Development Team in Semi-final Thriller

Sligo RFC 11 – Creggs 9

Sligo RFC’s development team paved the way for a Connacht Junior Cup final encounter against local rivals Ballina with a hard fought win over Creggs. The home side had a slow start, under pressure for the first 20 minutes, but their defence stood up to the waves of attack from Creggs. Neither side crossed the whitewash in the first half but the trusty boot of Niall Gray gave Sligo a 6-3 lead after 40 minutes.

Charlie Cooper about to grubber kick the ball through

Sean Mullin on the attack

The second half opened with a flurry and Creggs once again stepped up the pressure on the home side and were rewarded with an equalising penalty on the 45minute mark. The sides remained deadlocked until 6minutes before the final whistle. Sligo patiently worked their way up the pitch and Creggs found themselves defending their line through countless phases of possession, until Christian Neilsen finally punched through at the side of a ruck to score the first try of the game. Gray coolly slotted the conversion home, to give the home side a 7point advantage. Creggs opted for the long kick in the restart, and eventually won the ball back, spreading it wide to the wing for a touchdown in the corner. Much to the delight of the home supporters, the difficult conversion failed to add the equalising points and a relieved Sligo side held on for the final two minutes of the game to advance to the final in the Sportsground, Galway on March 25th.

David Heath shows his power in the line-out

Stewart O’Brien is tackled off the ball to deny him a try

Sligo Development Team:
Craig Adams, Ross O’ Boyle, Jamie Bowes, David Cawley, Jake Sexton, Mattie Davey, Christian Neilsen, Ross Hickey, Gary O’Hehir, Niall Gray, Stewart O’ Brien, Gavin Foley, Charlie Cooper, Sean Mullin, Enda Gavin,

U13s Stage Incredible Comeback

NUIG 17 – Sligo RFC 40

Sligo’s U13s were back in Cup action again last Sunday and had a long trip to Dangan to take on NUIG with a place in the cup semi-final at stake.  Sligo got off to probably the worst imaginable leaking 2 quick tries and found themselves 12 nil behind with only 8 mins gone in the game.
The conditions for rugby couldn’t have been better.  Sligo played with a slight breeze in their back and settled into the game when they realised that they looked threatening when they kept the ball in hand and the tempo up.  Sligo scored their 1st try following excellent ground work by the pack with a super jinking break from Sligo’s 2nd centre Oisín Conlon to the relief of the squad and travelling supporters.  Sligo No.10 Oisín O’Neill added the extra 2 with the conversion.  Tackling and commitment from both sides was excellent.  Territory was key and Sligo finished the half in the NUIG 22 and were rewarded by an excellent score by Conor Creaven  on the left wing when he took a pass from O’Neill, rounded the last defender and ran towards to the posts to improve the angle of the conversion which was duly converted again by Oisín O’Neill.  This left the half time score at 14-12 to Sligo. Continue reading

Better Late Than Never

IRFU President Philip Orr presented 102 international caps to former female players who played in competitive Test fixtures between 1993 and 2006.

Sligo RFC’s own Thérèse Cosgrove and Anne O’Toole were awarded their international caps during the Ireland V Scotland team dinner last Sunday, following Ireland’s final home match of the Women’s Six Nations campaign at Donnybrook.
Having compiled a list of all those who represented the Ireland Women in World Rugby-approved Test matches, before the IWRFU was integrated with the IRFU, the Union will now cap those who played for Ireland from the first fixture, which took place against Scotland on February 14, 1993, to the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2006, when caps were presented by the IRFU for the first time.

Thérèse was first capped in 1996 and Anne in 1999. It was a fantastic day of recognition for past players, including the very first women’s team of 1993, and recognised the efforts of those players in bringing Irish women’s rugby to where it is today.

IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne said: “The IRFU are very grateful to all those who were the pioneers of Women’s rugby in Ireland and we are pleased to be in a position to recognise players who have yet to receive their cap. 

”This has been made possible following extensive research of those eligible for an international cap by a sub-committee led by Su Carty and Mary Quinn, and following confirmation from World Rugby of fixtures that are recognised as being full Test internationals. 

”We are delighted that we will be joined by so many of these former players at our last home Women’s Six Nations match and team dinner of the season. It promises to be a wonderful occasion and we are very grateful to all those who have assisted us in making it possible.”

Two Homegrown players sign pro contracts with Connacht

Sligo’s Cillian Gallagher and Conan O’Donnell have both signed senior professional
contracts with Connacht and the IRFU for next season. The former Irish U20 internationals’
rise through the ranks closely reflects the impressive growth of the game in Sligo.
Conan O’Donnell made his debut for the Connacht senior side in the PRO12 winning season
in 2016. He has since gone on to make a total of nine senior appearances in his three years in
the academy system.

It was only last December that Sligo native and then Academy player Cillian ‘Crouchy’
Gallagher was handed his first start for Connacht. Cillian, a former Summerhill College
student, started playing rugby with Sligo RFC U-14s and continued up to senior level. He
was first selected for Connacht for the U-15 development squad and then for the U-16 and U-
17 squads, however it wasn’t till he was at the U-18 level that he started to seriously focus on
rugby and managed to secure a place in the Connacht sub academy. The former Ireland U-20
captain had made his Connacht debut off the bench in the Challenge Cup win over Worcester
in October 2017.

U16s Put on Fine Display to Secure Semi-Final Spot

Sligo RFC 35 – Claremorris 5

On Sunday last the Sligo U16s hosted Claremorris in the U16s Connacht Cup quarter-final at Hamilton park. The Sligo Squad were without key players Max King, Dara Cregg and Damien Cullen due to injury but were still able field a very strong 23.

Sligo started the stronger and quickly exposed huge gaps in the Claremorris defense with a superb team try by new player Cian Barden and converted by out half Finn Young. After 5 mins tight head prop Eddie Coyle suffered a knee injury and was replaced by Cillian McMeekin who slotted into the back row with Patrick Dixon moving to prop. Sligo continued to dominate with a excellent try by Rowan Elliot in the corner after he received a loop pass from scrumhalf Cathal Feely, this was followed by another well worked try by Cathal Feely leaving the half time score at 17 – 0.

Sligo started the second half well and quickly secured another try from flanker Cillian McMeekin. Sligo then began to offload their bench with substitutes Jim Davis and Mark McGlynn swapping in a 9 and 10. Claremorris had no answer for Sligo’s pressure with further scores from Jim, Cathal and Rowan Elliot leaving a final score of 36 – 5.

Next up for Sligo is a semi-final against the winners of Galwegians and Greggs scheduled for the weekend of the 24/25 March.

Sligo: Damien Cullen Vega, Callum Wall, Edward Coyle, Michael Broaders, Patrick Dixon, Stephen Doyle, Matthew O’Hara, Robert Reynolds, Jamie Reynolds, Ronan Elliott, Josh Cronin, Cian Barden, Louis Scott, Michael D Cregg, Cathal Feely, Ben Millar, Cillian McMeekin, Finn Young, Jack Carroll, James Davis, Mark McGlynn, Danny Funke, Marc O’Hehir, Patrick Badowski, Mark Erwin, Ronan Gilmartin

U14s Connacht Cup Quarter Final

Sligo RFC 15 – Ballinasloe 10 

Sligo U14s progress to the semi-finals of the Connacht Cup after a hard fought win over Ballinasloe on a blustery afternoon at Hamilton Park.  
Sligo scored first after 8 minutes as Alastair Hill barged across the line despite good Ballinasloe tackling. Shortly afterwards Ballinasloe followed with a converted try. The visitors added a penalty score to make it 10-5 at half-time. 

A resurgent Sligo hit back in the second half with a magnificent intercept try by centre Hugo Filan who touched down behind the posts. David Keyes slotted over the conversion. A penalty kick by David from a very tight angle brought the score to 15 – 10 but with 10 minutes to go Sligo were not out of danger. 

With Sligo looking to extend their lead they came close to breaching the strong Ballinasloe defences. In the last 5 minutes the action moved dramatically to the Sligo 5 metre line. The Sligo defences scrambling to repel the attack. Sligo won three scrums on their 5 metre line, one against the head. The tension only ending with the ball being kicked out two minutes after the clock went red. 

This was a disciplined and intent Sligo team. Strong tackling by Ben Cawley, Jack Dennison and Sergey Donoghue helped Sligo relieve pressure on a number of occasions. The forward pack operated as a tight unit with notable contributions in particular from front rowers Teddy Kilgallen and replacement prop Ross Clark. 
Matthew Ryan in the second row and James McDermott in the back row were very much in evidence around the field with big contributions.  

UBL: No joy on the road for Sligo

Omagh Academicals RFC 22 – Sligo RFC 14

Sligo’s poor form on the road continued when they they lost out to Omagh Academicals with an error strewn performance at the Thomas Mellon playing fields on Saturday. As a result Sligo have now dropped to 3rd place in the Ulster Bank League division 2C 5 points behind leaders Malahide with 3 games remaining.

With an early start time of 12 noon Sligo kicked off into the teeth of the strong wind. The early exchanges looked promising with Sligo having the edge at the scrum and putting pressure on the Omagh throw at the lineout but it was the hosts that opened the scoring with a penalty after 17 minutes.

Sligo looked to immediately respond but a loose pass was intercepted by the on-rushing Omagh defence resulting in the concession of a try under the posts.

Sligo’s woes were further compounded 5 minutes later when Omagh picked up their second try of the afternoon with a flowing move down the left. Continue reading

Cup Success for U13s

Sligo’s U13’s enjoyed a win in their 1st competitive cup game against local rivals Ballina in a sunny Hamilton Park last Sunday.

Sligo opted to play against a whirling wind in the 1st half and put their bodies on the line for their jerseys. Ballina ran at the Sligo youngsters at every opportunity but were unable to break through the walled defence that they have worked on all season. Their tackling and sheer determination not to let their foe through was a joy to behold. Sligo played most of the 1st period in the Ballina half of the field and came close to scoring on a couple of occasions. Alas there was no score from either side to leave the game in the balance at 0-0 at half time.

James Horan in full flight

Continue reading

Triple Cup Success

Three youth teams were in action on Sunday in the first round of their Connacht Cup and it was a clean sweep for Sligo RFC.  Hamilton Park hosted two out of the three games in brilliant sunshine.  The U13s kicked off proceedings with an impressive 17-0 win in the local derby against Ballina RFC.

News soon filtered through from Clifden, that the U15s had romped home to a 62 point victory, with no reply from Connemara.

Then it was the turn of the big guns, in the form of the U17s.  This was a tough match, with Sligo taking an early lead from the start.

Hubert Gilvarry puts in a big hit

Creggs kept their heads and it wasn’t long before the home side were chasing the visitors’ lead. More tries from both sides ensued, but the home side still found themselves 5 points down with only 5 minutes to go.

A determined defence from Sligo denied Creggs any further scores and indiscipline from the visitors gave possession back to the home side, which they used to the max, scoring the equalising try to the right of the points.

Gilvarry’s conversion sealed the deal for Sligo and they hung on for a well-deserved win.

Strictly Sligo Rugby

Rehearsals are going well for the biggest fundraising event of the year. The couples have just been announced and all participants are busy working on their two dances. Keep an eye out for the many fundraisers taking place over the next few weeks. Tickets for the big night on Friday 23rd March are available from The Record Room and – get them fast before they’re all gone.