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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.


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.

Sligo Conquer Corinthians

CSL: Sligo Conquer Corinthians 

Corinthians RFC 7

Sligo RFC            24

Sligo’s Connacht Senior League campaign continued with a fine bonus point victory over hosts Corinthians at Cloonacauneen on Saturday. The win puts Sligo on top of the league table, joined in points with Buccaneers RFC but with a superior score difference, with just one round of matches remaining. 

Playing into the stiff breeze Sligo signalled their intent early with some strong carries from Shane Boyle, Tom Gormely and Matele Fifita but it was the home team that were first to trouble the scoreboard. A loose Sligo pass was intercepted by Corinthian outhalf Mark McDermott who made the most of the gift to touch down out wide on the right. The successful conversion put the tribesmen into a seven point lead. 

Sligo were stung into action and began to impose themselves on their hosts. A sweeping left to right move on the half way line opened the door for Euan Brown and a well timed pass released speedster Calum Goddard. The winger pinned his ears back and outpaced the cover to race into the line and dot down under the posts. Brown converted and Sligo were back in the hunt.

The Sligo pack were gaining the upper hand with Corinthians struggling to contain the physicality of Ciaran Cassidy and Rob Holian. Shane O’Hehir was accurate at the lineout and Brian West was a dynamo all over the park.

Just past the half hour Sligo struck again. In typical fashion, on the halfway line, scrum half Ryan Feehily flat footed the home ruck defence before taking of on an incredible run avoiding three would be tacklers before touching down under the posts. Browns conversion came back off the upright.

The visitors were now in full flow and moved further ahead just before the interval. A five metre scrum on the left hand side gave Mark Keegan, O’Hehir and Gormely the chance to chance to disrupt the Corinthian put in. Sligo won the ball and Matt Davey controlled at the base giving Feehily the opportunity to double his tally for the day. Brown added the extras and the ref signalled the interval.

It was much the same followed the resumption with Sligo having the edge in most facets of play. Corinthians looked dangerous out wide but typical Enda Gavin and Philip Carter defensive plays ensured the threat was nullified. 

Midway through the half Sligo picked up their all important bonus point. Another dominant scrum allowed Feehily and Outhalf Mark Butler exploit the space to release Goddard for his second of the day in the right hand corner. Browns conversion looked to be heading for the target but unfortunately was caught in the stiff breeze and drifted slightly wide. 

Sligo looked to increase the tally before the finish and a well worked break from replacement Niall Gray looked to have released Enda Gavin but the referee blew for a forward pass and the chance was gone. 

Sligo will travel to Galway again next Saturday with the chance to make history and lift the Connacht Senior League title for the first time. Sligo lock horns with Galwegians in Crowley Park with a 31 point score difference over Buccaneers. Buccaneers host Ballina in Dubarry Park.

Sligo Euan Brown, Calum Goddard, Enda Gavin, Matele Fifita, Philip Carter, Mark Butler, Ryan Feehily (Co-Captain), Mark Keegan, Shane O’Hehir (Co-Captain), Tom Gormley, Ciaran Cassidy, Shane Boyle, Rob Holian, Brian West, Matt Davey, reps Ross O’Boyle, James O’Hehir, Ross Hickey, Niall Gray, Brendan Cunningham.

Marguerite Collins RIP

The President, Club Officers and Members wish to offer sincere condolences to the family of the recently deceased Marguerite Collins.
Marguerite was predeceased by husband Mick who played with distinction with the club and served two terms as the Club President from 1980 to 1982.
May she rest in Peace

Marguerite Collins (nee Fahy), Tonaphubble, Sligo, June 21st 2019. Peacefully after a short illness bourne with courage. Predeceased by her husband Michael and daughter Michelle. Loving and much loved mother of Hilary (McIvor), Nicola (Duggan) and Sarah, dear sister of Marian (McHugh) and adored Nan of Michael, Louis, Grace, Mark and Rachel. Sadly missed by her daughters, sister, grandchildren, sons-in-law Tony, Jim and Donie, in-laws, extended family, friends and neighbours.
Rest in peace.

Reposing at Sean Feehily’s Funeral Home, Cartron Cross, Sligo (Eircode; F91ND78) on Sunday June 23rd, from 4:30pm with removal at 6:30pm to St. Colmcille’s Church, Rathcormac, Co. Sligo arriving at 7pm. Mass of the Resurrection on Monday, June 24th, at 11am. Burial follows in Sligo Cemetery.

Agony for Sligo in Stradbrook

Blackrock College RFC 28 – Sligo RFC 27

Sligo’s dream of promotion to All Ireland League division 2A ended in the most dramatic circumstances with a one point loss to Blackrock College despite an incredible team performance at Stradbrook on Saturday. 

Sligo qualified for the division AIL 2B playoffs following an incredible run of form which saw the team move from last place in the league table in December to securing 4th place with a game in hand which opened up the opportunity to lock horns with Blackrock for a place in the playoff final. 

Unfortunately for the Yeats men, Lady Luck deserted them when she was needed most and the home team benefited from some incredibly controversial refereeing decisions to finish ahead by the smallest of margins when the final whistle was sounded. 

Calum Goddard dots down for Sligo’s 3rd try, after collecting a superb crossfield kick from Mark Butler

With the sun beating down on an unseasonably warm Easter Saturday  Blackrock kicked off into the Sligo pack. The pre match instructions from coaches Paddy Pearson and Jason East were to start well and to a man Sligo stood up. With the forwards having secured the kickoff, scrum half Ryan Feehily moved the ball left to Mark Butler. Butler threw a huge pass wide and right winger Calum Goddard, who had moved to the left for the play, collected and used his blistering pace to make his way to the halfway. A sweetly timed pass from Goddard released his left wing Philip Carter who outpaced the cover and touched down with only 45 seconds on the clock and the perfect start for Sligo. 

The home team responded with penalty’s on the 10th and 15th minutes before Sligo regained the lead with an excellently struck Jack Keegan penalty midway through the half. 

Ciaran Cassidy and Diarmuid O’Dowd Hill try to block the box kick

Sligo were in full flow, Shane O’ Hehir, Rob Holian, and Diarmuid O’Dowd Hill we’re controlling the lineout. Sean Wynne was halting every ‘Rock attack with his unending tackle count, Tom Gormely and Kuba Wojtkowicz were rock solid at the scrum and were a menace in the loose. The work rate from Ciaran Cassidy and Matt Davey mirrored the intent of the Sligo effort. Enda Gavin was sound at full back. 

Ryan Feehily scores Sligo’s second try

Sligo’s work rate was rewarded with a classic Ryan Feehily try on 25 minutes, the live wire scrum half leaving three would be tacklers in his wake on the way to touching down in the corner. Keegans excellently struck conversion moved Sligo’s lead to 9 points.

Rock again hit back with a penalty 3 pointer before a pinpoint Butler crossfield kick was superbly collected by Goddard and the speedy winger raced in for Sligo’s third try. Keegan again added the extras to move the score to 9-22.

Sligo’s Sean Wynne makes the tackle

Blackrock came again and worked their way in for a pick and drive try to put the half time score to 14-22.

Following the resumption Sligo struck again, Carter again using his strength and pace to finish another excellent Sligo score. 27-14 to Sligo.

Sligo’s Ciaran Cassidy attempts to block a box kick

Despite playing all the constructive rugby Sligo fell foul of some incredibly controversial refereeing decisions.

Yellow cards reduced the Sligo defensive effort and Blackrock were allowed  back into contention with a try on 76 minutes before scoring the match winning try and conversion 6 minutes into injury time against a 13 man Sligo.

Come the final whistle on an emotional day for Sligo, tributes were paid to stalwarts Conor Mitchell and Mata Fifita who are both retiring following the end of Sligo’s season. Former club Captain Mitchell has been Instrumental in the progress of Sligo RFC since his arrival to the club and Fifita has been vital to Sligo’s success. 

Sligo’s supporters celebrate another try

The work of Pearson, East, and Manager John Keegan has placed Sligo in rude health and the management team will undoubtedly be targeting promotion when the 2019/20 season rolls around.

Sligo RFC are on the up!

Sligo: Enda Gavin, Calum Goddard, Jack Keegan, Mata Fifita, Philip Carter, Mark Butler, Ryan Feehily, Kuba Wojtkowicz, Shane O’Hehir (Co-Capt),Tom Gormely, Rob Holian, Ciaran Cassidy, Diarmuid O’Dowd Hill, Sean Wynne, Matt Davey. reps Conor Mitchell, James O’Hehir, Shane Boyle, Brendan Cunningham, Niall Gray, Euan Brown, Jason East. 

Sligo down the ‘Well

Sligo RFC 34

Sunday’s Well RFC 32

Sligo rounded off their All Ireland League division 2B campaign with a bonus point win in a see-saw affair at Strandhill on Saturday. Sligo scored 6 trys to Sundays Wells’ 5 in a match that went from end to end for the full 80 minutes. 

With Sligo’s promotion playoff position already secured, Coaches Paddy Pearson and Jason East were able to give some of their squad a well earned rest and try out some new combinations prior to the all important playoff against Blackrock College RFC in Dublin next Saturday.

With a strong gale blowing down the pitch from the eastern corner of Knocknarea, Sligo kicked off into the teeth of the breeze. The visitors made the early pace and opened the scoring with a try in the corner after 5 minutes. 

Sligo fought back and opened their own account when hooker James O’Hehir crashed over near the posts following a sustained period of pressure. Jack Keegan added the extras to put Sligo two points ahead. 

Sligo’s lead was short lived, as the ‘Well picked up trys on 30th and 35th minutes to open up a 12 point lead before speedster Calum Goddard made an excellent break from his own half to within 10 meters of the visitors line. Goddard was hauled down but scrum half Brendan Cunningham was in support and collected and raced over on the right to close the gap to 7 going into the interval.

Following the resumption Goddard added a try of his own with a well worked play from a scrum before Sligo regained the lead with a super score manufactured from inside their own 22. O’Hehir found Diarmuid O’Dowd Hill at the lineout and the ball was move infield to the left. Euan Brown ,Enda Gavin and Matele Fifita handled before Keegan slipped through a gap and drove into the visitors half. Keegan traded passes with Goddard before touching down on the left for an excellent score. Brown converted to put Sligo ahead 24-19. 

The action continued apace and the ‘Well picked up a fourth try with 15 minutes remaining. Philip Carter successfully charged down the conversion attempt and the teams were level at 24 points each. 

The ‘Well again took the lead with a converted score following some loose play by the home team before Goddard picked up his second of the day out wide on the right. Browns’ sweetly struck conversion brought the teams level again. 

With 5 minutes left on the clock a well struck penalty regained the lead for the visitors but the locals were not to be outdone and worked their way back down the pitch and camped themselves within touching distance of the visitors line before Fifita powered over to seal the match for Sligo. 

Pearson and East will be happy with the win but more importantly was the opportunity to blood new squad members Brian West and Matthew Early who both played their part when brought into the fray. Another bonus for Sligo was the return from long term injury layoffs for Shane Boyle and Ross Hickey who both picked up valuable game time prior to next weeks all important promotion play off. 

Saturday will also be remembered as the final home game for Sligo’s Conor Mitchell and Matele Fifita with both players intending to retire at the end of this season. Sligo will be doing their utmost to ensure that both players will finishing their careers having secured promotion to Division 2B. The playoff semi final kicks off at 2.30 next Saturday at Blackrocks’ home in Stradbrook. 

Sligo: Jack Keegan, Calum Goddard, Matele Fifita, Enda Gavin, Philip Carter, Euan Brown, Brendan Cunningham, Tom Gormely, James O’Hehir, Kuba Wojtkowicz, Ciaran Cassidy, Jake Sexton, Diarmuid O’Dowd Hill, Sean Wynne, Matt Davey, Reps: Matthew Earley, Ross Hickey, Conor Mitchell, Shane Boyle, Brian West.