Depleted U-16's Narrowly Defeated In Cup

Sligo u-16’s 0 :: Galwegians U-16’s 3

There was heartbreak for Sligo’s U-16 team at Hamilton park on Sunday last, when after putting up a very plucky performance they were defeated by Galwegians in the Connacht U-16 Cup by 3-0. Despite having to field without their talisman, Aaron Spring, who was training with the Ireland Youth U-18 squad, and the injured Keith McGoldrick and Blygh McCormack, Sligo put up a very brave performance in the very poor conditions, and were unfortunate not to have at least shared the spoils.

Galwegians got the game’s only score in the 23rd minute of the first half, and doggedly defended this lead until the end. Sligo’s best chance of rescuing the game came after 13 minutes of the second half, but impressive full-back, Pat Hughes’ 27 metres penalty from the right struck the upright below the bar, and Galwegians managed to clear their lines.

Sligo performed with a lot of determination and commitment, and each player played his part. They controlled the line-outs, where Caolan O’Hehir had an outstanding game, dominating on Sligo’s throws, and disrupting the winners’ line-outs. The pack worked hard until the end, with Enda McManus, Eavan O’Donnell and David Heath all making a big impression, and providing great support for O’Hehir. The underfoot conditions, and Galwegians propensity to slow down the ball conspired to make life difficult for the Sligo backs. At first centre, Gerard Keaney had a great game, and made great yardage off the set pieces. Full-back, Pat Hughes handled confidently and has a tremendous right boot, captain, Chris Nairn, was a very elusive runner, Robbie Keegan, a flying winger, while scrum-half, Donal Brady, also did well, and never shirked the very physical exchanges around the fringes.

The result was a disappointment for coaches, Peter Brady and Tony Heath, who have done great work with this squad, as undoubtedly with a full side, Sligo would have prevailed.

Sligo: Pat Hughes, James Clarke, Chris Nairn [c.], Gerard Keaney, Robbie Keegan, Cathal Finneran, Donal Brady, Cian McFadden, Thomas McMunn, David French, Caolan O’Hehir, Enda McManus, Eavan O’Donnell, David Heath, Sean Conlon. Subs: Donal Rooney for T. McMunn [inj.], Juilio Schinia, Peter Laffey, Huw James, Adam Donnellan, Conor John McCarrick, Enda Connolly.

More photos from the game can be found here.