Category Archives: News

Poul Nielsen RIP

The President, Chairman, committee, players and members of Sligo RFC extend their deepest sympathies to Tom Nielsen on the recent passing of his father Poul. Condolences also to Mary, senior player Christian and Erin, and to Poul’s wife Dorothea and Tom’s sister Anette.

Poul lived in Herning, Denmark and after a recent short illness sadly passed away on Thursday morning. He was a former officer in the army in Denmark.

Tom and Mary came to Ireland from the UK with their then young children Christian and Erin. From the outset, Tom immediately embraced the Club, taking up a role as team manager. Since then he has been a loyal servant of the Club acting on the General and Executive Committees for many years. He is a former recipient of the Club Person of the year award and continues to serve as Youth Coordinator and Membership Secretary. Christian started in the Club’s youth section and is currently plays on the Club’s senior and development sides.

Our thoughts are with Tom and family at this sad time.
Poul’s funeral service will be held in Herning on Tuesday morning.
Ar dheis dé go raibh a anam
Må han hvile i fred.

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.

Sligo secure promotion play off spot

Dungannon RFC 22

Sligo RFC             25

Sligo confirmed their place in All Ireland League Division 2B promotion play-off with a hard fought victory in a pulsating encounter over Dungannon RFC at Stevenson park on Saturday. Sligo’s win guarantees fourth place in division 2B, nine points ahead of fifth with one game to play and sets up a mouthwatering trip to Dublin to play Blackrock College RFC in the first round of the playoffs.

Sligo kicked off playing into the slight breeze on a surface suitable for running rugby. The opening exchanges were dominated by the hosts and Sligo found themselves behind from a penalty after 10 minutes and a converted try on the 25th minute. 

Sligo dug in and began to impose their own play on the hosts. The scrum was solid with Tom Gormely, Kuba Wojtkowicz and Conor Mitchell putting in a strong shift. Ciaran Cassidy and Matt Davey were carrying strongly and Shane O’ Hehir was combining well with Rob Holian and Diarmuid O’Dowd-Hill at the lineout. The back three of Niall Gray,Phillip Carter and Calum Goddard we’re dealing well with any threat from the local backline. Sean Wynne was his usual industrious presence at the tackle line.

Sligo’s persistence paid off with 35 minutes on the clock. Good work from the forwards brought play close to the Dungannon line before the home team were forced into the concession of a penalty and a yellow card for their number 8. Sligo sensed blood and opted for a scrum. The home team survived the first wave of attack but Sligo dug in. Euan Brown and Mitchell both tested the defence before scrum half Ryan Feehily brilliantly sniped down the right of the ruck and touched down under the posts. Jack Keegan added the extras to shorten the gap to three. 

Right on the interval Sligo struck again. Shane O’Hehir made a searing break from deep in Sligo territory before being hauled down in the Dungannon 22. A quick recycle gave speedster Calum Goddard the chance to race around the cover and dot down in the corner to move Sligo into a two point lead at the break. 

Unfortunately O’Hehir had to retire shortly afterwards through injury but was ably replaced by his brother James, making his welcome return to AIL action following a long period of injury. 

The lead changed hands again early in the second half as the home side benefited with an unconverted try following a lapse in concentration in the Sligo defence, but Sligo wrestled back the initiative with Feehily’s second of the day following up on a Wojtkowicz drive that was stopped short. Keegan converted to move the score to 15-19. 

With 15 minutes remaining the home team again took back the lead with a try from a driving lineout maul, the successful conversion put three between the sides.

Sligo again responded with some fine tactical kicking from Mark Butler putting pressure on the home defence. The pressure paid off and Keegan slotted over an equalising penalty with ten minutes remaining remaining before taking the lead with three minutes to go with another excellently struck effort. 

The drama didn’t end there though and with seconds left on the clock Dungannon were awarded a penalty outside the Sligo 22. The home outfit opted to go for the win and turned down the three point attempt to go to the corner instead. Sligo however were not to be beaten and O’Dowd-Hill got the first hand to the lineout feeding replacement scrum half Brendan Cunningham whose pass to Butler was the final one of day. Butler kicked the ball to touch and Sligo were celebrating. 

Sligo now face Sundays Well in Strandhill in the final game of regular league action next Saturday at 2.30 before travelling east to Stradbrook to face Blackrock. While not yet confirmed, the playoff match is likely to be fixed for Easter Saturday April 20th. 

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

U20s are Sligo’s 21st Team

This year, Sligo RFC boast an incredible 21 teams, from U7s in the Juvenile section to Division 2B of the All-Ireland League.  This total includes 8 juvenile and 9 youth teams of both boys and girls, three senior teams and now an U20 team, who will compete in this year’s Connacht U20 Cup.  The U20 Cup will see teams representing Ballina, Ballinrobe, Connemara, Corinthians, Creggs, Monivea/Westport and Sligo face off in a knockout series of games, with three quarter-finals before two semi-finals and a decider on the Easter weekend.  Sligo U20s will play at home against local rivals Ballina in the semi-final at 1p.m. on 7th April.

Development Squad lift Connacht Plate

Sligo RFC 50 – Our Lady’s Boys Club 7

Sligo Development Squad finished their season in fine style with an emphatic victory in the Connacht Junior Plate final at Connacht Rugby headquarters, The Sportsgrounds, in Galway on Sunday. Sligo crossed the whitewash 8 times in an all action display in a match they dominated from start to finish.  

The Sligo Development Team, crowned Connacht Junior Plate Champions

Playing towards the College Road end , with the aid of the stiff breeze, Sligo’s Euan Brown kicked off. Sligo forced the early pace and camped inside the boys club 22. Jake Sexton, Christian Nielsen and David Heath all carried powerfully before team captain Garry O’Hehir broke through wide on the right to open his and Sligo’s account.

 Two minutes later Sligo struck again, an inch perfect Brown cross kick was fielded by left winger Charlie Cooper who raced in and around and touched down behind the posts. Brown added the extras.

 Another two minutes and the Sligo blitz continued when a sweeping left to right move was finished by pacey right winger Robbie Ryan. Sligo were now in full flow, the front row of Craig Adams, James O’Hehir and Ross O’Boyle had the edge at the scrum. David Heath and Michael Mc Morrow brought energy from the second row and flanker Jack Gormely was carrying strongly. Centres Sean Mullin and Mark Gerrity consistently broke the gain line and Donal Brady was a live wire at full back. 

With 20 minutes gone Mullin collected the ball on the half way line and burst through the first line of defence. The cover defence looked like halting the powerful centre but Mullin wasn’t for stopping and swatted away three tackle attempts before crashing over the line for Sligo’s fourth of the day. Browns conversion pushed Sligo’s lead to 26 points. 

Boys Club responded and picked up a try of their own following some strong carries from their powerful pack but respite was short lived as Brown raced over the line and added the extras to move the halftime score to 33-7. 

It was more of the same in the second half for Sligo, replacements Matt Kavanagh, Gary Golden Conor McElligot, Liam McElhinney and Jason East all slotted in seamlessly keeping the pressure on their Galway rivals.

Nielsen picked up Sligo’s 6th before Garry O’Hehir crossed the line twice more to complete his hat-trick and cap a memorable day for Sligo RFC.

Sligo Development team win Connacht Junior Plate

Connacht rugby President Mossy Moran paid tribute to both teams before presenting the trophy to O’Hehir who raised it high to the cheers of the Sligo travelling support.

Sligo Donal Brady, Robbie Ryan, Sean Mullin, Mark Gerrity, Charlie Cooper, Euan Brown, Garry O’Hehir (Capt), Ross O’Boyle, James O’Hehir, Craig Adams, Michael McMorrow, David Heath, Jack Gormely, Christian Nielsen, Jake Sexton. Reps Conor McElligot, Liam McElhinney, Jason East, Matt Kavanagh, Gary Golden. 

Connacht 7’s Squad for Alannah

Alannah Gallagher makes the Connacht U18 Women’s Rugby 7s squad

Congratulations to Alannah Gallagher who was successful in making the Connacht U18 Women’s 7s squad after competing in trials in Galway.  Alannah only started playing rugby last season but is a talented all-rounder, also playing Gaelic football with Drumcliff/Rosses Point and soccer with Yeats Utd.  Sligo RFC were unable to field an U18 girls’ team this year, but such was her new-found love for the game, that Alannah, and others, continued to train with the U16 and U14 teams.  Sligo RFC are delighted for Alannah, who is currently training alongside the latest Irish international player, 17 year old Bebhinn Parsons, and wish her the very best of luck.

Club Development Draw a Resounding Success

A big thank you to all those who organised the draw this year and to the sponsors of the prizes.  Here are the results:

1st. Jack Young
Holiday for 4 in Portugal
Seller Harry Young

2nd. Michael Schoen
2 night break in Mespil hotel
Seller Keelan Schoen

3rd. Billy Roe
€150 hamper Cosgrove Centra
Seller Aoife G

4th. Daniel Mc Niffe
€100 voucher Driftwood restaurant Rosses Point
Seller Jake Mc Niffe

5th. Sharon Marshall
€100 voucher Riverbank Restaurant Dromahair
Seller Jasmine Morgan

6th. Aisling Burrows
Sunday Lunch for 2 adults & 2 children in Radisson Sligo
Seller Ryan Burrows

7th. John Lewis
Weekend passes for 2 to Sea Sessions
Seller Cillian Murphy

Barnhall take spoils in Strandhill

Sligo RFC 11 – Barnhall RFC 22

Sligo hosted All Ireland League Division 2B champions elect, Maynooth University Barnhall RFC, in an excellently fought encounter at Strandhill on Saturday. Sligo went into the game hoping to do what no other team in Division 2B had done all season and turn over their visitors, but a seven minute three try blitz, one before and two just after the interval put paid to Sligo’s hopes of causing an upset.

The home team kicked off and started brightly, taking the game to their guests. Early carries from Mata Fifita and Kuba Wotzicit put pressure on the visiting defence and Sean Wynne was a nuisance at the breakdown.

Sligo’s Ryan Feehily, nominated for Connacht Senior Club Player of the Year, in action against Barnhall

 Sligo opened their account after 12 minutes with an excellently struck Jack Keegan penalty but the visitors hit back 10 minutes later with a penalty of their own. The home team retook the lead with another Keegan penalty on the half hour but unfortunately for the large local support Sligo were unable to keep ahead. 

Right on the stroke of half time Barnhall took the initiative when a prolonged period of pressure resulted in a try in the corner to put the half time score at 6-8. 

Immediately after the resumption Barnhall rocked Sligo again with a well worked try and followed up with a fortunate effort from an intercept pass on the half way line. 

Sligo’s Philip Carter leaves his opposite number for dust

Despite the hammer blow of conceding the 3 trys Sligo gamely tried to work their way back into the game. The Sligo scrum was strong with fine work from Tom Gormely and Conor Mitchell. Shane O’Hehir was combining well with Rob Holian and Diarmuid O’Dowd Hill at the lineout and Half backs Ryan Feehily and Mark Butler were managing the play. The back three of Philip Carter, Calum Goddard and Niall Gray were a constant threat out wide.

Sligo’s endeavour was rewarded with a try from Wotzicit following some good work from Keegan,  Ciaran Cassidy and Matt Davey. Replacement Full Back Euan Browns’ conversion looked to have travelled inside the left post but the touch judges flags stayed down and the extras were not added. 

Diarmuid O’Dowd Hill secures the ball for Sligo

Sligo continued to press to add to the tally but the well organised visiting defence kept tight and the scoreboard remained at 11-22 until the long blast.

With 2 games to go Sligo lie in 4th place , 6 points ahead of 5th. A win in one of their final 2 fixtures will secure a playoff place, the target that Sligo had set themselves at the start of the season. Sligo now have a week break before travelling North to face Dungannon RFC in their penultimate league match on April 6th in Stevenson Park. 

Sligo: Niall Gray, Calum Goddard, Jack Keegan, Mata Fifita, Philip Carter, Mark Butler, Ryan Feehily, Kuba Wotzicit, Shane O’Hehir, Rob Holian, Ciaran Cassidy, Diarmuid O’Dowd Hill, Sean Wynne, Matt Davey. Reps Conor Mitchell, Jason East, Jake Sexton, Enda Gavin, Brendan Cunningham