table topping Greystones. With 7 wins from 7 the Wicklow men will be full of confidence but Sligo have proved a match for all comers this season and will be travelling with the goal of causing an upset. The match kicks off at Dr Hickey Park at 2.30 next Saturday.

Sligo: Guilherme Coghetto, Stefano Giantorno, Ryan Feehily, Enda Gavin, Phillip Carter, Josh Reeves, Brendan Cunningham, Eddie Coyle, Matthew Earley, Pedro Bengalo, Rob Holian, Matthew O’Hara, Donnacha Byrne, Daire Byrne, Ross Hickey. Reps James O’Hehir, Craig Trimble, Jake Sexton, Sean Wynne, Finn Young

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Sligo Success in Stradbrook

Blackrock RFC 14

Sligo RFC 16

Round six of the Energia All Ireland league saw Sligo travel to the capitol to face Blackrock RFC and the Porter Ford sponsored North Westerners produced a grandstand finish to pocket the match points. 

The win moves Sligo to fourth in the division 2b table, just 2 points behind second placed Wanderers FC. 

Facing into the stiff breeze, Sligo kicked off and had to endure early pressure from the home side whose pack include Sligo natives Ciaran Cassidy and Matthew Cosgrove. 

Sligo settled into the task and began to use their pacey backline to good effect to move the physically bigger Blackrock forwards around the pitch. 

With 20 minutes gone Sligo opened the scoring. A Blackrock scrum on the halfway line was disrupted by the Sligo drive. The locals failed to deal with the scrappy possession and the ever alert Hubert Gilvary latched onto the ball and raced away. The Sligo scrum half still had work to do but with an excellent side step evaded the two covering defenders before racing in at the right corner. Outhalf Josh Reeves’ conversion effort came back off the left upright.

Sligo continued to play with intent and went further ahead on 24 minutes with a Reeves penalty dispatched from just outside the home 22. 

Conditions worsened with heavy rain as the half wore on, making it difficult for Sligo to exit from their own 22. 

Just before the interval ‘Rock were awarded a penalty 5 yards from the Sligo line. A scrum was called and when the home side got the nudge the scrum turned and the referee awarded a penalty try leaving one point between the sides at the interval. 

On the resumption the rain had subsided, but unfortunately for Sligo the wind advantage went with it. 

With an hour gone on the clock the home side took the lead with a try on the left hand side following a sustained period of pressure on the Sligo line. The successful conversion moved the score to 14-8. 

Sligo regrouped and looked for the score to close the gap. The powerful ‘Rock scrum was difficult to handle but Eddie Coyle and Pedro Bengal put in a huge effort to secure Sligo ball. The Sligo lineout was functioning well with the two Matthews, Earley and O’Hara, combining well to secure possession. 

With 7 minutes remaining Sligo struck with a brilliant counter attacking try. Reeves collected a ‘Rock clearance in the Sligo 22 and immediately shifted it on to winger Calum Goddard. Goddard sprinted to the 10 metre line before linking with Ryan Feehily. Feehily linked up with centre partner  Enda Gavin on the half way and Gavin’s well timed pass allowed Full back Guilherme Coghetto the opportunity to race to the line. Incredibly this time Reeves’ conversion attempt came back of the right upright which left ‘Rock with a one point advantage going into the final moments. 

Sligo weren’t done however and one final massive effort secured the winning score. Reeves collected a ‘Rock clearance in the Sligo 22 and again moved the ball wide to counter. The move was halted with a high tackle on Stefano Giantorno and the resulting penalty was despatched to touch on the halfway line. Earley threw to Ross Hickey at the lineout and Sligo set an excellent maul which drove all the way to within 15 metres of the try line before being hauled down illegally. With no time left on the clock Reeves opted for the kick. 

The tension was unbearable as the ball left the outhalfs boot, but the posts were dissected and the Sligo faithful rejoiced. 

Next for Sligo is the visit of Belfast Harlequins to Strandhill. Coached by former Ulster Scrum Half Neil Doak, ‘Quins will be a tough nut to crack but Sligo have proved a match for anyone in division 2b and another exciting encounter is expected. The match kicks off at 2.30 next Saturday.

Sligo: Guilherme Coghetto, Calum Goddard, Ryan Feehily, Enda Gavin, Philip Carter, Josh Reeves, Hubert Gilvary, Eddie Coyle, Matthew Earley, Pedro Bengalo, Craig Trimble, Matthew O’Hara, James O’Hehir, Donnacha Byrne, Ross Hickey. Reps Jake Sexton, Sean Wynne, Daire Byrne, Brendan Cunningham, Stefano Giantorno 

Stalemate at Strandhill

Sligo RFC 13
Ballina RFC 13

Rob Holian breaks through the Ballina defence and releases Hubert Gilvarry to score in the corner

Near neighbours and longtime rivals Sligo RFC and Ballina RFC played out an enthralling and intense draw in the much anticipated Energia All Ireland League, northwest derby, at Strandhill on Saturday. The result puts Sligo in fifth position in the division 2b table with 5 of the 18 rounds completed.

A strong westerly breeze greeted the sides as they took to the Hamilton park turf with Sligo playing towards the Knocknarea end for the first half.
The early exchanges belonged to the locals with strong carries from Rob Holian and Donnacha Byrne making inroads and the Sligo maul looking particularly strong.

The early Sligo pressure yielded a reward with 10 minutes on the clock. Josh Reeves opened the Sligo account with a penalty from the 22 as the Ballina defensive line was penalised for offside.

Sligo continued to press and camped in the Ballina 22. A five yard defensive scrum looked an ideal opportunity to put pressure on the visitors but the referee adjudged the Sligo effort illegal and the chance was lost.

Euan Brown clears his lines

The visitors made the most of the reprieve and a well worked backline move earned field position in the Sligo 22 where Craig McCormick levelled the scores with a penalty for the Moy men.

With 20 mins gone it was Sligo that struck the next blow. Matthew Early threw to Matthew O’Hara at a lineout on the 22. The Sligo forwards quickly set up an excellent maul and drove to within 5 metres of the line. Sligo’s energetic scrum half Hubert Gilvarry sniped down the blindside before releasing winger Stefano Giantorno who dived over in the corner.

From the restart Sligo attacked again with Donnacha Byrne, Guilherme Coghetto and Giantorno involved in a move that brought play to the Ballina 22 but scramble defence by the visitors forced the turnover enabling the clearance.

Sligo continued to press and an excellent Gilvarry break again brought play into the visitors 22 before linking up with Coghetto, Calum Goddard and Reeves. The ball made its way back to Goddard on the right touchline but the Ballina cover won the race to the touchdown following a chip ahead by the Sligo winger.

Sligo were owning the lions share of possession but the Ballina last line of defence was proving stubborn. Just prior to the interval a 50:22 from Euan Brown put the locals in an excellent position to attack the line. O’Hara again claimed the lineout and the maul drove to the line. The ref adjudged the effort short and Sligo had to settle for a 5 metre scrum. The Sligo forwards pounded the line and drew in the Ballina defence but when the ball was moved to the wing, to exploit the space, the pass was inaccurate and the chance was lost.

The teams went into the interval with Sligo leading 8-3.
Following the resumption it was the visitors who attacked first , working the ball to left winger Bradley Nealon who looked set to score but a thunderous Coghetto tackle prevented the score and the Sligo defence eventually turned the ball over on the 22.

Sligo immediately looked to counter and the ball was moved to midfield where Rob Holian burst through the cover and raced forward to the Ballina 10 meter line before linking with Gilvarry who sidestepped the covering defence and raced to the corner for a brilliant score.

Ballina closed the gap on 60 minutes with another Mc Cormick penalty to put a converted try between the sides, setting up a tense finale.
The equalising score for the visitors came with 10 minutes left on the clock. Prop forward Conor Mason squeezed over the Sligo line following a sustained period of pressure and McCormicks conversion levelled the match.

Sligo looked for the winning score and again used the maul to good effect to work their way into the scoring score but the opportunity never materialised and when the referee blew the long whistle the points were shared.

Sligo now take a well deserved one week break from All Ireland league duty before heading to Dublin on November 20th to lock horns with Blackrock College RFC. The match kicks off at Stradbrook at 2.30.

Sligo : Guilherme Coghetto, Calum Goddard, Enda Gavin, Josh Reeves, Stefano Giantorno, Euan Brown, Hubert Gilvarry, Eddie Coyle, Matthew Earley, Pedro Bengalo, Matthew O’Hara, Rob Holian, James O’Hehir, Daire Byrne, Donnacha Byrne, reps Craig Trimble, Jake Sexton, Sean Wynne, Ross Hickey, Philip Carter.

A minute’s silence was held before the match in memory of former Sligo senior player
Bob Frazer, brother of Conor Frazer, and Kay O Connor mother of Pat O Connor, grandmother of Ballina Senior Team Manager William and also also Kay Heffernan, mother of Ivan Heffernan. Heffernan Park in Ballina is named after the Heffernan family.

Seniors take spoils in Galway

Cal Goddard scores for Sligo against Corinthians

Corinthians RFC 12
Sligo RFC 16
Sligo made it three wins from four Energia All Ireland League division 2B matches with a well crafted victory over Galway rivals Corinthians at Cloonacauneen on Saturday. The win pushes Sligo to joint fourth in the league, with 12 points, sharing the position with Dublin rivals Blackrock College.
Sligo kicked off playing with the aid of the breeze and looked to immediately put pressure on the home side. Corinthians looked to play their way out of the danger zone but the relentless Sligo pressure forced a penalty out wide on the left and Euan Brown struck an excellent kick to open his teams account.
Sligo continued the excellent start and a Josh Reeves line kick again pinned the locals back in their 22.
From a lineout on the 22, Matthew Early combined with Daire Byrne and the ball was moved quickly off the top. Scrum Half Hubert Gilvary moved the ball to midfield where Brown made a half break into the Corinthians 22. Sligo continued to build the phases with Guilherme Coghetto, Donnacha Byrne and Eddie Coyle all making significant contibutions before the ball made its way to Calum Goddard who fought his way over to score in the right corner. Brown added the conversion with another excellent strike.
Corinthians looked to respond, and forced a penalty which was dispatched to touch inside the Sligo 22. The lineout looked a perfect opportunity to attack but Sligo’s Matthew O’Hara superbly claimed the throw and the danger looked over. Unfortunately for the visitors the attempted clearance was blocked and a kind bounce allowed flanker Cathal Evans touch down at the right post. Dylan Keane added the conversion to move the score to 7-10 in favour of the visitors.
Sligo again looked to re-establish their dominance and positioned themselves in the home 22. Pressure forced the award of a Sligo 5 metre scrum and the front row of Pedro Bengalo, Earley and Coyle marched towards the line, unfortunately control was lost at the base and Corinthians were awarded a relieving scrum. The relief was short lived however, as Sligo were awarded a penalty from a scrum on the 10 meter line which Brown again slotted between the uprights to put the half time score at 7-13 in favour of the visitors.
With the game on a knife edge, the second half began with both sides looking for the all import next score. A super Ross Hickey break opened up the defence before linking with James O’Hehir who was halted by desperate defence just short of the line. The relentless Sligo pressure eventually told and Brown added another 3 points with his third penalty of the day.
Corinthians again responded and a driving lineout maul resulted in a try bringing the score to 12-16 setting the scene for a tense finish.
Sligo remained in control however, denying the home team any meaningful possession, particularly at the lineout where O’Hara was outstanding, and come the final whistle it was the travelling faithful that were celebrating.

Ross Hickey charges forward for Sligo

Next Saturday sees round 5 of the All Ireland league, with Sligo hosting nearest neighbours Ballina, resuming an age old rivalry between the two clubs. With league points at a premium an intense encounter and atmosphere is guaranteed. The match kicks off at 2.30 at Hamilton Park.
Sligo: Guilherme Coghetto, Stefano Giantorno, Enda Gavin, Josh Reeves, Calum Goddard, Euan Brown, Hubert Gilvary, Eddie Coyle, Matthew Earley, Craig Trimble, Rob Holian, Matthew O’Hara, Daire Byrne, Donnacha Byrne. Reps: Ross Hickey, James O’Hehir, Michael McMorrow, Jake Sexton, Finn Lynch Young

Second Win for Sligo

Sligo RFC 19
Malahide RFC 7
Sligo picked up a second win from three Energia All Ireland League division 2B matches with a well deserved win over visitors Malahide at Hamilton Park on Saturday. A Rob Holian try and 14 points from the boot of Euan Brown cemented the win for the home side resulting in a move to fifth position in the league table.

Sligo kicked off playing towards the road end, into the breeze, and had to withstand early pressure from the visitors. A period of sustained pressure on the Sligo line looked sure to yield a score for Malahide but heroic defence kept the line intact and good work from Daire Byrne forced the error resulting in the turnover.

The home team switched to attack and almost immediately struck a mighty blow. A lineout was secured on the left side on the Malahide 10 metre line. The play was moved to midfield where Josh Reeves, Byrne, Enda Gavin and Pedro Bengalo all made strong carries before scrum half Hubert Gilvarry fed Craig Trimble who burst through the cover with a well timed drive. Trimble was hauled down inside the 22 and the ball was moved to midfield where Holian collected ,drove forward, performed an audacious chip over the onrushing ex international 7s player Mick McGrath and collected and dotted down under the posts to the delight of the Sligo faithful. Brown added the extras and Sligo were ahead. 

The visitors responded and with ex Welsh international second row Dominic Day to  the fore again put pressure on the Sligo line,  but again the Sligo defence stood strong and forced the turnover. 

Following the water break it was Sligo that took the initiative. An excellent driving maul brought play to the Malahide 22, the ball was flashed wide to the right with Stefano Giantorno and Guilherme Coghetto carrying towards the line. Gilvarry switched the play back to the left and Byrne drove into the heart of the defence. The move was halted illegally and Brown split the posts from the resulting penalty. 

Sligo continued to press but the score line remained at 10-0 at half time. 
Following the resumption Sligo picked up where they left off hunting for further points to put the game out of reach. 

The lineout was functioning well, with Matthew Earley accurately combining with his jumpers and Matthew O’Hara proving a nuisance on the Malahide throw. In the loose Eddie Coyle and James O’Hehir were bundles of energy, disrupting the breakdown at every opportunity. The scrum was solid and the backline were a constant threat with Philip Carter proving a real handful every time when brought into play.

Sligo’s dominance was rewarded with penalty’s from Brown on 45, 55 and  60 minutes to move into a 19 point lead before Malahide picked up a consolation try,late on, following a series of pick and drives on the Sligo line.

The Sligo coaching group of Reeves and Simon Galvan will be satisfied with the improvement in performance and will look to further up the ante for the next round of league action versus Galway Corinthians at Cloonacauneen on Saturday October 29th.

Sligo: Guilherme Coghetto, Stefano Giantorno, Enda Gavin, Josh Reeves, Philip Carter, Euan Brown,  Hubert Gilvarry, Eddie Coyle, Matthew Earley, Pedro Bengalo, Craig Trimble, Rob Holian, Matthew O’Hara, James O’Hehir, Daire Byrne. Reps Michael McMorrow, Jake Sexton, Michael Broaders, Brendan Cunningham, Calum Goddard