Sligo RFC 29
Galwegians RFC 8
Sligo move into the Christmas break of the Energia All Ireland League in rude health having picked up the maximum five match points against visitors Galwegians in a well contested battle at Hamilton park on Saturday.
Sligo scored two trys in each half to despatch the visitors and gain the all important bonus point which puts their league points total to 27, just two points behind second placed Corinthians RFC.
Having availed of the excellent facility at Fitness 4 All Strandhill for the pre match preparation, Sligo started brightly and used the kicking game to put the early pressure on the visitors and opened the scoring with a well struck Josh Reeves penalty.
Sligo increased the lead with 12 minutes gone. Second row Eoin Ryan stole a Galwegians lineout on the visitors 22. Daire Byrne and Craig Trimble made telling carries before the ball was moved to Reeves. Reeves cross kicked to the right wing where full back Guilherme Coghetto met the ball on the volley and kicked it through the defence to the in goal area. Ryan Feehily won the race to the touchdown. Reeves converted to put Sligo into an 10-0 lead.
The visitors struck back on 20 minutes with a three pointer from powerful fullback Conor Shaughnessy before Sligo struck with a second try 5 minutes later.
A penalty on the half way was despatched to the corner. Matthew Earley found Byrne at the tail and the maul headed for the line. Rob Holian and Trimble made bursts before the backline was released and quick hands from Enda Gavin and Feehily gave Coghetto the space to finish on the right giving Sligo a halftime lead of 15-3.
Following the interval Sligo picked up where they left off further increasing the lead with an opportunist try that took almost everyone by surprise. From inside his own half, Reeves put a pinpoint kick down the left hand touchline which bounced into touch 7 metres from the line. With Sligo awarded the lineout due to the 50:22 law, Scrum Half Brendan Cunningham reacted quickest and threw the ball to Reeves who raced in at the corner before the visiting defence had time to set. Reeves added the extras with an excellently struck kick and Sligo were out of sight.
‘Wegians responded and used their powerful carrying forwards to pick up a try of their own but Sligo put the game to bed almost immediately with an excellent effort from Stefano Giantorno.
A Galwegians defensive clearance was collected by Reeves on the halfway line. Reeves fed Ross Hickey who drove forward with Kuba Wojtkowicz and Matthew O’Hara in support. The ball was moved wide to the left before Coghetto was stopped on the 10 meter line. Cunningham switched the play back to the right and Giantorno timed his run to perfection to split the defence and race to the line beating three defenders on the way. Reeves conversion put the final score to 29-8.
Sligo now take a break from AIL action until the return fixture against Galwegians on Jan 15th. In the meantime Sligo will meet the same opponents in the Connacht Senior Cup at Strandhill on Jan 08th.
Sligo Guilherme Coghetto, Stefano Giantorno, Ryan Feehily, Enda Gavin, Philip Carter, Josh Reeves, Brendan Cunningham, Eddie Coyle, Matthew Earley, Pedro Bengalo, Eoin Ryan, Craig Trimble, Rob Holian, Daire Byrne, Ross Hickey. Reps Kuba Wojtkowicz, Matthew O’Hara, Jake Sexton, Christian Nielsen, Thomas Valliant