CSC: Sligo Into Cup Final

Galwegians RFC 16

Sligo RFC 31

Sligo advanced to their second Connacht Senior Cup final in 3 seasons with a comprehensive victory over Galwegians at a floodlit Glenina on Saturday evening. Sligo’s victory earns the team the opportunity to face Galway Corinthians at the Sportsground on December 22 in a repeat of the 2017/18 final which saw Sligo lift the trophy for only the second time in the long history of the Strandhill based club.

On a calm evening Sligo kicked off but it was the home team that took the early initiative with a successful penalty kicked from the Sligo 10 metre line. Sligo immediately responded. Ciaran Cassidy got a hand to the restart and Shane Boyle secured the ball, Brian West drove forward and the ball was recycled and moved towards midfield. A well timed pass saw Mark Butler split the defence and race into the 22 before linking up with Ryan Feehily who beat the last defender and finished under the posts. Euan Brown converted and Sligo were up and running. 

A second successful ‘Wegians penalty moved the gap to one point with thirty minutes on the clock but Sligo responded well. Matt Davey picked from a scrum on the left of the ‘Wegians 22 and linked with Brendan Cunningham. The ball was moved quickly across the backline to Calum Goddard who raced to within 5 metres of the line before linking with the supporting Philip Carter who crashed over for Sligo’s second try. Brown hit an excellent conversion to put Sligo into an eight point lead. 

A third Galwegians penalty put the half time score to nine points to fourteen in favour of the visitors.

Following the resumption Sligo continued to press. Cunningham broke down the blind side of a scrum on the Galwegians ten metre line and placed an excellent grubber kick down the line for Goddard to collect and score in the corner. Brown hit an excellent conversion to push his teams total to twentyone.

A sustained period of pressure resulted in a Galwegians converted try, closing the gap to five but Sligo again hit back with another well worked score. 

Brian West tapped a free kick on the Galwegians 22 and drove into the heart of the home defence. Cassidy and Brown both added to the drive before replacement centre Daire Byrne burst through before being stopped just short of the line. From the resulting ruck Feehily fed Butler who twisted his way over for Sligo’s 4th try. Brown again converted and minutes later added a penalty to round off the scoring and seal the place in the final. 

Sligo’s win was built around their excellent team ethos with every player deserving credit. Tom Gormely, Benroy Sala and Mark Keegan provided a solid platform in the tight and continuously put in some huge tackles in open play. Shane O’ Hehir and Matthew Earley and Rob Holian were dynamic in all facets. James O’Hehir made a big addition to the work rate when introduced. Enda Gavin was a rock at full back and Luke Hogge fitted seamlessly into the backline when called into the fray. 

Sligo now turn their attention back to the All Ireland League where they host Blackrock College at Hamilton Park next Saturday. Having suffered a narrow defeat to Blackrock in last seasons promotion playoffs Sligo will not need motivation when facing their Dublin visitors. The match kicks off at 2.30 at Strandhill.

Sligo: Enda Gavin, Calum Goddard, Mark Butler, Ryan Feehily (Co-Capt), Philip Carter, Brendan Cunningham, Benroy Sala, Shane O’Hehir (Co-Capt) Tom Gormely, Ciaran Cassidy, Rob Holian, Shane Boyle, Brian West, Matt Davey. Reps: Mark Keegan, Matthew Earley, James O’Hehir, Daire Byrne, Luke Hogge

No Joy for U14s, U17s & U18.5s

Sligo U17s had a tough encounter with Creggs last Sunday, losing 0-12. Here Fionn O’Hehir is on the attack with Adam Hunter in support
Rowan Elliott and the Sligo U18.5s Division 2 team nearly staged the comeback of the century against Westport last Sunday, eventually losing 37-43
Sligo U14s player Joris Rooney on the attack, with Isaac Marsden in support against Corinthians last Saturday. A tough battle with the visitors coming away with the spoils 7-24

U13s with Epic Win

Sligo 5 Buccaneers 0

Sligo played host to Buccaneers in Hamilton Park on Sunday 17 th in a low scoring but entertaining game in the U13’s league. Sligo started brightly putting Buccaneers under pressure with the boot of outhalf Killian O Neill playing the majority of the first half in Bucc’s territory. The Bucc’s pack were significantly physically bigger that Sligo who made up for the size disparity with good defence around the ruck. Sligo’s starting back row of O’Mahony, Burrows and Gambi-Wheelan played well and were ably supported by O’Neill , Draper and Lawes in the front row. Sligo’s scrum stood up well to a noticeably bigger Buccaneers eight with Fitzgerald , Bradly and subsequently Keyes and Keaney showing up very well in the second row. Sligo’s backs kept probing with McGetterick and Ryan prominent going forward and newly arrived Tadhg Murphy very solid in defence along with James Mackey and Conor McGoldrick. A clever kick through and quick feet and an eye for the line gave the only score of the game to Conor Van Rensburg halfway through the first half. A difficult conversion missed narrowly. Sub harry Dennison recently returned from injury injected pace in the last minutes of the half and Sligo were unlucky not to score again. The second half was a different tale for Sligo. Refereeing largesse at ruck time meant thatthe heavier Buccs team had possession for much of the second half but good work in the tight meant that there was always a Sligo tackler there to put down the runner. On the occasions when the ball went wide the Sligo backs tackled very effectively. With 5 minutes left the siege was lifted after a number of goal line stands and Sligo were making their way to the opposition half when the referee blew for full time.

Both teams were well drilled and very competitive and a third period played on Sligo’s 4 G pitch ended with a two try to nil victory for Buccs. This was a chance for the entire squad to take to the pitch in Sligo colours.

Fingers Crossed for the Your Club, Your Country Draw

All the returned tickets have been returned to the IRFU and now the waiting game begins.  Fingers crossed that one of our members will win one of the amazing prizes. A huge thank you to the YCYC team of Club President Jacqui Cunningham, Club PRO Jean Mc Connell, Club Stalwart George Draper, Club Treasurer Michael Shovelin and Juvenile Co-Ordinator Phelim O’Connor who led a successful campaign to collect over €7,000 for the club. We would like to acknowledge the hard work of all the coaches who co-ordinated their team’s tickets and also thank all those who bought tickets to support the club.


A Connacht Rugby SkillZone with totalhealth is coming to Coolaney Community Pitch in Sligo later this month.

SkillZone is the perfect opportunity for your son or daughter to enjoy a full morning’s activity and keep active. The focus of the day will be small sided games which will be fun and fast flowing. The events are run by Connacht Rugby staff who are IRFU accredited coaches and are also involved in both the Regional and Interprovincial squads.

It’s open to boys and girls aged from 6-12 and no rugby experience is necessary.

Bookings must be made in advance and can be done so on from next week. 

AIL2B: Sligo Stun the ‘Stones

Delighted supporters after a win by the narrowest of margins

Greystones RFC 19

Sligo RFC 20

Sligo produced the best performance of their Energia AIL 2B campaign to date to seal victory by the narrowest of margins over a previously unbeaten table topping Greystones outfit at Dr Hickey Park on Saturday. 

Sligo used every ounce of energy, pride and bravery to overcome a strong home outfit and take the points in a match that will live long in the memories of the travelling Sligo faithful.

Playing into the slight breeze Sligo started the match in impressive fashion. The kick off contest resulted in Sligo possession and the visitors set up camp in the Greystones 22. 

The opening score arrived with 8 minutes on the clock. A left to right move across the 22 culminated in a deft Euan Brown grubber kick behind the cover defence and Calum Goddard won the race to touchdown in the right corner.

The home side responded and a midfield break gave a foothold in the Sligo 22. Sligo looked to have snuffed out the immediate danger but the referee determined that the defensive effort was illegal, and despite it being the first penalty conceded by the visitors, Mark Butler was shown the yellow card and Sligo were down to 14. 

Greystones made the most of the numerical advantage and a series of attacks on the Sligo line eventually resulted in full back Mark Meyler racing in on the the left. Outhalf Killian Marmion gave the home side the lead with the extras.

The Wicklow men extended the lead to 12-5 before the interval with a sniping score from scrum half Alex Ryan following a sustained period of pressure.

Following the resumption Sligo upped the ante and took the fight to their hosts. Benroi Sala, Shane O’Hehir and Tom Gormely were powerful at the scrum and in the loose with Gormely in particular tackling everything that moved. Ciaran Cassidy and Rob Holian were bringing physicality to every collision and the back row of Sean Wynne, Shane Boyle and Matt Davey we’re putting in a tremendous shift. 

10 minutes into the half Sligo’s pressure began to tell and Greystones’ influential Outhalf, Marmion, was sent to the bin following a series of indiscretions. It was Sligo’s time to turn the screw and within 2 minutes the Sligo pack were driving over the line with Gormely on hand to touch down. Brown converted and the sides were level.

Sligo were now in the ascendancy and worked hard to retake the lead. Brown and Butler were pinning Greystones back with some fine tactical kicking. Brendan Cunningham was providing fast ball from the base and Ryan Feehily was as always a bundle of energy. The back three of Goddard, Philip Carter and Enda Gavin we’re linking well and counter attacking with purpose. Replacements Brian West, Jason East, Diarmuid O’Dowd Hill and Matthew Earley all added to the cause when introduced.

The lead was restored when the Sligo industry was rewarded on the hour mark with a third try. Ciaran Cassidy was on hand to touch down as the forwards again drove over the line to move the score to 12-17.

Further pressure earned Sligo a penalty on the 10 meter line and Brown bisected the uprights to push the total to 20. 

The home team showed their pedigree by fighting back to within a point with a converted try on the 75th minute setting up a grandstand finish. 

As time ticked down, Greystones threw everything at the visitors, but Sligo held their discipline and the defensive line remained intact. Marmion attempted a drop goal with the final kick but Feehily’s line speed proved too much of a distraction and the ball drifted wide. The long whistle sounded and Sligo were celebrating. 

Next Saturday Sligo’s attention turns to the Connacht Senior Cup when they lock horns with Galwegians. The semi-final kicks off at Crowley Park at 2pm. 

Sligo: Enda Gavin, Calum Goddard, Mark Butler, Ryan Feehily, Philip Carter, Euan Brown, Brendan Cunningham, Benroi Sala, Shane O’Hehir, Tom Gormely, Ciaran Cassidy, Rob Holian, Shane Boyle, Sean Wynne, Matthew Davey, Reps: Matthew Early, Jason East, Brian West, Diarmuid O’Dowd Hill, Daire Byrne.

AIL 2B Sligo fall to powerful Corinthians

Sligo RFC 17

Corinthians RFC 28

Sligo fail to subdue powerful Corinthians 
Sligo’s fifth outing in their Energia AIL 2B campaign ended in disappointment with a home defeat to a powerful and physical Corinthians outfit at Strandhill on Saturday. A purple patch from the visitors which yielded 3 trys in the third quarter proved insurmountable for Sligo who unfortunately saved their best rugby until the game was beyond reach.Despite the overnight heavy rain, Hamilton Park was in good condition when the teams took to the field.  Corinthians kicked off, playing with the stiff breeze towards the Knocknarea end. Brave Sligo defence, with Enda Gavin, Tom Gormely and Sean Wynne particularly prominent saw off the early onslaught from the giant visiting pack. Despite the advantage of the stiff breeze, good game management meant the visitors scores were limited to two long range penalties putting the half time score at six points to nil in favour of the visitors.Sligo turned into the second half with the wind in their favour and full of confidence but it was the tribesmen who took the initiative. A well timed offload offload in midfield opened up the home defence and suddenly Sligo’s job became a lot more difficult.The locals reacted and immediately tried to close the gap but inaccuracy resulted in the visitors capitalising with another converted try and the deficit was up to 23 and in the shadow of Knocknarea, Sligo had their own mountain to climb. To their credit, Sligo continued to work to make their way back into the game. Ryan Feehily was a threat as always, Ciaran Cassidy brought his usual physicality and Brian West continued to enhance his growing reputation in the back row.The home teams resilience was rewarded when substituted Matt Davey breached the line with 70 minutes on the clock.Sligo Speedster Calum Goddard raced in to follow up with his teams second and the losing bonus point looked possible but from the kickoff Corinthians pounced on Sligo indecisiveness to earn the four try bonus point and put the final nail in the Sligo coffin.But Sligo were not finished and Goddard again showed his class with a superb kick and chase to touch down to pick up his brace and Sligo’s third. Unfortunately it was too late for a Sligo comeback but Coaches Paddy Pearson and Jason East will be happy that that their charges fought to the end and were unfortunate not to earn at least a losing bonus point for their efforts.Next for Sligo is a trip to Leinster to take on Greystones RFC. The hosts are currently sitting on top of AIL2B but Sligo will be travelling in the knowledge that their ‘A’ game can trouble anyone in division 2B. The match kicks off at Dr Hickey Park at 2.30 next Saturday.Sligo: Mark Butler, Calum Goddard, Enda Gavin, Daire Byrne, Philip Carter, Euan Brown, Ryan Feehily, Benroi Sala, Shane O’Hehir, Tom Gormely, Ciaran Cassidy, Shane Boyle, Brian West, Sean Wynne, Ross Hickey. reps. Matthew Earley, Ross O’Boyle, Matthew Davey, Craig Trimble, Brendan Cunningham.


Connacht Rugby Player Ambassadors

Sligo Rugby are delighted to announce that our Connacht Player Ambassadors for the 2019/20 season will be Caolin Blade (scrum half) & Paul Boyle (back row)

This programme involves each club in Connacht being paired with two Pro or Academy players who will act as their ambassadors for the remainder of the campaign. Over the coming months these players will be made available to the clubs for a number of visits, with the club deciding how best to utilise their skills and expertise for those visits.

This is the third year of the Player Ambassador Programme and its aim is to build on the already strong relationships that exist between the playing squad and grassroots rugby in the province. During the pre-season the squad held a club visit to Connemara RFC with further club visits planned for later in the season.

Women in Rugby Initiative

Connacht Rugby are putting a strategy in place to increase the number of women involved in coaching, provide opportunities to upskill with like-minded women, and support women with ambitions to progress their coaching careers.

Whether you are an active member of a club, a college student, a teacher, former player or even a parent, we want to help you explore every possible avenue.

Just fill in the form in the link so you can be contacted with information on coaching courses, workshops, and additional coaching opportunities.