CSL: Sligo Conquer Corinthians
Corinthians RFC 7
Sligo RFC 24
Sligo’s Connacht Senior League campaign continued with a fine bonus point victory over hosts Corinthians at Cloonacauneen on Saturday. The win puts Sligo on top of the league table, joined in points with Buccaneers RFC but with a superior score difference, with just one round of matches remaining.
Playing into the stiff breeze Sligo signalled their intent early with some strong carries from Shane Boyle, Tom Gormely and Matele Fifita but it was the home team that were first to trouble the scoreboard. A loose Sligo pass was intercepted by Corinthian outhalf Mark McDermott who made the most of the gift to touch down out wide on the right. The successful conversion put the tribesmen into a seven point lead.
Sligo were stung into action and began to impose themselves on their hosts. A sweeping left to right move on the half way line opened the door for Euan Brown and a well timed pass released speedster Calum Goddard. The winger pinned his ears back and outpaced the cover to race into the line and dot down under the posts. Brown converted and Sligo were back in the hunt.
The Sligo pack were gaining the upper hand with Corinthians struggling to contain the physicality of Ciaran Cassidy and Rob Holian. Shane O’Hehir was accurate at the lineout and Brian West was a dynamo all over the park.
Just past the half hour Sligo struck again. In typical fashion, on the halfway line, scrum half Ryan Feehily flat footed the home ruck defence before taking of on an incredible run avoiding three would be tacklers before touching down under the posts. Browns conversion came back off the upright.
The visitors were now in full flow and moved further ahead just before the interval. A five metre scrum on the left hand side gave Mark Keegan, O’Hehir and Gormely the chance to chance to disrupt the Corinthian put in. Sligo won the ball and Matt Davey controlled at the base giving Feehily the opportunity to double his tally for the day. Brown added the extras and the ref signalled the interval.
It was much the same followed the resumption with Sligo having the edge in most facets of play. Corinthians looked dangerous out wide but typical Enda Gavin and Philip Carter defensive plays ensured the threat was nullified.
Midway through the half Sligo picked up their all important bonus point. Another dominant scrum allowed Feehily and Outhalf Mark Butler exploit the space to release Goddard for his second of the day in the right hand corner. Browns conversion looked to be heading for the target but unfortunately was caught in the stiff breeze and drifted slightly wide.
Sligo looked to increase the tally before the finish and a well worked break from replacement Niall Gray looked to have released Enda Gavin but the referee blew for a forward pass and the chance was gone.
Sligo will travel to Galway again next Saturday with the chance to make history and lift the Connacht Senior League title for the first time. Sligo lock horns with Galwegians in Crowley Park with a 31 point score difference over Buccaneers. Buccaneers host Ballina in Dubarry Park.
Sligo Euan Brown, Calum Goddard, Enda Gavin, Matele Fifita, Philip Carter, Mark Butler, Ryan Feehily (Co-Captain), Mark Keegan, Shane O’Hehir (Co-Captain), Tom Gormley, Ciaran Cassidy, Shane Boyle, Rob Holian, Brian West, Matt Davey, reps Ross O’Boyle, James O’Hehir, Ross Hickey, Niall Gray, Brendan Cunningham.