UBL: Nine in a Line For Super Sligo

Kanturk RFC 13 – Sligo RFC 27

Sligo’s run of excellent form in the Ulster Bank League division 2C continued with a bonus point win over county Cork based Kanturk at Knocknacolon on Saturday. Sligo’s win pushes their winning run to nine matches in a row and moves them to within three points of league leaders Navan with two matches remaining. Continue reading

U13: Sligo v Galway Corinthian’s Match Report

Sligo 21 – Corinthians 15

Sligo U13s got their cup campaign off to a winning start coming out 21-15 victors over a strong Corinthians team in Hamilton Park on Saturday 18th of March. The team had trained diligently since the end of the league with an eye to this Cup opener having succumbed to the same opposition at Hamilton Park 24-10 earlier in the League.

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UBL: Sligo v Bruff – Magic Eight

Sligo kicked off from right to left towards the airport end and into the glorious sunshine on a lovely dry afternoon in Hamilton Park. There was a large crowd in attendance and all were hoping for another victory to continue their recent winning momentum.

Bruff applied some early pressure on the Sligo rearguard and were soon awarded a penalty after two minutes. However this was to no avail as out-half Tony Cahill failed to convert the pressure into points. This miss sprung the home side into life. Following a dominant scrum deep in the opposition 22 Sligo were given the chance to take the lead with a penalty on the 22 metre line. Sligo sharpshooter Jack Keegan split the posts with his kick and as result Sligo went 3-0 ahead after 8 minutes. Continue reading

J1B: Sligo crowned League Champions!

Sligo RFC 51 – Loughrea RFC 0

Last Sunday the Sligo RFC Development Squad faced Loughrea in their final league game  at home in Hamilton Park on a beautiful warm afternoon. Sligo having lost only lost one game knew that beating Loughrea would see them crowned J1B Connacht Champions for the 2016-2017 season. A large crowd was in attendance, a nervous air of hopeful expectation hung over the pitch, this was understandable as Loughrea had beaten Tuam this season in a cup game, Tuam being the only side to beat Sligo out of 14 games.

Sligo RFC kicked off towards the Knocknarea end of the ground and as with every game this season the Sligo pack immediately put down an early marker by winning the first scrum in a powerful drive which lead to a rolling maul, involving Craig Adams, Ross O’Boyle, David Cawley and the bruising Thomas Gormley. When the maul crossed the Loughrea 5 meter line Sean Mullin joined and went straight through the middle, breaking the line to score a well earned try putting Sligo on the score board, 5-0. Continue reading

J1B : Sligo Power to Win over Closest Rivals

Sligo RFC 16 – Corinthians RFC 5
Sligo Development Squad faced Corinthians in Strandhill for what will probably be seen as the League Cup Final this season. After days of heavy rain the prospect of any game of rugby going ahead was slim. Coach Pearson believed it was critical to play this game at home so a group of Sligo RFC members went out early on Sunday morning to do some work on the pitch to ensure the game could go ahead removing excess water, scattering sand where necessary and with no rain that morning the referee gave the go ahead.

The game kicked off at 2.30 after the pitch had been bathed in some much needed sunshine for the previous hour though this was not forecast to continue and a deterioration in weather was probably required given Corinthians would try to power run the ball wide. Continue reading

UBL: Seven in a row for Sligo

Rainey Old Boys RFC 13 – Sligo RFC 17

Sligo’s Ulster Bank League winning streak continued with an excellently crafted win over a strong Rainey outfit at Hatrick Park in Magherafelt on Saturday. With both sides on equal points in joint second place prior to the match a win was vital to the title aspirations of each club.

Despite the heavy rainfall which caused the postponement of all but two of Saturdays games in division 2C, the pitch in the excellent Hatrick Park facility was in excellent condition as Sligo’s Conor Kerins kicked the match off.

Sligo started the game at a terrific pace, shifting the ball wide at every opportunity and putting tremendous pressure on the home defence. A promising early foray into the Rainey 22, with Shane O’Hehir, Diarmuid O’Dowd Hill and Kuba Wojtkowicz all carrying well, almost yielded the opening score but unfortunately for Sligo the move broke down at the final stage. Sligo continued to press with their high tempo game and were finally rewarded with a Jack Keegan penalty from the 22 after 15 minutes. Sligo continued to dominate particularly at scrum time where Conor Mitchell, O’Hehir and Wojtkowicz were giving their opposite numbers a torrid time. Continue reading

J1B: SLIGO win ugly – but keep their League Promotion hopes alive

Last Sunday morning in Strandhill after heavy rain all night the possibility of a game of rugby looked bleak due to water present on the pitch.

Sligo RFC were due to face Ballyhaunis. This game was were the league challengers meet a bottom of the league team hungry for a win so the game was moved to The Grammar School pitch. This was a generous gesture by Sligo Grammar school who have a great history in Sligo Rugby.

This was another must win game for the Sligo Development side who are now at the hard end of the season, where all match outcomes are critical for any team with promotion prospects. Sligo see themselves as potential league winners.

Ballyhaunis kicked off into what turned out to be a surprisingly dry afternoon for most of the game but the kick didn’t make the full 10 meters but play was allowed to continue with Ballyhaunis attacking into the Sligo 25 meter area. An early penalty awarded to Ballyhaunis went wide of the posts. So Sligo kicked off and after good work by the Sligo pack led by Captain McMorrow, Matt Davey scored a try on 11 minutes converted by Enda Gavin. Sligo 7-0. The game was similar to the previous week in that a lot of errors were evident from both sides. After 35 minutes and pressure inside the Ballyhaunis half a quick ball from a ruck resulted in a fine try by Sean Mullin, supported by Enda Gavin and Stewart O’Brien. The pressure continued in the Ballyhaunis half and a well worked move saw Stewart O’Brien touching down under the posts and easily converted by the sure footed Enda Gavin. 19-0 to Sligo at half time.

The Sligo team despite the score line were becoming increasingly frustrated with their own play because Sligo were after the fourth try bonus point and the multiple stoppages were preventing the game from flowing.

Twenty minutes into the second half, Ballyhaunis were awarded a penalty which they converted, 19-3 to Sligo .

Sligo returned into the Ballyhaunis half and moved the ball wide away from the scrappy arm wrestle which had dominated this game so far and Sean Mullin scored a fine try which remained unconverted. 24-3, So with no further scores the game ended with Sligo gaining the win and an important bonus point. This was a very scrappy affair but as Coach Burrows stated ‘sometimes you win ugly, but it’s a win, and we need move on to next Sunday for the Corinthian league decider in Strandhill.

Team: Aaron Tansey, Ross O’Boyle, James O’Hehir, Thomas Gormley, Jake Sexton, David Bergin, Dave Cawley, Michael McMorrow (Captain), Gary O’Hehir, Enda Gavin, Sean Mullin, Matt Davey, Clive Morris, Brian Mullen, Stewart O’Brien, Gary Conneely, Liam McElhiney, Dermot Kiely, Jack Gormley, and Karl Van Rensburgh.

U15: Connacht Final Report

After a very strong performance from Sligo in the league semi against Claremorris Sligo went into Saturdays final full of confidence. The game was fixed for Ballyhaunis and the Sligo Supporters travelled in large numbers on what was perfect conditions for rugby.

Sligo RFC’s Max King in action v Ballinasloe

Ballinasloe started the stronger with multiple attacks but Sligo defence were up for the challenge with some excellent play from the pack. After 14 mins Ballinasloe did manage to break the gain line to score their first try but fail to convert. Sligo responded with a well worked try from Daire Cregg supported by Louie Scott, Cregg converted leaving the score at 7 – 5 to Sligo. Sligo attacked again but Ballinasloe intercepted the pass which was going to Rowan Elliot and the Ballinasloe no 14 ran 50 meters to score his second try.

Sligo RFC’s Jim Davies going for a try in the semi final win v Claremorris

In the second half Ballinasloe applied a huge amount of pressure on the Sligo defence to score their third try leaving the score at 17 to 7. For the 20 mins Sligo dominated scoring a excellent try by Daire Cregg which was converted by Jim Davies, at 9 mins to go Sligo were 3 behind and had the momentum and Ballinasloe were beginning to tire, unfortunately a few mistakes by Sligo allowed Ballinasloe in for their fourth try leaving the final score at 22 to 14. The Sligo squad performed brilliantly on the day against a very strong Ballinasloe side who have won the Connacht league final for the last three years with this group of players.

Now that the League is over the Cup campaign begins with an away game against the winners of Loughrea V Tuam, where a win would see Sligo come up against Ballinsloe in the second round in Strandhill.

Sligo: Damien Cullen, Ben Millar, Stephen Doyle, Michael Broaders, Danny Funke, Cathal Feely, Diarmuid Brennan, Calum Wall, Max King, Fintan Casey, Joseph Keaney, Louis Scott, Brian Marren, Dáire Cregg, Marc O’Hehir, Finn Young, Liam O’Kelly Lynch, Matthew Blain, Matthew Moroney, Patrick Dixon, Patryk Badowski, Conor McDermott, Sean Hynes, Gavin McGrath, Colm Lang, Mark McGlynn, Matthew O’Hara, Jake McNiff, Sean Hynes, Jack Carroll

J1B: Castlebar RFC v Sligo RFC

Sligo RFC Development Squad who are lying in second place of the Connacht J1b league travelled to Castlebar on Sunday needing to continue their recent good form in search of a win in order to keep them in contention of winning the league.

Unfortunately the weather was wet, the pitch heavy and the ball greasy which was not conducive to the attacking style of Sligo play .

Sligo started well putting pressure on Castlebar holding them in their own half which led to a penalty against them for an offside player giving Sligo an early opportunity to get a score on the board. The penalty was missed giving Castlebar an early let off. Continue reading

UBL: Sligo Roll On!

Sligo RFC 27
Boyne RFC 22
Sligo’s charge through Division 2C of the Ulster Bank league stayed firmly on track with a hard earned victory over an aggressive Boyne side in what best can be described as a spikey encounter at Strandhill on Saturday.
With Sligo pushing for a place in the promotion race and Boyne fighting for survival at the foot of the table, a lively encounter was always on the cards and the watching faithful were delivered an intense battle from start to finish.
As Queen Maeve’s resting place overlooked the perfect Hamilton Park surface Sligo kicked off with the breeze in their faces playing towards Knocknarea but it was the visitors that grasped the early initiative. A combination of Sligo lethargy through unforced errors and Boyne desire earned an early a score for the visitors and Boyne dotted down with a converted try after 6 minutes for the perfect start.
The worrisome trend continued for the local support with further Sligo errors resulting in a second converted Boyne try on 13 min.
Boyne pushed their lead out to 17 with a penalty on 24 minutes before Sligo were finally stung into life.
A hanging Conor Kerins restart was recovered by flanker Diarmuid O’Dowd-Hill out wide on the left. The ball was moved right where centre Daire Byrne carried with purpose bringing play into the vistors 22. Hooker Shane O’Hehir joined in and brought play close to the line before the ball was moved to Outhalf Michael Wells who expertly evaded the cover to dot down left of the posts.
Full back Jack Keegan popped over the conversion with his usual confidence to move Sligo to within 10 of the opposition with 27 minutes gone.
The revival continued with Sligo working their way back into the Boyne 22. The sustained pressure forced a penalty and scrum half Ryan Feehily opted to move it quickly. Second Row Jamie Bowes brought the drive to within 10 but Sligo were illegally prevented from recycling and another penalty was awarded. Feehily again opted to go quickly to Bowes and play was brought right to the tryline. A quick presentation allowed Wells another opportunity to step inside and although the outhalf was held out, the supporting O’Hehir forced his way over to dot down. Keegan again converted to narrow the gap to three with five minutes remaining in the half.
Sligo were now in full flow and looked to have taken the lead when a flowing move involving interchange passing between Wells and O’Hehir appeared to have yielded Sligo’s third Try. However to the dismay of the home support an intervention from the touch judge resulted in the try being disallowed and a penalty for alleged foul play was awarded to be visitors back on the Sligo 10 metre line. Boyne grasped this reprieve with both hands and from the resulting lineout drove over the Sligo line to move into a 22-14 two score lead going into the interval.
Despite the setback Sligo started the second half with determination and were gradually gaining domination in most areas. Props Conor Mitchell and Mark Keegan were solid at the scrum. Ciaran Cassidy was proving an able deputy to the hard carrying Bowes and Captain Shane Boyle carried directly into the heart of the opposition time and time again. Mark Rooney also caught the eye with some trademark runs when afforded space.
With 50 minutes on the clock Sligo move within one point of the visitors. A clearing Boyne kick was collected by Conor Kerins. The winger countered up the left before linking up with Wells. The outhalf stepped through the defence and linked up with pacey winger Callum Goddard. Goddard shot into the 22 and looked to exchange passes with Wells. A stray Boyne hand illegally slapped the pass to the ground but O’Dowd-Hill was running the perfect support line and was able to rescue the move and feed Goddard who raced to the line for Sligo’s third try. Another excellent Keegan conversion put the smallest margin between the teams.
Sligo were now in control and went hunting for the lead. Matt Davey and Thomas Gormaley were introduced to the fray and Davey made an immediate impact with a super burst up the middle but Sligo were unable to capitalise as a relieving penalty was awarded.
Midway through the half Sligo took the lead through a Keegan penalty from the 10 meter line and the dose was repeated on seventy minutes with another well struck effort from outside the 22 on the left hand side.
Sligo gamely tried to pick up the bonus point try but a fractious final 10 minutes in which the referee issued three yellow cards meant that the final score remained at 27-22 in favour of the home side.
Sligo now sit in second place four points behind leaders Navan RFC and on the the same points as Rainey Old Boys who are Sligo’s next opponents on Saturday March 4th. The match takes place in Hatrick Park Magherafelt with a 2.30 Kick off.
Sligo Jack Keegan, Callum Goddard, Mark Rooney, Daire Byrne, Conor Kerins, Michael Wells, Ryan Feehily, Mark Keegan, Shane OHehir, Conor Mitchell, Jamie Bowes, Ciaran Cassidy, Simon Coulter, Diarmuid O’Dowd-Hill, Shane Boyle (Capt) Reps Ross O’Boyle, Thomas Gormaley, Michael McMorrow, Matt Davey, Enda Gavin