Sligo Rugby in the Chair

The club is delighted to have two of its hard-working members in prominent positions on Connacht Rugby committees.  Congratulations to Sligo Rugby’s Director of Rugby Michael O’Hehir, who has recently been appointed to the role of Chair of the Youth Committee, and to long-serving club member John Davey, who was appointed Chair of Connacht Schools Committee. Both of these positions are the Chair committees ahead of the 2019/20 season, with a Term of Office for an initial three-year period. 

Coney Island Challenge a Great Success

Coney Island Challenge a Great Success

Hugh Armstrong wins the Mick Walton Perpetual Trophy

The 9th Coney Island Challenge took place last Sunday, with almost 300 runners competing in the race with a difference. The 10mile and 10km races course starts and finishes at Sligo Rugby Club and goes across the sand causeway to Coney Island and back. A big word of thanks to our many sponsors, without whom the event could not have happened.  We were fortunate to have Voya Seaweed Baths, Strandhill Lodge and Suites, Keane’s Centra, Westcoast Windows, IPM Draper and O’Hehir’s Bakery on board this year.  Thank you to Miriam Cunningham from Fitness 4 All, who did the warm-ups for all our participants. The Rugby Club are very grateful to the Warriors Committee members who imparted their knowledge on running the event and helped with the stewarding.  We would like to thank all those who gave of their time to ensure the event was a great success.  The club will be making a donation to St Anne’s church, the original founders of the race and all other funds raised will be going to the development of player facilities in the club. Congratulations to Hugh Armstrong from Ballina A.C. who won the Mick Walton Perpetual Cup for completing the 10mile challenge in an incredible 51 minutes 12 seconds. This year’s winners were

Members of the Carty Family, who completed the run in memory of Cormac Carty, who grew up on Coney Isla

Men’s 10 mile:  1st Hugh Armstrong (51:12), 2nd Desi Foley (58:05), 3rd Derek Hunter (1:03:09)

Women’s 10 mile:  1st Heather Foley (1:04:37), 2nd Sinead Fowley (1:08:39), 3rd Aisling Layden (1:17:19)

Men’s 10 mile – Vets: 1st Gerry Cadden (1:07:10), 2nd Anthony Kinane (1:09:42)

Women’s 10 mile – Vets: 1st Martina Kilgannon (1:28:50), 2nd Eileen Ryan (1:30:26)

Men’s 10km: 1st Barry Mc Cartin (40:56), 2nd Frank Reape (43:16), 3rd Chris Turbett (44:48)

Women’s 10km: 1st Anne Wynne (44:51), 2nd Aine O’Connor (51:27)3rd Eilish Mannion (51:54)

Men’s 10km – Vets: 1st Padraig Concannon (48:41), 2nd Leo Nicholson (50:25)

Women’s 10km – Vets: 1st Caroline Byrne (57:11), 2nd Ann Millar (57:15)

10km – Junior Overall Winner: Orlaith Byrne (1:04:08)

Men’s 10km Walk: 1st Joe Mahon (1:10:24), 2nd Patrick McElhinney (1:21:38)

Women’s 10km Walk: 1st Attracta O’Hara (1:17:38), 2nd Patricia Murphy (1:18:12)

AIL 2B:Losing bonus in Dublin

Wanderers FC 20

Sligo RFC 15

Sligo travelled to the capital on Saturday to take on Wanderers FC at Merrion Road for the third outing of their Energia AIL 2B campaign but had to settle for a single match point as the home outfit led by 5 points when the ref blew the long whistle.

On the well manicured surface the home outfit kicked off but it was Sligo who grasped the early initiative. A sweeping left to right move with Daire Byrne prominent brought play deep into Wanderers territory before centre Jack Keegan put a deft grubber kick behind the defence for winger Calum Goddard to race onto and touch down in the right corners. 

Outhalf Euan Brown was narrowly wide with a well struck conversion effort. 

The home team responded and opened their own account with a penalty after 10 minutes and followed up with a try on 15 minutes following a sustained period of pressure on the Sligo line. The conversion drifted wide putting Wanderers into the lead at 8-5.

As the match pushed on both sides looked to gain an advantage, Wanderers were using their pick and drive to make inroads and Sligo were moving the ball wide at every opportunity. 

Sligo has the edge at scrum time with Tom Gormely and Mark Keegan working hard and Shane O’Hehir was linking well with Rob Holian and Ciaran Cassidy to ensure the lineout was fuctioning well. The young Sligo backrow of Brian West, Christian Nielsen and Sean Wynne we’re putting in an excellent afternoons work.

Despite close calls from both sides the scoreboard remained unchanged until the interval. 

Following the resumption it was the visitors that struck next. An excellent Brown penalty kick brought parity before Wanderers retook the lead with an unconverted try. 

Sligo again responded and some fine work from Philip Carter and Enda Gavin coupled with some excellent forward driving resulted in a 5 yard scrum to Sligo. 

Ryan Feehily fed the ball into the scrum and Sligo shunted forward. The initial drive was halted but Feehily had other ideas and the scrum half picked and darted over in typical fashion. Brown converted to move Sligo into a two point lead. 

The home team hit back and a well worked converted try reclaimed the five point advantage with ten minutes remaining. 

Sligo almost snatched the game in the dying moment with an excellent length of the field movement but the last line of Wanderers defence tracked back and prevented the score so it was the Dublin 4 outfit that celebrated when the final whistle was blown. 

Sligo now take a week off from AIL duty before hosting Dungannon RFC at Strandhill on Saturday November 2nd at 2.30.

Sligo: Enda Gavin, Calum Goddard, Jack Keegan, Daire Byrne, Philip Carter, Euan Brown, Ryan Feehily, Mark Keegan, Shane O’Hehir, Tom Gormely, Ciaran Cassidy, Rob Holian, Brian West, Sean Wynne, Christian Nielsen. Reps Ross O’Boyle, Matthew Early, Craig Trimble, Niall Gray, Luke Hogge

AIL2B Bonus Point Win For Slick Sligo

Sligo RFC 45

Belfast Harlequins RFC 14

Sligo jump started their Energia All Ireland League division 2B campaign with a six try demolition of Belfast Harlequins at Strandhill on Saturday. Sligos teamwork and tempo proved to be too much for their visitors on a perfect day for rugby at Hamilton Park.

Having fallen to Galwegians in the opening round of the AIL, Sligo were determined to get their season back on track and produce a performance reflective of the undoubted potential of the squad. 

‘Quinns  kicked off playing towards Knocknarea but it was Sligo who took the early initiative. The work put in by Sligos coaching team of Paddy Pearson and Jason East  regarding retention of possession payed dividends early on as their charges owned the ball in the early exchanges. 

With ten minutes on the clock Sligo reaped the reward of the early dominance. A period of pressure on the ‘Quinns line concluded with Rob Holian driving over for the opening score. Euan Brown added the extras and the Yeats men were up and running.

The locals were now in full flow and doubled their tally 20 minutes in. A left to right move in the ‘Quinns 22 resulted in hooker Shane O’Hehir racing in at the right corner. Brown converted with an excellently struck kick. 

Halfway to the bonus point for Sligo, halftime arrived, but it was the visitors who struck next. A well work converted try halved the lead but Sligo were in determined form and immediately hit back with an excellent score from Matt Davey. Brown slotted the conversion and the gap moved back out to 14. 

On 55 minutes the visitors again struck with a converted try but to their credit Sligo again immediately hit back with a powerful effort from Ross Hickey. Brown chipped over the conversion and the 14 point gap was restored. 

Sligo were now in control and a Brown penalty from the 10 metre line further increased the advantage before a pinpoint kick pass from Ryan Feehily was plucked from the air by the excellent Philip Carter and the wingers’ well timed pass

allowed his fellow winger Calum Goddard a chance to run in under the posts. Once again Brown was accurate from the tee to move the score to 38-14.

Sligo were rampant and were putting their guests under serious pressure. Mark Keegan and Ross O’Boyle were in control at the scrum with East providing excellent support. Ciaran Cassidy and Craig Trimble added power and Mata Fifita and Brian West were outstanding in the loose. Mark Butler was controlling the tempo of the game and Enda Gavin marshalled the midfield with calm assurance. Brendan Cunningham and Matt Early made telling contributions from the bench.

With 5 minutes remaining Sligo put the final nail in the ‘Quins coffin. Jack Keegan capped an excellent performance with a intuitive read of a long midfield pass to intercept and race to the posts for a well deserved try. Brown completed a great day with the boot by making it 7 from 7.

Next for Sligo is a trip to Dublin on Saturday to lock horns with Wanderers RFC. With Ireland scheduled to play New Zealand in the rugby World Cup on the same day the kick off time has yet to be finalised. Up to date information will be available on the Sligo RFC website and Facebook page. 

Sligo: Euan Brown, Calum Goddard, Jack Keegan, Enda Gavin, Philip Carter, Mark Butler, Ryan Feehily, Ross O’Boyle, Shane O’Hehir, Mark Keegan, Ciaran Cassidy, Rob Holian, Mata Fifita, Brian West, Ross Hickey. Reps Jason East, Matthew Earley, Matthew Davey, Craig Trimble, Brendan Cunningham. 

Coney Island Challenge

Coney Island Challenge – Sunday 13th October

Sligo RFC have taken over the running of the Coney Island Challenge this year, with all funds raised going towards the development of player facilities in the club, along with a donation to St Anne’s church, the original organisers and founders of the race. 

Thank you to all our main sponsors, Voya Seaweed Baths, Strandhill Lodge & Suites, Westcoast Windows, Keane’s Centra, Strandhill and IPM Draper Insurance, without whom this fundraising event could not take place. 

This year there are four separate events on Sunday 13th October, start with the 10km walk and the 5km Family Fun Run/Walk at 11am.  The 10mile and 10km runs will be chip timed, thanks to Core timing and they will start at 11.30a.m. All runners can pre-register online, see Facebook pages for details.  All walkers and late registrants can register in the Sligo Rugby clubhouse on Saturday 12th October, 6.30 – 8.30p.m. or on Sunday morning 9.30 – 10.30a.m.

There will be entertainment, refreshments and prize giving in the clubhouse after the final runners have returned.

Only 10mile runners will be allowed access to the Island and cut of time for leaving the Island is 1pm. anyone still on the island at 1pm will be given a lift in the broom wagon. 10mile and 10km runners will be running in damp and wet conditions – running shoes may be damaged permanently.

Prizes 

  • 10 Mile Mick Walton Perpetual Cup -1st, 2nd & 3rd for both male and female runners in the Senior and Over 50 categories. (no U18s allowed in the 10mile race)  €20 entry fee
  • 10 Km – 1st, 2nd & 3rd male and female runner (Senior), 1st & 2nd male & female (Over 50s)  1st male & female (Junior)  €20 entry fee
  • 10 Km Walker – 1st & 2nd male and female. €15 entry fee
  • 5km Family Fun Run/Walk. This is a new event to encourage younger members to join in the event.  The route is not suitable for buggies, as the terrain is rough along the shoreline. Entry fee is €10 per adult, €5 per child, €20 per family

Club President Jacqui Cunningham, Club Chairperson Niall Gray, Neil Walton, Voya Seaweed Baths, and Mick Lucey, Westcoast Windows, pictured with The Mick Walton Perpetual Cup

KNOW YOUR ROLE

Parents in Sport Week 2019 kicks off on Monday 7th October and this year Connacht Rugby will be supporting the event with an innovative approach. They will be taking a look at how coaches and supporters (the vast majority of which are parents) can increase positive parental involvement in youth sport, and in doing so improve the experiences of young players across the province.

Adapted from John O’Sullivan’s Changing the Game Project Connacht Rugby are asking those involved in youth rugby to Know Your Role – a simple yet powerful message that they believe will improve touchline behaviour towards players, coaches and referees, thus improving the quality of the experience for young people.

The mechanics of the initiative are reasonably simple. Over the weekend of Parents in Sport Week (11th- 13th October) Sligo Rugby Club Welfare Officers will distribute flyers and stickers to coaches and supporters on the sidelines of our club’s home U16 match on that weekend. It’s that simple, no further explanation or talk needed, the flyers say it all!

AIL 2B Sligo fall short in Galway

Sligo’s Ryan Feehily and Mata Fifita double team a Galwegians player

Galwegians RFC 18

Sligo RFC 10

Sligo’s Energia All Ireland League 2B campaign opened in disappointment when they fell to an 8 point defeat to Galwegians at Crowley Park on Saturday. Despite handing their hosts a heavy defeat in the Connacht Senior League a fortnight earlier Sligo failed to get out of the blocks and suffered the consequences of a lacklustre performance.

Despite torrential rain prior to the kickoff Crowley Park was in good shape as the teams took to the field. The early exchanges were tight with both sides looking to gain a foothold. Sligo’s Mark Keegan, Shane O’ Hehir and Tom Gormely were on top in the scrum but worryingly Sligo were struggling to secure clean ball from the lineout. 

The home side opened the scoring on 25 minutes with an unconverted try but Sligo hit back almost immediately with a well struck Euan Brown penalty. 

‘Wegians again struck with a converted try on 35 minutes to move the the scoreboard to 12-3. 

Sligo responded with their best period of the match and worked their way into the ‘Wegians scoring zone. Sligo pressure earned a five yard scrum and a Ciaran Cassidy and Craig Trimble supported the front row to shove the hosts back allowing Ryan Feehily the chance to snipe down the left and crash over the line. Brown converted and the ref blew the half time whistle.

With only two points between the teams, the large travelling support optimistically anticipated a Sligo comeback in the second half but the resurrection never materialised and Sligo failed to add to their total.

‘Wegians increased their lead with penalty kicks on the 50th and 70th minutes and Sligo’s failure to secure meaningful possession proved costly as the final score of 18-10 meant the Yeats men returned home without even a losing bonus point. 

Sligo will be looking to bounce back immediately when they host Belfast Harlequins at Hamilton Park next Saturday. The match kicks off at 2.30.

Sligo Euan Brown, Calum Goddard, Enda Gavin, Mata Fifita, Philip Carter, Mark Butler, Ryan Feehily, Mark Keegan, Shane O’Hehir, Tom Gormely, Craig Trimble, Ciaran Cassidy, Rob Holian, Brian West, Ross Hickey. Reps Sean Mullin, Matthew Earley, Matthew Davey, Brendan Cunningham, Daire Byrne

Coney Island Challenge

Sligo Rugby Club are organising the Coney Island Challenge this year, which will take place on 13th October.  Over 300 runners and walkers are expected to run the 10m and 10km route, which will take them across the Causeway to Coney Island.  Runners and walkers are encouraged to register online through the Facebook page. 

Byrne flies high with Connacht Eagles

Donnacha Byrne made his senior debut for the Connacht Eagles last Friday night, as they secured a vital win against Scarlets A in Round 5 of the Celtic Cup.  Connacht were trailing 12-13 when Donnacha joined the action with 25minutes to go and they fought back to win the game 20-16 at the final whistle.  Sligo Rugby were well-represented on the pitch with scrum half Stephen Kerins controlling the game from start to finish.  Well done lads.

A Taste of Rugby

Over 450 Pupils get a taste of Rugby

Two amazing days of National School touch rugby blitzes. Over 450 children descended on Sligo Rugby Club last Wednesday, as 3rd & 4th class pupils from St Teresa’s, Mercy, Carbury, Ardkeeran, Rossespoint, Strandhill, St Edwards, Carraroe, St Patrick’s, Geevagh, Collooney & Enniscrone. Ballymote hosted another blitz on Thursday, with 140 children from 3rd & 4th classes in Curry, Sooey, Holy Family, St Lassara’s, Culfadda, Carn and Cloghogue National Schools.  What an incredible day for the pupils and a great chance to showcase the amazing facilities we have in Hamilton Park.
A big thank you to all those who made it happen; Lyndon Jones, Wendy Hickey, Simon O’Malley & Colm McWeeney from Connacht Rugby, Denise McDermot from Sligo Sports Partnership, Sligo Rugby volunteers Ross Crystal, Jake Sexton & Daire Byrne, Sligo Grammar TY students Alaistair Hill, Oisin Lawley, Ben Graham, Jack Dennison, Andrew Sproule, Tynan Maxwell & Aaron McCloat, Summerhill TY students Cathal Shovlin, David Keys, Conor Mullaney, Sean Flavin & Cormac Fahy and all the teachers from the 20 national schools involved.  A huge thanks to Sligo Rugby’s Community Officer Ross Mannion for organising it all.