City XV 34 :: County XV 5
Although the scoreline might suggest the most one-sided game in the fixture’s 34 year history, the largest crowd of the season were treated to a feast of running rugby in the annual St. Stephen’s Day fixture. The game was played in windy conditions, but the City side adopted a Barbarians’ style approach in the first half and ran the ball at every opportunity. Their efforts were rewarded in that opening half, as backed by the wind, they ran in five tries.
In the second period, when playing against the wind, they were forced to defend, and they only made sporadic incursions into the County’s territory. Both sides featured a number of Sligo born players who play their rugby outside Sligo. Included in the City side were the Butler brothers, Mark and Ross from UL Bohemians, Paul Gillespie, Dublin University, Shane Considine and Sean Gerrity, Corinthians, and the Quinn Brothers, John and Andrew, from DCU and Dublin University respectively. The County side included, Andrew Feeney, Aberdeen University, Stuart O’Brien, UL Bohs. and his brother Killian, who now resides in Germany, Cathal Sheridan, ULBohs., Paddy Conlon, UCD, James Wilson, Buccaneers, Geoffrey Draper, Monkstown, and Paddy O’Sullivan, DCU.
As stated, City ran riot in the opening half. Scrum-half, Shane Considine created havoc around the fringes and scampered over for three tries. Mark Butler was in total control from the pivotal No. 10 position, while his brother, Ross excelled at full-back. Centre, Paul Gillespie looked a class apart at inside centre, so the losers’ defence had a torrid first 40 minutes. The City pack also held all the aces in the opening period, with team captain, Joe Sweeney, Adrian McHale and Jamie Livingstone very prominent, while Sean Gerrity proved to be the ideal link man.
Favoured by the wind, the County team rallied in the second half, and nobody did more to raise the siege than scrum-half, Cathal Sheridan, who had an outstanding game at scrum-half. Dermot Kiely performed well as James Wilson’s second row partner, while Simon Coulter was a tower of strength at No 8. Gavin Foley defended strongly, and centres, Andrew Feeney and Stuart Dorran and second half No. 10, Kakaber Machiditze were creative, as they brought the game to their opponents. In the 17th. minute, Sheridan sniped for an opportunist try, but despite coming close on a few other occasions, the County failed to breach the defensive line again.
Scorers for City were Shane Considine, 3 tries, Jamie Livingstone, 2 tries, Mark Butler, 1 penalty and 3 conversions, while Cathal Sheridan crossed for the City try.
In the Clubhouse afterwards, the President, Tom Gilligan, presented the Town and County Cup to the captain of the City team, Joe Sweeney.
City XV: Ross Butler, John Quinn, Philip Henry, Paul Gillespie, Julian Ripon, Mark Butler, Shane Considine, Adrian McHale, Ross O’Boyle, Andrew Quinn, Roger Burrows, Jamie Livingstone, Cathal Culhane, Joe Sweeney [c.], Sean Gerrity.
County XV: Gary Boland, Ted Mulvanney, Stuart Dorran, Andrew Feeney, Stuart O’Brien, Gavin Foley [c.], Cathal Sheridan, Martin Feeney, Aaron Tansey, Paddy O’Sullivan, Dermot Kiely, James Wilson, Paddy Conlon, Simon Draper, Geoffrey Draper. Subs [used]: Kakaber Machiditze, Killian O’Brien, Clive Morris, Jarlath O’Brien, Jonny Bell.
Referee:Damien Eames [Carrick-on-Shannon RFC]
Foot Note: The Clubhouse was thronged with members and visitors after the game. Among these present was former Ireland U-21 International, David McGowan, who now plays professionally for La Rochelle in France, current Rotherham Titans player, Brendan Nolan, former Kilkenny RFC President, Matt Pollock, ex-Sligo players, Trevor Coulter and Hugh Dockry, who reside in Dublin, James Mullan visiting from the Channel Islands, Jason Coulter, who is domiciled in Peterborough, the club Trustees, several former Presidents, many ex-players and a host of locally based members and supporters, and their families.