Sligo 15 :: Castlebar 15
Sligo and Castlebar shared the spoils, 15-15, in this Connacht Junior 1 league game played at Hamilton Park on Sunday last. While Sligo had to rely on a last minute try to secure the draw, they will surely view this as a lost opportunity to not only have won, but also to have secured a bonus point.
They dominated exchanges in the opening quarter, and two fine tries from full-back, David Gerrity and scrum-half, Billy Leahy put them in pole position, as they led by 10-0 after twenty minutes. However, instead of building on this lead, and going on to secure the bonus for scoring four tries, they rested on their laurels, and allowed Castlebar back into the game.
A try from the visitors’ prop, Eugene Butterwort, converted by full-back, Richard Feeney, failed to rouse Sligo from their slumbers, and a penalty from Feeney just before the break levelled matters.Sligo suffered a further reverse early in the second half when winger,Kieran Flynn scored in the corner, to put his side ahead for the first time [15-10]. To their credit, Sligo camped in the Castlebar half for the remainder of the half, but some shoddy handling, and on occasions dubious decision taking thwarted their efforts. When substitute prop, Martin Feeney was yellow carded with eight minutes remaining, it looked ominous for Sligo. However, just at the death, they scored a spectacular try to spare their blushes. Following a penalty to the corner, No.8, Jamie Livingstone won the line-out, and when the maul was held up, the ball was moved across the line from Billy Leahy to Gavin Foley to Roger Burrows to Andrew Feeney. The winger fed full-back, David Gerrity, whose clever running line took him inside the cover, and he scored ten metres from the uprights. Gavin Foley’s conversion attempt drifted wide.
It was appropriate that Gerrity should score his team’s equaliser as he was their outstanding player all afternoon. Elsewhere, Billy Leahy, Ronan Gillespie, Jamie Livingstone and Ross Mannion impressed.
Sligo: D. Gerrity, A. Feeney, C. Culhane, G. Foley, J. Rippon, R. Burrows, B. Leahy, R. Gillespie, R. Mannion, J. Kelly, A. McHale, T. Sweeney, P. Mullan, J. Livingstone, G. Conneally. Subs: A.Williams for T. Sweeney. M. Feeney for J. Kelly. A. Tansey [not used].