J1A: Connemara All-Blacks prove too strong for Sligo

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.

Sligo’s Robbie Ryan makes his debut at senior level

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.

Jason Havea powers through the Connemara defence

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,

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