Category Archives: Match Reports

Sligo Gulls Finish Top of J2 Table

Sligo Gulls 12 – Galwegians 5

Hamilton Park hosted the clash of the titans last Sunday when Sligo 3rds team, The Gulls, took on Galwegians RFC, with the winner guaranteed to finish top of the Connacht J2 table.

Weather conditions were not conducive to free-flowing rugby, given the cold, driving rain and strong, swirling wind. Sligo suffered an early injury blow, when second row Dermot Keily had to retire from the game with a shoulder injury. He was replaced by newcomer Alan Naughton, who quickly made his presence felt. These were two very evenly matched teams, who traded blows for thirty minutes before the visitors finally broke the deadlock. Galwegians worked the ball through the pack and then spun it wide to score a try in the corner. The conversion was never going to win the battle with the wind and fell well short of its target. This was the only score in the first half and both teams retreated to the changing rooms to gather their thoughts and shelter from the elements.

Sligo out half Donal Brady makes another darting run against Galwegians

The second half was another ding-dong battle, with some great rugby played in terrible conditions. Sligo were determined to strike first and after only 10 minutes on the clock, the home side went through the phases, with good rucking and ball retention and were eventually rewarded for their patience when hooker Nate Boult drove through the Galwegians’ defence to even the score line. Galwegians continued to apply pressure on the home side, but the Sligo defence was resolute and some solid play in the pack enabled them to extend their lead 10 minutes later through a Conor McElligott try. Clive Morris added the extras to put the home side 7 points up. The Sligo pack continued to pile on the pressure and retain possession. There was a late scare, when Galwegians made the most of the strong wind to clear their lines and the chase brought them within metres of the Sligo try line. The home side held their nerve and the supporters breathed a sigh of relief when out half Donal Brady kicked the ball to clear his lines and end the game.

Finishing top of the J2 league, having won five out of their six games, means that The Gulls have earned themselves a home semi-final against either Galwegians or Loughrea on March 3rd.

Sligo Gulls: Conor McElligot (1 try) Nate Boult (1 try) Jamie Herrity, Dermot Keily, Brian McNulty, Patrick Saba, Peter Walpole, Diarmuid O’Dowd Hill, Brian Brady, Donal Brady, Sean McVeigh, Clive Morris, Jack Gormley, Thomas McBride, Eoin McCormack, Aron Cranney, Alan Naughton, Callum McLoughlin, David Cummins, Mark Harte, Darren Harte, Jayme McGoldrick, Will Abbotts

Sligo U14s into Connacht League Final

Sligo 22 – Claremorris 7

Sligo U14s qualified for the Connacht league final with a comprehensive 15 point victory over the Claremorris Colts last Saturday in Hamilton Park.

Captained by Ambrose Bamber at no.8, the home side quickly put pressure on the visitors, pinning them within their 22. This pressure resulted in hooker Keelin Schoen being driven over the try line for the opening score, which was followed by a well-struck conversion from Oisin O’Neill. Good tactical play by Sligo ensured the game was being played in Claremorris territory and the constant pressure resulted in a 2nd try for the home side, scored by James Horan and the sure boot of Oisin O’ Neill brought the score line to 14-0. Sligo continued to exert their dominance in play and with time running out in the first half, a fine running move released winger Ronan O’ Hehir to touch down in the corner. O’Neill’s conversion was pushed wide by the increasing wind. Claremorris enjoyed a period of possession from the restart, and finally established some foothold in the match, winning several penalties in the Sligo 22. However fierce defence by the home team kept the score at 19 points to Sligo with no reply.

The weather conditions deteriorated at half time and all 30 minutes of the second half were played through strong winds, driving rain and hailstones, turning what was a free-flowing game into a stop-start affair. Sligo stuck doggedly to their task adding a penalty midway through the second half. Claremorris, to their credit, showed a never-say-die attitude scoring in the final minutes to leave the score 22-7 at the final whistle. Joe Walsh’s charges will now play Corinthians R.F.C. in the league final on the weekend of 23/24 February, with the venue yet to be confirmed.

Sligo U14s: Conor Clinton, Keelin Schoen (1 try), James Horan (1 try), Tom Walsh, Arran Platt, Max Hunter, Ambrose Bamber, Malachi Cullen, Jacob Kilcoyne, Oisin O’Neill (2 cons, 1 pen), Conor Crevan, Oisin Conlon, Ronan O’ Hehir (1 try), Oliver O’Riordan, Robert O’Kelly-Lynch, Michael Honeyman, Aran Gilligan, Colm Mc Gonagle, Ross Clifford, Lochlan Jordan, Ben Hayden, Alex Harte, Stefan Roche, Matthew Gallagher.

U17 Division 2 League Final

Sligo U17s drew with Westport in the Connacht U17 Division 2 League Final

Sligo U17s played out a dramatic league final last Saturday in Ballina. Having topped the table, Westport provided the opposition for the Sligo side, having won all their league games. Sligo were well up for the challenge and the final result of the clash 26 – 26, means that the two sides will have to replay to see who takes the title of Connacht U17 Division 2 League Winner.

Sensational Sligo Secure Semi-Final Spot

Sligo 22 – Claremorris 19

A last gasp try by Jasmine Morgan was enough to put the Sligo U16 Girls into the Connacht Cup semi-final and continue their incredible debut year in rugby.

Having beaten Buccaneers in the preliminary round of the Cup, Sligo, the U16 Division 2 league runners-up, knew they were undoubtedly the underdogs in this cup tie, as they were taking on Claremorris RFC U16 Girls who came 3rd in the Division 1 league.

It takes two to stop Sligo’s Bebhinn Harte

Sligo management had made several changes in the back line with the new partnership of Enya Hughes at scrum half and out half Bebhinn Harte combining well with Mia Clinch in first centre. It was the home side who started the stronger, dominating at the break down and set the tone for the cup clash when winger Cliodhna O’Sullivan opened the scoring with a try in the corner. She then slotted home a difficult conversion from the touch line to put Sligo 7 points up.

Claremorris responded within minutes with a score of their own but failed to add the extras. Sligo were impressive with their strong running and support play and it was full back Emma Cox who scored her team’s second try to bring the score to 12-5 at half-time. Claremorris came out all guns blazing in the second half and eventually levelled the scores. Sligo responded again and Cliodhna O’Sullivan ran in her second try of the game. In typical Cup fashion, there was still lots of drama to play out. The pack were dominant in securing rucks and strong, hard running from Jasmine Morgan, Jenny Cregg, Giselle Gallagher, Hannah Walsh-Kerins, Teresa Devaney and Grace Molloy gained valuable ground for the home side. A persistent rain made playing conditions difficult and the greasy surface resulted in handling errors on both sides. The visitors showed their experience and continued to pressure the Sligo defence and were eventually rewarded for their patience, when they dotted down under the posts and converted the try to go 2points ahead with only 5minutes left on the clock. Possession changed hands several times as the clock counted down, but it was the Division 2 team who showed passion and determination to work their way up to the Claremorris 5m line and win a penalty for an infringement in the ruck. The referee called last play of the game and Sligo knew they had one last chance to seal the win. Jasmine Morgan took the ball on and her pack drove her over the try line for a magnificent win.

There’s no getting through the Sligo defence of Teresa Devaney, Jasmine Morgan and Cliodhna O’Sullivan

The Sligo girls read the game well, showing a lot of imagination throughout, changing the plays and their positional kicking proving problematic for Claremorris. There was outstanding play and great heart shown throughout the game. Bebhinn Harte had the back line well organised with Mia Clinch calling the line breaks. The Man of the Match accolade must go to full back Emma Cox for her determined running with the ball, defensive positioning and high tackle rate.

Sligo U16 Girls are the only Division 2 team left in the Cup and their historic semi-final Cup tie is scheduled for 16th February against either Corinthians RFC or Portumna/Loughrea.
Sligo U16 Girls: Giselle Gallagher, Jasmine Morgan, Jenny Cregg, Teresa Devaney, Hannah Walsh-Kerins, Grace Molloy, Lara Lopez, Enya Hughes (c), Cliodhna O’ Sullivan, Katelyn Benson, Mia Clinch, Bebhinn Harte, Cria Flanagan, Emma Cox, Clare Keegan, Brid Madden

Sligo U12 Girls play at half-time of Six Nations Game

Sligo U12 Girls

The Sligo U12 Girls team had the honour of playing at half-time in the Ireland V England Women’s Six Nations opener last Friday. The girls travelled to Energia Park with a large contingent of support from the U14, U16 and U18 Girls team from the club. The 12 girls were part of the guard of honour for the English Women’s team as they took to the pitch and then settled in to cheer on Ireland against the Six Nations favourites.

Half-time saw Sligo RFC U12 Girls take on their counterparts from Portlaoise RFC. An entertaining game ensued, with Sligo running in three tries with no reply.

At the end of the Six Nations game, though Ireland were comprehensively beaten by the all-professional England side, the Sligo players were delighted to meet their rugby heroes in the form of Sligo’s own Nicole Fowley and Laura Feely, from Ballyshannon, who first played rugby for Sligo RFC.

Ireland’s Nicole Fowley & Laura Feely with members of Sligo RFC

Well done to Gavin Clinch for organising an unforgettable day, which provided inspiration to the future Irish rugby stars.

U14: Sligo win entertaining encounter

Sligo U14s 17 – Buccaneers U14s 5

Sligo U14s continued their winning ways last Saturday in Hamilton Park and cemented their position at the top of the table after round 7 in Division 1 of the Connacht league. Having already beaten Buccaneers away at the end of September, Sligo were determined to gain all four points from the game and move 8 points ahead of second-placed Corinthians.

Sligo U14s in action against Buccaneers

Ably led by captain Ambrose Bamber, the home side overcame a tough challenge from Buccaneers and finished the first half 7-5, thanks to a Kealon Schoen try. From a sustained attack, Sligo made the most of a penalty advantage to drive Schoen over the line for the opening score of the game. Oisin O’Neill added the extra 2 points. Buccs’ eventually broke through the Sligo line after sustained defence and struck back late in the first half to touch down in the corner, but the conversion drifted wide.

The second half was a tense after with the visitors piling on the pressure, but the home defence again proved steady and good game management by Sligo established a foothold in opposition’s half, culminating in Ambrose Bamber driving over from a short-range penalty move to put another 5 points on the scoreboard. The visitors showed great determination and fought back securing territorial dominance but a fine second try from Kealon Schoen sealed the deal for Sligo.
Overall, it was an entertaining game, with Sligo the well-deserved victors.

It was a fine performance and a great team effort, overcoming stiff opposition from Buccaneers. Sligo now find themselves well-placed to make the semi-final of the league, as top two qualify. Next game for the U14 side will be the hotly contested local derby against Ballina on 8th December.

Training continues every Tuesday 6-7.30 all welcome.

U18.5: Sligo v Buccaneers

Sligo U18.5s 29 – Buccaneers U18.5s 26

Hamilton Park played host to Round 7 of the U18.5 Division 1A league on Sunday and it was the home side who had an explosive start to the game, dominating from the kick-off, with Will Whelan showing great footwork to weave his way through the Buccaneers’ defence and ground the ball in the corner. The difficult conversion fell short and Sligo were 5-0 up. The next 25 minutes was played within the Sligo 22m as Buccaneers dominated the play. They were eventually rewarded for their efforts when they drove over for a try and the conversion put them 2 points ahead with 5 minutes to go in the half. Sligo had the chance to take back the lead with a penalty and resultant line-out on the Buccaneers’ 5m line, but the ball sailed over the back of the line out giving possession back to the visitors, a fortunate knock-on ended the half, with Sligo trailing by a mere 2 points.

Will Whelan scores his first of 3 tries

The second half was a hotly contested affair with Matthew Earley first to open the scoring, dotting down out wide to put the home side 10-7 up. Buccaneers were quick to counter and retake the lead with a try but failed to add the extras. The pace of the game was hectic, with lots of phases of play and Sligo enjoyed a period of dominance with Will Whelan getting the ball wide, spotting a gap in the Buccaneers defence and racing over the line to run the ball in under the posts. Matthew Earley stroked the conversion over and the home side were 17-12 up with 15 minutes to go.
 Buccs’ regained possession from the restart and went through the phases to eventually work the ball score under posts to retake the lead from the home side.

no going past the Sligo defence

Sligo maintained pressure from the restart and won the ball back through determined rucking. Will Whelan was on fire, and his sidestep carved open the Buccaneers’ defence again to clock up his third try of the afternoon to give his side a 3 point margin with 10 minutes remaining. This was quickly followed by another sweeping move across the pitch and a neat grubber kick from Hubert Gilvarry, was collected by Thomas Fox and he dotted down under the posts for his team’s fifth try of the game. Earley’s conversion added the extras and Sligo lead 29-19 with only 7 minutes left. The game still had another few twists and turns to go, as the visitors made the most of a series of calls in their favour to drive over the line from a 5 metre penalty. The conversion sailed over to bring it back to a 3 point game. Sligo defended from the restart and their defence held strong in the final few seconds of the game, as a Buccaneers drive was held up over the line. The referee awarded the 5 metre scrum and then blew the final whistle, much to relief of a large home crowd.

This epic win means that Sligo leapfrog Buccaneers into 4th position in the league. Their next game is a tough encounter away to league leaders Ballinasloe on Sunday 9th December

Gulls are Flying High

Table-topping Sligo Gulls continue their winning ways with a comprehensive 33-19 win over Ballyshannon RFC in a challenge game last Sunday. The Sligo 3rds team was only revived this year after a 35 year lull and the team continues to go from strength to strength, boasting a panel of 26 players for most games. The Gulls train every Wednesday at 7pm and welcome players of all experience.

U17s Division 1 & 2 in action away

There were mixed fortunes for the U17 teams as they both played away last Sunday. The Division 1 team travelled to the fortress of Monivea and came away with all the spoils, securing a 15-21 victory against the home side to add another 4 points to their league tally and remain in the top four of the U17 Division 1 league. Their next home game is on Sunday 2nd December, when they take on second placed Ballinasloe.

Such are the great numbers in the U17 squad, that they are able to enter a second team in the Connacht U17 boys’ leagues. After their narrow 2 point defeat to league-leaders Westport last weekend, the Sligo U17 Development team travelled to Westport on Sunday, where they were met by a strong home side who won 42-21, to go top of the table. The U17 Development side travel away to Loughrea next Saturday.

J1A: Creggs prove too strong for Sligo

The Sligo Junior team travelled to Creggs last Saturday in Round 7 of the Connacht J1A league. They were met by a determined home side, who are now only 5 points off league-leaders Connemara. The sides remained scoreless until the 25th minute, when Creggs crossed the whitewash, but failed to convert their efforts and add the extra 2 points. A second try came only 10 minutes later to bring the score to 12-0 at half-time. Creggs continued with their barrage and the home side added a subsequent 2 tries without reply. A Robbie Ryan intercept try finally got Sligo on the scoreboard, but it was a case of too little, too late, Creggs 24, Sligo 7.