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.
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.
Sligo Gulls 26 – NUIG 12
The Gulls remain at the top of the Connacht J2A league after a comprehensive win against NUIG on another glorious day in Hamilton Park. Boasting a panel of twenty-six players, the home side were fired up for the match and exerted pressure on NUIG in every area of the pitch, showing dominance in the pack and having several try-scoring opportunities through expansive use of the back line. The visitors’ defence held strong until the 32nd minute when David Cummins scored in the corner. Full back Oisin Cox scored the difficult conversion to put the Gulls 7-0 up. NUIG enjoyed a period of possession from the restart and only 6 minutes later, were rewarded with a try under the posts to level the game at half time. Continue reading
Sligo RFC 17 – Rainey Old Boys RFC 27
Sligo slumped to their fifth loss of the 18/19 All Ireland League Division 2B campaign with a disappointing 10point defeat to Magherafelt outfit Rainey Old Boys at Strandhill on Saturday. The northern visitors lorded the possession stakes and outscored the locals by three tries to two as Sligo struggled to retain possession for any meaningful period throughout the encounter.
Despite the heavy midweek rain, Hamilton park was in excellent condition, with little or no breeze when the teams took to the field, and it was Sligo that were first to put the scorekeeper to work with a Jack Keegan penalty after 10 minutes. Continue reading
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.
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.
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,
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.
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.
Sligo RFC 20 – Wanderers FC 28
Sligo hosted Wanderers FC in their second home All Ireland League match of the season, but despite scoring four try’s to the visitors three, had to settle for a single match point as the Landsdowne road based outfit held an eight point lead at the final whistle.
Despite the incessant heavy Strandhill rain on Saturday morning the pitch was in excellent condition as the teams crossed the whitewash. Sligo kicked off playing towards the airport end but it was Wanderers who took the initiative and made an early attack on the Sligo line. Sligo’s defence prevented the line from being breached and a strong scrum earned a relieving penalty.
Wanderers continued to press and eventually opened their account with a Peter Brougham penalty with fifteen minutes on the clock.
Sligo responded immediately. From the restart the Wanderers clearance was collected by Sligo’s Callum Goddard. The Full back counter attacked into midfield before linking up with Philip Carter. Carter was held on the ten metre line and Sligo quickly recycled. Scrum half Brendan Cunningham moved the ball infield to Mark Butler who timed his pass perfectly to put Kuba Wojtkowicz through the gap. The rampaging prop burst through the defence and used all of his considerable power to make it all the way to the line for Sligo’s opening score.
It was Wanderers turn to react, and a sustained period of pressure on the Sligo line resulted in centre Rob O’Byrne crashing over to reclaim the lead. Brougham converted and Wanderers were up by five.
Again Sligo hit back when good work from Sean Mullin and Mata Fifita gave position in the visitors 22. Shane Boyle made a strong carry followed up by further good play from Shane O’Hehir and Wojtkowicz. The play continued right and Butlers long pass to Goddard allowed the full back the space to feed Carter who squeezed over in the corner to level the scores.
Right on the stroke of half time the visitors regained the lead. A penalty on half way was kicked to the corner. Wanderers used their pick and drive to work the ball close to the line and a switch move in midfield caused enough hesitation to allow Martin O’Neill the space to crash over at the posts. Brougham converted and the blue side went into the interval with a seven point lead.
Ten minutes into the second half the visitors pushed the lead out to ten points with another well struck Brougham penalty before moving further ahead with try out wide from winger Martin Bosch.
Sligo hit back with an excellently taken score when a sweeping backline move following a scrum on the left gave Goddard the chance to use his pace to race in to the right hand corner.
Wanderers closed out their account with another Brougham penalty with five minutes remaining before Ryan Feehily earned a try bonus point for Sligo with an excellent finish in the right corner.
Sligo now sit in sixth place in the division 2B table and next up is a trip to the capital to lock horns with second placed Greystones RFC. The match kicks off at 2.30 at Dr Hickey Park next Saturday.
Sligo: Calum Goddard, Sean Mullin, Ryan Feehily, Mata Fifita, Philip Carter, Mark Butler, Brendan Cunningham, Kuba Wojtkowicz, Shane O’Hehir, Tom Gormely, Jason Havea, Ciaran Cassidy, Shane Boyle, Matt Davey, Ross Hickey, Conor Mitchell, Ross O’Boyle, Rob Holian, Matthew Cosgrove, Enda Gavin
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.
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
Sligo Gulls 10 – Carrick-on-Shannon 5
Following on from their comprehensive win over Claremorris in their season-opener, Sligo senior men’s third team took to the pitch on a glorious day in Hamilton Park last Sunday. It was great to see 23 players turn out for the Gulls for the Connacht Junior 2 league local derby game against Carrick-on-Shannon RFC and the good home crowd were not disappointed with the result. It was a low-scoring game, with possession divided evenly between the teams. Sligo were first to put points on the board, with a well-struck Clive Morris penalty. This remained the only score of the first half.
The second half was played primarily in the middle of the pitch, but it was the visitors who eventually broke through the Sligo defence to cross the whitewash in the corner. The conversion drifted wide and only two-point now separated the sides, with twenty minutes to play. Sligo increased the pressure on the visitors but were unable to capitalise on their possession. With only 2 minutes left on the clock, a series of penalties in the opposing half gave the Gulls a lineout on the 5m line. David Cawley secured in the air and the ball was worked wide through the backs for David Cummins to touch down in the corner. The difficult conversion was coolly slotted home by youngster Eoin McCormack to give Sligo some breathing room. Carrick were unable to add any more points to their tally and it was a relieved home side who held on for the final whistle.