Category Archives: Photos

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

J1A: Connemara All-Blacks prove too strong for Sligo

Sligo Development 17 – Connemara 31

A depleted Sligo Development team played the first senior game on the newly opened second grass pitch last Sunday, taking on table-toppers Connemara in the Connacht J1A league. It was always going to be an uphill battle against a team who have only lost once this season, but the Sligo squad had been laid threadbare through injury and illness and had to call up players from The Gulls to bolster their ranks.

Sligo’s Robbie Ryan makes his debut at senior level

The visitors had the lion’s share of possession from the start and Sligo found themselves defending phase after phase of pressure, but their defence stood strong and it was the home side who took the lead with an Enda Gavin penalty after 21 minutes. Connemara equalised with a well-struck penalty of their own, but it took the visitors until the 35th minute to get their first try to give them a 3-10 lead. This was quickly followed by a second try as they breached a gap in the Sligo defence to go 3-17 up at half-time.

Jason Havea powers through the Connemara defence

The second-half opened with Sligo piling on the pressure, but Connemara were determined not to let the home side breach their line and a resurgent counter-attack resulted in a third try for the visitors on the 45 minute mark. All credit to the home side as they rallied the troops and after a period of sustained pressure, were rewarded with a try by powerhouse Jason Havea. Out half Enda Gavin added the extras to bring the score to 10-24. With 5 minutes left on the clock Connemara added another 7 points to their tally, securing the try bonus point, but it was the home side who closed out the scoring as Enda Gavin dived over the line and converted the try with the last play of the game.

Sligo: Patrick Saba, Liam Mc Elhinney, Ross O’Boyle, Gary Golden, David Cawley, Jake Sexton, Simon Coulter, Jason Havea, Garry O’Hehir, Kevin Connell, Sean Mullin, Robbie Ryan, Jack Gormley, Eoin Mc Cormack, Swifty, Alex Seapoint, Michael Healy, Terence O’Connor,

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.

Youth & Juvenile Results

Sligo U18.5s currently lie 5th in the Division 1A of the U18.5 league. Last Saturday they travelled to Corinthians RFC, who are second in the league, on equal points with Ballinasloe, but with a lesser points difference. The home side proved strong in the end and were comfortable victors with a 33-14 score line.

U17s Patrick Dixon is lifted high to secure the ball for Sligo

Sligo U17s Development team hosted Westport on a stunning day in Hamilton Park. This was a complete try-fest, the visitors gaining the upper hand at the end, with an incredible final score of 54-70. The U17s have a huge squad of players and the emerging development team has been the result. Well done to all players and coaches involved.

The highly anticipated U16 derby between Sligo and Ballina kicked off on Saturday and the game lived up to the hype, with neither side giving an inch in the opening twenty minutes of the game.

U16s Sean Gilvarry hands off a Ballina player

The visitors were first to strike and had a period of dominance at the end of the first half, to stretch their lead to 5-12 at the half-time whistle. The second half was a torrid affair, with a litany of high tackles marring the game and the tension was mounting between the two sides. Ballina struck again to go 14points up on the home side, but Sligo showed their determination to exert a sustained period of pressure on the visitors and were rewarded for their efforts when Adam Hunter drove over for the try.

U16s Adam Hunter grounds the ball to score for Sligo

Sean Gilvarry slotted home the extras to bring the home side within 7points. Ballina’s defence held strong and a succession of penalties eventually led to a yellow card for another high tackle.

U16s Oisin Diffley drives through with the ball

Sligo again led a barrage against the Ballina try line, but their maul was held up and a scrum to the defence was the result. The visitors cleared their lines with a long punt up the pitch, which was chased by the Ballina back line, despite the calls for offside and the resultant try under the posts was awarded. With only minutes remaining, the visitors crossed the whitewash again to bring the final score to 12-31.

The U14s travelled to Castlebar, where the home side were determined to notch up their second win of the season and move up the table, but Joe Walsh’s team had other ideas. The result was a tough encounter between the two sides, but it was the visitors who held their nerve to win 26-21 and come away with all 4points and maintain their dominance of the U14 Division 1 Pool A, proudly topping the table after four games.

Sligo U11s do well in Carrick RFC blitz

Sligo RFC Juvenile section travelled en masse to Carrick-on-Shannon on Saturday to play in the Carrick RFC blitz. A total of 130 players, representing teams from U8s to U12s played a series of games against their Carrick counterparts and a great day was had by all, despite the blustery and cold conditions.

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.

J1A: Dominant Sligo take all 5 points

Sligo Development Team 36 – Galwegians 12

Sligo Development Team earned their first win of the season last Saturday in Hamilton Park, when they took on Galwegians in the fourth round of the Connacht J1A league. Having already secured three losing points, Sligo were determined to move up the league table with a home win.
The home side started strongly and opened the scoring after 10 minutes, with an Enda Gavin penalty in front of the posts.

Sligo’s Garry O’ Hehir spins the ball out wide

They continued their dominance in the Galwegians half and it was head coach Ross O’Boyle who led from the front, scoring the teams’ first try from a well-worked maul. The difficult conversion drifted wide, as the wind gusted across the pitch. Sligo continued to capitalise on their possession and only 6 minutes later, were rewarded with another try from a move which started within their own 22. Christian Nielsen showed great speed and to break through the Galwegians’ line. Nielsen, supported by Jack Gormley, continued his run up the pitch to score in the corner, much to the delight of the home crowd. Enda Gavin curled in the difficult conversion, to put 15 points between the two sides.


The Sligo defence remained solid and Galwegians were unable to break through at the half-time mark. Continue reading

Weekend Results in Brief

A squad of twenty-five U13 players travelled to Galway last Saturday to play Creggs RFC in their fourth game of the season. A determined Sligo RFC maintained their 100% record with a comprehensive 5-34 win against the home side.

Our U17s were playing their third game away to Corinthians on Sunday and were delighted to secure their second win of the season, winning 22-42.

Sligo RFC’s U7s played Creggs on Saturday morning

Well done to all players, coaches and managers involved.

Lights, Camera, Action

It was a case of “lights, camera, action” for the U16 and U18 girls last Sunday in Hamilton Park as they were the centre of attention for a camera crew, shooting a promotional video for Connacht Rugby.

Sligo U16 & U18 girls in action

The ‘Grassroots to Green Shirts’ programme, a campaign that aims “to increase the number of local players coming through the provincial player pathway to achieve the highest accolades in world rugby.” Twenty-three players from the U16 and U18 Sligo RFC squads played each other in a challenge game, to promote girls’ rugby in Connacht.

It was a proud moment for coaches Gabriel Gormley, Michael Cox and Gavin Clinch seeing so many young girls playing rugby for their club and an indication that the future looks bright for girls’ rugby in Sligo RFC.