Category Archives: News

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. 

Coney Island Challenge

Coney Island Challenge – Sunday 13th October

Sligo RFC have taken over the running of the Coney Island Challenge this year, with all funds raised going towards the development of player facilities in the club, along with a donation to St Anne’s church, the original organisers and founders of the race. 

Thank you to all our main sponsors, Voya Seaweed Baths, Strandhill Lodge & Suites, Westcoast Windows, Keane’s Centra, Strandhill and IPM Draper Insurance, without whom this fundraising event could not take place. 

This year there are four separate events on Sunday 13th October, start with the 10km walk and the 5km Family Fun Run/Walk at 11am.  The 10mile and 10km runs will be chip timed, thanks to Core timing and they will start at 11.30a.m. All runners can pre-register online, see Facebook pages for details.  All walkers and late registrants can register in the Sligo Rugby clubhouse on Saturday 12th October, 6.30 – 8.30p.m. or on Sunday morning 9.30 – 10.30a.m.

There will be entertainment, refreshments and prize giving in the clubhouse after the final runners have returned.

Only 10mile runners will be allowed access to the Island and cut of time for leaving the Island is 1pm. anyone still on the island at 1pm will be given a lift in the broom wagon. 10mile and 10km runners will be running in damp and wet conditions – running shoes may be damaged permanently.

Prizes 

  • 10 Mile Mick Walton Perpetual Cup -1st, 2nd & 3rd for both male and female runners in the Senior and Over 50 categories. (no U18s allowed in the 10mile race)  €20 entry fee
  • 10 Km – 1st, 2nd & 3rd male and female runner (Senior), 1st & 2nd male & female (Over 50s)  1st male & female (Junior)  €20 entry fee
  • 10 Km Walker – 1st & 2nd male and female. €15 entry fee
  • 5km Family Fun Run/Walk. This is a new event to encourage younger members to join in the event.  The route is not suitable for buggies, as the terrain is rough along the shoreline. Entry fee is €10 per adult, €5 per child, €20 per family

Club President Jacqui Cunningham, Club Chairperson Niall Gray, Neil Walton, Voya Seaweed Baths, and Mick Lucey, Westcoast Windows, pictured with The Mick Walton Perpetual Cup

KNOW YOUR ROLE

Parents in Sport Week 2019 kicks off on Monday 7th October and this year Connacht Rugby will be supporting the event with an innovative approach. They will be taking a look at how coaches and supporters (the vast majority of which are parents) can increase positive parental involvement in youth sport, and in doing so improve the experiences of young players across the province.

Adapted from John O’Sullivan’s Changing the Game Project Connacht Rugby are asking those involved in youth rugby to Know Your Role – a simple yet powerful message that they believe will improve touchline behaviour towards players, coaches and referees, thus improving the quality of the experience for young people.

The mechanics of the initiative are reasonably simple. Over the weekend of Parents in Sport Week (11th- 13th October) Sligo Rugby Club Welfare Officers will distribute flyers and stickers to coaches and supporters on the sidelines of our club’s home U16 match on that weekend. It’s that simple, no further explanation or talk needed, the flyers say it all!

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

Coney Island Challenge

Sligo Rugby Club are organising the Coney Island Challenge this year, which will take place on 13th October.  Over 300 runners and walkers are expected to run the 10m and 10km route, which will take them across the Causeway to Coney Island.  Runners and walkers are encouraged to register online through the Facebook page. 

Byrne flies high with Connacht Eagles

Donnacha Byrne made his senior debut for the Connacht Eagles last Friday night, as they secured a vital win against Scarlets A in Round 5 of the Celtic Cup.  Connacht were trailing 12-13 when Donnacha joined the action with 25minutes to go and they fought back to win the game 20-16 at the final whistle.  Sligo Rugby were well-represented on the pitch with scrum half Stephen Kerins controlling the game from start to finish.  Well done lads.

A Taste of Rugby

Over 450 Pupils get a taste of Rugby

Two amazing days of National School touch rugby blitzes. Over 450 children descended on Sligo Rugby Club last Wednesday, as 3rd & 4th class pupils from St Teresa’s, Mercy, Carbury, Ardkeeran, Rossespoint, Strandhill, St Edwards, Carraroe, St Patrick’s, Geevagh, Collooney & Enniscrone. Ballymote hosted another blitz on Thursday, with 140 children from 3rd & 4th classes in Curry, Sooey, Holy Family, St Lassara’s, Culfadda, Carn and Cloghogue National Schools.  What an incredible day for the pupils and a great chance to showcase the amazing facilities we have in Hamilton Park.
A big thank you to all those who made it happen; Lyndon Jones, Wendy Hickey, Simon O’Malley & Colm McWeeney from Connacht Rugby, Denise McDermot from Sligo Sports Partnership, Sligo Rugby volunteers Ross Crystal, Jake Sexton & Daire Byrne, Sligo Grammar TY students Alaistair Hill, Oisin Lawley, Ben Graham, Jack Dennison, Andrew Sproule, Tynan Maxwell & Aaron McCloat, Summerhill TY students Cathal Shovlin, David Keys, Conor Mullaney, Sean Flavin & Cormac Fahy and all the teachers from the 20 national schools involved.  A huge thanks to Sligo Rugby’s Community Officer Ross Mannion for organising it all.

Lots of action at the Weekend

First League Game for Sligo Gulls
The Gulls travelled to Claremorris for their first game in the Connacht J2 league. The visitors played well, with five new players making their debut at Junior level but they encountered a strong Westport side at home and suffered a 17-5 defeat. Next game for the Gulls is a home fixture on October 6th against Loughrea.
Sligo U13s make it 2 from 2
The newest additions to the Sligo Youth Section continued their winning ways with a comprehensive 12-24 win against Corinthians. All 24 players on the panel played their part and it was a super collective effort against a very strong, physical opposition. Sligo racked up four tries in total, one each for Mark Bradley and Andrew Ryan and Patrick Brady bagging two. Sligo U13s next match is at home against Creggs RFC on 5th October.

Sligo U15s with epic opener
Sligo U15s kicked off their season with a comprehensive 58-7point win against local rivals Ballina last Saturday in Hamilton Park. They travel to Claremorris next Saturday for Round 3 in Pool A of U15 Boys Division 1.

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.