Sligo RFC 85 :: Westport RFC 0
Sligo’s quest for Connacht junior league glory took another huge step forward when they decimated the challenge of Westport RFC, traditionally a junior league title contender, with an exhibition of complete dominance at Strandhill on Saturday. The visitors had no answer for Sligo’s all action game as the hosts ran in 13 trys without reply.
The home team dominated from the kick off and registered their first score after 2 minutes when following a set scrum on the Westport 5 metre line, scrum half Paddy Pearson ran a well rehearsed line which culminated in powerful centre Matele Fifita crashing through to open his teams account. Outhalf Mark Butler slotted the conversion to give Sligo the perfect start.
Sligo continued to dominate and added to their tally 3 minutes later when a fine carry by Irish U20 panellist Aaron spring was carried on by carried on by his pack. The momentum generated by the forwards was transferred to the backs allowing Butler the chance to dart through the gap and double his teams try tally. The outhalf’s conversion attempt came back of the upright.
Eight minutes in and Sligo’s confidence was beginning to grow. An off the top ball from a lineout in the Westport half was transferred to Pearson and the scrum half drew the cover before linking up with centre Jordan Farrington who used his searing pace to beat the defence and touchdown close to the touchline. Butler expertly added the extras.
Sligo secured the bonus point on 12 minutes. A well secured James Wilson lineout was moved midfield. Fifita drove at the heart of the defence before linking with Jamie Bowes, the flanker burst forward allowing Butler to slip through the gap and touch down for a try which he converted himself.
Sligo were now in full flow and an attacking five yard scrum was expertly controlled by the pack allowing Pearson the opportunity to dart for the line to add to his teams total. Butler again converted to put the score at 33-0 in Sligo’s favour.
Westport then responded but strong Sligo tackling was the order of the day and following a loose clearance kick from the visitor’s, winger Billy Leahy released full back David Gerrity who rounded the cover to touch down in the corner. An excellent kick saw Butler add the extras.
Westport again gamely tried to get on the scoreboard but on the stroke of half time Sligo struck again. A Westport attack was turned over in the Sligo 22, the ball was quickly moved to Culhane and clever kick ensured that Farrington collected, sprint away and touched down for his second of the day. Butler again converted to give a half time score of 47-0.
The second half began with the visitors on the attack and good continuity pay saw them gain a penalty 5 metres from the Sligo line. The resulting play was turned over by strong defence and a quick ball was transferred to the electric Farrington who raced the pitch length to touch down under the posts. Butler again added the extras.
Try number nine came when Sligo overturned a Westport Scrum , quick hands saw the ball moved to Leahy who stepped his way through the defence for a well taken score. Butler’s conversion put the score at 61-0 in Sligo’s favour.
Sligo continued to press and further increased their tally when possession from a scrum ten metres from the visitors line was driven forward by the excellent Mullan. The no.8 linked with replacement scrum half Frankie Feeney who powered his way over the line for Sligo’s 10th.
From the restart Paddy Conlon collected and the strong no.6 drove straight through the heart of the visitors defence. The ball was moved wide to Spring who raced forward before being hauled down short of the line. The supporting Culhane was first to the breakdown and made no mistake in adding to his teams total.
Westport restarted and Sligo responded with the score of the game. Man of the match Butler collected and put in an exquisite chip which was collected by Farrington. The centre again showed his talent and sprinted clear for his 4th try. Butler again converted.
Sligo were not finished and continued to attack. Aaron Springs industry was finally rewarded when a well timed David Gerrity pass allowed the youngster to break clear of the defence and add to his teams total. Butlers reliable boot put the final score at 85-0 in favour of Sligo.
Next Saturday sees Sligo travel to Tullamore for the first round of the All Ireland Junior Cup and Coach Simon Gavan will be hoping that his charges will continue in this rich vein of form . Kick off in Tullamore is at 2.30 and a supporters bus is available. For details contact 086 8198540 before Wednesday.
Sligo David Geritty,Billy Leahy,Jordan Farrington,Matele Fifita,Cathal Culhane,Mark Butler,Paddy Pearson, Aaron Spring,Gary Conneely,Adrian Mc Hale,James Wilson,Trevor Sweeney,Jamie Bowes,Paddy Conlon, Peter Mullan. Subs Ross Mannion, Martin Feeney, Wesley Maxwell, Frankie Feeney, Clive Morris.