Category Archives: News

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



Back to the 80s

Time to turn back the clock and go back to the rugby club disco. The Back to the 80s Big Christmas Party will take place on Saturday 15th December from 9.30pm ‘til very late, with prizes for the best 80s costume. This event is strictly over 18s and is open to the public, with all profit going to the Sligo RFC Development Fund. Tickets are priced at €15 each and are available from Keane’s Centra Strandhill, Cosgrove’s Centra Maugheraboy and The Record Room.

Win a Dream Trip to the Rugby World Cup in Japan

Members of the club are currently selling the Your Club, Your Country tickets, with 10 fantastic prizes on offer. The top prize, worth around €10,000, will give two lucky people the trip of a lifetime, following the Ireland rugby team around Japan for the rugby world cup next Autumn. Tickets are priced at €10 each and all money raised goes straight to Sligo RFC, as the prizes have been sponsored through the IRFU. Tickets are available through all club members or by contacting Jean 087 2389515

Sligo Women Honoured by Connacht Rugby

Therese Cosgrove, Sylvia Hodgins, Geraldine Ward, Sandra Hallinan, Rosie Morrissey, Siobhan Gilroy and Finola Monaghan. Absent from photo: Emer Bree, Stephanie O’Connor, Tara Walsh

The Irish Women’s Rugby Football Union was only established in 1991 and since its inception, Sligo RFC has been well represented, at both provincial and international levels. A total of ten members of Sligo RFC, who had proudly donned the green of Connacht at the highest level twenty years ago, were among those recognised and honoured by Connacht Rugby at The Sportsground last Saturday night. All past Connacht players who attended The Connacht Women’s Recognition Evening were presented with a special memento in honour of their contribution to women’s rugby in the province.

Connacht U16s & U17s Representative Honours

Connacht U16s Niall O’Connor & Ewan Ripon

Sligo RFC’s Niall O’Connor and Ewan Ripon were our two players on the Connacht U16 team who beat Munster U16s Club & Schools 55-12 in University of Limerick last week.

The Connacht U17s played the Leinster U18 Regions team on the main pitch in Buccaneers RFC. last Wednesday.

Micheal Broaders in action for Connacht U17s

Sligo RFC’s Micheál Broaders was our sole representative on the pitch as Darragh Craig was side-lined due to injury. The game ended in a draw 19-19.

Irish Cap for Donnacha

Sligo’s Donnacha Byrne won his first cap for his country last Saturday, when he played for Ireland U18s against Italy Academy U18s in La Ghirada Centro Sportivo Treviso. The interprovincial-winning Connacht U18 squad made up almost half of the Ireland U18 Clubs squad.

Connacht’s Darragh Murray from Buccaneers RFC captained the side from the second row, alongside two more Connacht men in the back row, Oisin McCormack from Ballinasloe RFC and Sligo RFC’s Donnacha Byrne at number 8.

There were seven players from the province included in the starting line-up and four more on the bench. Ireland led 7-21 half-time and continued their dominance in the second half, clocking up a 12-31 win over the home side.

Donnacha wore the Irish jersey with great pride and represented Sligo RFC and Connacht with distinction.

Three senior teams line out for Sligo RFC – the future looks bright.

It was a weekend of mixed results for the Sligo senior teams, with the AIL team losing to Wanderers and the Development team went down fighting in Castlebar, at the wrong end of a 25-12 score line in the Connacht J1A league. It was a different story for The Gulls, who travelled to Westport, where they made it three from three, maintaining their 100% record with a comprehensive 7-26 win, to stay at the top of the Connacht J2 league.

Whereas the results may not have all gone our way, it was a great achievement for the club to be fielding three senior men’s teams, comprising of almost 60 different players. The Club now boasts twenty teams, a testament to the incredible development and growth of our underage section over the years and the hard work put in by the teams of coaches and background staff.

Official Opening of Two New Pitches

Last Saturday marked a special day in the 128year history of Sligo RFC, as Mayor Rosaleen O’Grady and Club President Des Cosgrove cut the ribbon to officially open the state-of-the-art, 4G artificial, grass pitch and the upgraded, second, grass pitch.   They were led in the ceremony by Chairman Niall Gray and joined by Connacht IRFU representative Kevin Dineen, local councillors Marie Casserly, Tony Mc Loughlin and Marc MacSharry, and members of the Juvenile and Youth sections. Fr Niall Ahern blessed the new pitches and Rory Raftery member of the Development Committee spoke of the importance of the financial support of the members, the community, the Sligo business community and of the Sports Capital programme in providing funding to make the project a reality.

Mayor Rosaleen O’Grady & Sligo RFC President Des Cosgrove cut the ribbon to officially open the new pitches

It is hard to believe that it was only three years ago that a four-phase plan was put into action to improve the facilities at Hamilton Park and meet the growing demands of its 20 teams and 450 playing members. Since then, work has been carried out in relation to external facilities, such as securing the grounds, fencing, internal road/path works and re-development of the gateway. Substantial Clubhouse repairs and renovations with the assistance of Sligo Leader Partnership through the Tus programme. Add to that the new, all-weather, training pitch, new grass pitch, lighting, dugouts and car park and you will have a clear picture of how the club has developed over the past few years.  The future development of facilities will also extend to the Clubhouse, redevelopment of the main grass pitch and proposed extension to the stand facility, to double its capacity.

Head of the Development Committee Rory Raftery pictured with juvenile members of the club

All this development is due to the hard work and dedication of the Development Committee, along with committee and club members, who together have sought out investors and sponsors, and run fundraising events locally to source the much-needed funds to meet the growing needs of the club.

Mayor Rosaleen O’Grady with Club President Des Cosgrove

Sligo RFC are deeply indebted to the members and friends of Sligo RFC, sponsors and the local business community who continue to support the development of the club.

Club President Des Cosgrove with Damian & Mary Henry

Next in the fundraising pipeline is the opportunity to win an all-expenses paid trip to the Rugby World Cup in Japan, when the club issue their Your Club, Your Country tickets, available from club members.  This will be followed on December 15th by a Back to the 80s Christmas Party Night in the club after the last match of the year.  Details will be on the club’s Facebook page and website.  Tickets can be purchased through Cosgrove’s Centra, Maugheraboy, Keane’s Centra, Strandhill and The Record Room.

Win a trip to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan

Last year Sligo RFC raised €7,000 by participating in the IRFU ‘Your Club, Your Country’ Grand Prize Draw. This year, the top prize is a trip to follow the Ireland team to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. Other prizes include VIP packages to Six Nations clashes with England and France at the Aviva Stadium and VIP trips to Rome and Edinburgh for two of Ireland’s away Six Nations fixtures.

The ‘Your Club, Your Country’ Grand Prize Draw has proved to be a fantastic fundraising platform for our club. Tickets will be available next week through committee members and coaches.