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AIL 2B: Two in a row for Sligo

Corinthians RFC 17

Sligo RFC 19

Sligo made it two in a row in their ALL Ireland League campaign with a superbly crafted 2 point win over a physical Corinthians outfit in Galway on Saturday. Sligo’s defence and discipline were the two pillars of a game plan that was executed superbly by a wholly committed Sligo team.

Playing into the teeth of a ferocious wind Sligo kicked off and had to withstand an immediate barrage from a fired up local outfit intent on bringing their big ball carriers into the fray as often as possible. The Sligo defence stood strong however, with Mark Butler, Enda Gavin and Calum Goddard all putting in bone shuddering tackles in the early stages. Prop forward Tom Gormaley threw himself into tackles like man possessed despite carrying a hamstring injury and one hit from powerhouse Mata Fifita must have left his opposite number wondering what day of the week it was.

Inevitably, with such a wind  advantage, the local were going to score at some stage in the first half, and Corinthians picked up trys on the half hour and just prior to the interval to move into a 10 point lead.

Sligo coaches Paddy Pearson and Jason East rallied the troops at half time , impressing on them the importance of keeping faith with the system and to continue with the herculean effort being displayed.

Following the resumption the excellent work rate began to pay off as Sligo began to dominate in the scrum and make inroads into ‘blue’ territory. With 50 minutes on the clock Sligo struck. A scrum on the half way line on the right hand side was wheeled towards touch. Scrum Half Ryan Feehily saw his chance and made a searing break down the blind side before being hauled down in the 22.  Sligo recycled quickly and good hands from Butler , Gavin and Jack Keegan gave Philip Carter the opportunity to finish on the left. Keegan put over an excellent conversion and Sligo were within 3!

Sligo continued to press, with the scrum causing the locals all sorts of problems and the defensive line speed continuously forcing errors. Hooker Shane O’Hehir was putting in his best performance in a Sligo shirt this season with second rows Ciaran Cassidy and Rob Holian causing mayhem with powerful carries time after time. The backrow of Matthew Davey, Shane Boyle and Sean Wynne, who was incidentally only making his first start in a Sligo senior jersey, hit everything that moved, setting the tone for the rest of the team.

Keegan brought the scores level with another well struck penalty on 55 minutes, and proved his invaluable worth by putting his side into the lead with another excellent effort on 60 mins to take the lead.

Sligo were now in full flow and a sustained period of pressure in the Corinthians 22 resulted in Butler slotting over a sweetly struck drop goal to extend the lead for his side. Corinthians tried to respond but Sligo were not taking a backward step.

The intensity spilled over with 10 minutes remaining with a good old fashioned dust up erupting with all 30 players involved. To the disbelief of the Sligo faithful when all had calmed down the referee awarded a penalty to Corinthians and sent two Sligo players and only one local to the sin bin.

With Sligo down two forwards Corinthians sensed an opportunity and elected to take the scrum. Sligo, however, were not to be broken and a huge effort from Conor Mitchell and Kuba Wojtkowicz forced a penalty and Keegan made no mistake with the kick.

Corinthians made the most of the numerical advantage with a try in the dying moments but it was too late for a comeback and come the long whistle there were jubilant scenes from the travelling supporters.

The much needed win moves Sligo up to 6th in UBL div 2B table with one more fixture before the Christmas break.

Next Saturday sees Belfast Harlequins come to Strandhill with an earlier kick off time of 2pm.

Sligo Jack Keegan, Calum Goddard, Enda Gavin, Mata Ffitia, Calum Goddard, Mark Butler, Ryan Feehily (Co Capt.) Kuba Wojtkowicz,  Shane O’Hehir, Tom Gormaley, Rob Holian, Ciaran Cassidy, Matt Davey, Sean Wynne, Shane Boyle. Reps: Ross O’Boyle, Conor Mitchell, Jack Sexton, Niall Gray, Brendan Cunningham



AIL 2B: Sligo fall short against Wanderers

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.

Mark Butler stops Wanderers’ in their tracks

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.

Shane O Hehir waits to pounce as Mata Fifita puts in a big tackle

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.

Jason Havea on the attack

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.

Sligo’s Kuba Wojtkowicz keeps Wanderers at bay

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.

Scrum half Brendan Cunningham makes a dart for the try line

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

AIL 2B: Sligo fall short in Barnhall

MU Barnhall RFC 25 – Sligo RFC 17

Sligo travelled to Kildare last Saturday for their third All Ireland League match of the season to take on table toppers MU Barnhall. The home outfit were sitting pretty on top of the Division 2B table with maximum points from the first two rounds, but Sligo had shown their mettle with a bonus point win over a fancied Dungannon outfit the previous week and were well up for the task of challenging the league leaders.

Storm Callum may have abated but the match day conditions proved tricky with a heavy drizzle making handling difficult for both sides despite an excellent track underfoot. Sligo opened well and dominated the early exchanges. The first opportunity for points came with a penalty award in front of the Barnhall posts but Sligo turned down the kick and opted for the scrum. The locals dug in and forced the penalty and the chance to open the scoring was lost.

The home team made the most of the reprieve and worked their way up the park and with virtually their first foray into Sligo territory, a sustained period of pick and drives resulted in Barnhall’s opening try. Continue reading

AIL 2B: Sligo earn five from Dungannon

Sligo RFC 33 – Dungannon RFC 25

Sligo picked up their first win of the 2018/19 All Ireland League campaign with a bonus point victory over a strong Dungannon outfit at Hamilton park on Saturday. Sligo scored five trys to the visitors three, securing the all important try bonus point and sending their visitors home with nothing to show for their effort.

Playing towards the airport end Sligo kicked off and an excellent challenge from Phillip Carter secured early possession for the hosts. Sligo looked to move the ball through the phases with Rob Holian and Jason Havea carrying well in the opening exchanges. But despite Sligo having the lions share of possession early on it was the visitors that struck first when a sweeping backline move culminated in a touchdown in the left corner.

The conversion drifted wide but Dungannon increased their advantage with a penalty from the Sligo 22 with ten minutes on the clock.

Sligo knuckled down and worked their way back into the game. Shane O’Hehir was successfully hitting the target at the lineout, Matt Davey was a menace in open play and the returning Mata Fifita was lording the midfield battle.

Sligo opened their account with fifteen minutes gone. A well worked move opened up the Dungannon defence and Ryan Feehily finished under the posts. Niall Gray converted and Sligo were within a point.

Sligo continued to press and took the lead with twenty-five minutes gone. Mark Butler expertly placed a penalty into the left corner. The forwards took over drove for the line with Shane Boyle on hand to touch down. Gray struck an excellent conversion and Sligo were ahead by six.

Sligo moved further ahead five minutes later. An excellent backline left to right movement gave Calum Goddard the chance to use his blistering pace to scorch the defence and race to the line for Sligo’s third of the day and move the score to 19-8.

With five minutes left in the half Dungannon struck back with a converted try on the right from a powerful driving maul to move within four of Sligo. The visitors had their tails up and looked to take the lead before the interval. A penalty award positioned play five yards from the Sligo line. A series of scrums ensued with the powerful Dungannon scrum putting huge pressure on the Sligo eight. The home scrum stood firm however, and forced the concession of a penalty and Sligo went into the break in front.

The northerners purple patch continued after the break with a try out wide with eight minutes played, earning a one point lead,but Sligo hit back immediately when Feehily intercepted a long pass in the 22 and raced in under the posts. Gray converted and Sligo were up by six and the try bonus point was secured.

With fifteen minutes remaining Sligo hit again. A penalty on the 10 metre line was dispatched to the corner and a well worked lineout move allowed powerhouse prop Kuba Wojtkowicz the chance to drive over the defence and touch down left of the posts. Grays conversion pushed Sligo’s total to thirty three and importantly a two score lead with ten left on the clock.

The visitors rallied for one last effort and were rewarded with a late score out wide but it proved to be just a consolation score as the missed conversion was the last act of an excellent game of rugby football.

Next for Sligo is trip eastwards to take on table toppers NUIM Barnhall. The Sligo confidence will be high but a huge effort will be required to earn success at Parsonstown. The match kicks off at 2.30 on Saturday.

Sligo Niall Gray, Calum Goddard, Ryan Feehily (co-captain), Mata Fifita, Philip Carter, Mark Butler, Brendan Cunningham, Kuba Wojtkowicz, Shane O’Hehir, Thomas Gormely, Jason Havea, Rob Holian, Shane Boyle, Matt Davey, Ross Hickey. Reps. Ross O’Boyle, Conor Mitchell, Ciaran Cassidy, Christian Nielsen, Enda Gavin.

UBL: No joy for Sligo at the ‘Well

Sundays Well RFC 20 – Sligo RFC 17

Sligo travelled south to take on Cork city natives Sundays Well in the opening match of the 2018/19 Ulster Bank League division 2B campaign, but had to settle for a losing bonus point, as the Leesiders ran out winners by 3 points in a closely fought contest at Independent Park on Saturday.

Playing on the recently installed 4G pitch with ideal conditions for open rugby the home team kicked off but it was Sligo who dominated the early exchanges. Sligo’s game plan of keeping width on the ball and moving the physical Sundays Well pack around the park gained reward with a well struck Niall Gray penalty after 8 minutes to open the scoring.

Tom Gormley and Mattie Davey ready to put in the tackle

The Cork men responded from the restart and put pressure on Sligo’s exit plan and a blocked clearance kick was collected by the home team and the opening try was conceded by the visitors. The successful conversion put the score at 7-3 with 12 minutes gone.

Sligo knuckled down and worked their way back into the game. Strong carries from Kuba Wojtkowicz, Thomas Gormley  and Rob Holian put Sligo in position in the ‘Well 22 and the ball was moved quickly left to right through the hands of Mark Butler, Ryan Feehily and Enda Gavin allowing Philip Carter the chance to squeeze in at the corner.

Niall gray superb touchline conversion gave Sligo a 3 point advantage with 25 minutes gone.

Sligo’s lead only lasted for 5 minutes as the ‘Well equalised on the half hour with a penalty from in front of the Sligo posts. Unfortunately for Sligo the influential Diarmuid O’Dowd Hill had to retire at this point with a hamstring injury.

Just before the break Sligo struck again with a superb score. With Sundays Well applying pressure in the visitors 22, Sligo opted to move the ball wide to the right. Calum Goddard received on the wing and rounded his man to bring play to the half way before linking with Feehily. Feehily carried into the home 22 before linking up with supporting scrum half Brendan Cunningham who raced in under the posts to recapture the lead for Sligo. Grays successful conversion was the final action of the first half.

Sundays well regained parity with 55 minutes gone with a try and conversion following a sustained period of pressure in the Sligo 22 before a penalty in the 65 minute moved the Leesiders ahead and proved to be the final score of an entertaining encounter.

While coaches Paddy Pearson and Jason East will be disappointed with the loss, the losing bonus point is a valuable gain and comfort will be taken with the fact their charges demonstrated that they are well capable of competing at this level.

Sligo Niall Gray, Calum Goddard, Ryan Feehily, Enda Gavin, Philip Carter, Mark Butler, Brendan Cunningham, Kuba Wojtkowicz, Shane O’Hehir, Tom Gormley, Ciaran Cassidy, Rob Holian, Shane Boyle, Diarmuid O’Dowd Hill, Jason Havea, reps: Craig Adams, Ross O’Boyle, Matt Davey, Ross Hickey, Sean Mullin, Christian Nielsen

CSL: Sligo fall by the narrowest margin

Sligo RFC 15 – Corinthians RFC 16

Sligo suffered their second one point defeat in two weeks with a defeat in their final 2018 Connacht Senior league encounter at Strandhill last Saturday. Despite outscoring their opponents by two tries to one, Sligo failed to capitalise on possession and territorial dominance and the visitors held on at the finish to take the spoils.

With the drizzling rain making handling tricky, Sligo kicked off playing towards the airport end and quickly put pressure on the tribesmen. The early endeavour provided a well-earned dividend with a penalty award from a scrum inside the Corinthians 22. Outhalf mark Butler went to the corner and Diarmuid O’Dowd Hill secured the lineout. Sligo attempted to maul but Corinthians foiled the drive so the ball was moved infield. Jason Havea and O’Dowd Hill both carried before scrum half Brendan Cunningham switched the play back to the right and Butler’s well timed pass gave centre Ryan Feehily the opportunity to crash over in the corner. Continue reading

CSL: Back to winning ways

Sligo RFC 31 – Galwegians RFC 13

Sligo kickstarted their 2018-19 season with an excellently crafted victory over a lively Galwegians outfit in their second Connacht Senior League fixture played at Strandhill on Saturday.

Sligo scored 5 trys to a solitary Wegians effort as they collected a welcome bonus point to bolster their senior league challenge.

With conditions perfect for running rugby the match kicked off with Sligo playing towards the airport end. It was the visitors who started brightly owning the lions share of possession and putting the Sligo defence under heavy pressure. Sligo’s tackling was strong with front row forwrds Conor Mitchell, Craig Adams and Tom Gormely putting in a notable defensive effort. Continue reading

SRFC Awards night

For anyone that has booked tickets for the club awards dinner, please call into the Record Room and collect your tickets. 40 euro for non-players, 20 for players , cash or cheque only.

Last few Tickets!

We are down to the last few spaces for the Sligo RFC awards night on May18 . To book one of the last few tickets please contact one of Clare 0877823898, Mary 0872697083 or John 0876212414. Book immediately to avoid disappointment as only a limited number are available.

Awards Night Tickets

For anyone that has ordered Tickets for the Sligo RFC awards night in the Glasshouse, your tickets are now available for collection in the Record Room. Please have cash or cheque available for payment as we are not able to accept payment by card.Tickets are priced at 20 euro for players and 40 for non players