Longford 0 :: Sligo 1st XV 19
Sligo’s 1st team travelled to Longford on Sunday last and played the home club in a friendly fixture, after their scheduled tie with OLBC was called off by the Connacht Branch during the week.
Played in excellent conditions, on a balmy day, the game was keenly contested, but Sligo always had the edge on their opponents, after an uncertain opening 15 minutes. Sligo scored three tries without reply, and their management will be reasonably happy with their performance. Their opening try after 16 minutes was a well crafted effort. Good off-loading by Simon Coulter, Ronan Gillespie and Jamie Livingstone, presented out-half, Gavin Foley with the ball, and he fed Julian Rippon with a beautiful scissors pass. The winger broke a despairing last ditch tackle, to touch down under the posts, and also landed the conversion.
Sligo’s second try, scored by open side, Joe Sweeney was also a spectacular score. Full back, Roger Burrows fielded a ball in his own ’22’ and immediately passed to winger, Thomas Darcel. The young Frenchman bamboozled the entire Longford defence with a mazey run, and he then released the supporting Sweeney 30 metres out, and the Kevinsfort man swatted the opposition aside to touch down. Rippon was off target with the conversion.
Despite dominating territorially, Sligo failed to add to their tally. However, with 15 minutes remaining they increased their lead. When Sligo were awarded a penalty on the Longford ’22’, and in front of the posts, scrum-half, Billy Leahy outfoxed the defence by tapping and touching down under the posts, before the rather sheepish home defenders had realised what happened. Kakaber Machitidze, who had entered the fray, landed the conversion to close the scoring.
Overall, an encouraging display from Sligo Captain, Jamie Livingstone led from the front,with Peter Mullan and Ronan Gillespie also having big games in the pack. Behind the scrum, Gavin Foley had a good outing at No. 10, while both wingers, Rippon and Darcel will be pleased with their displays.
Sligo: Roger Burrows, Julian Rippon, Stuart Dorran, Cathal Culhane, Thomas Darcel, Gavin Foley, Billy Leahy, Ronan Gillespie, Gary Conneally, Adrian McHale, Peter Mullan, Andrew Williams, Simon Coulter, Jamie Livingstone [c.], Joe Sweeney. Subs: [all used] Joe Kelly, Stephen Woods, Kakaber Machiditze, Robert Ongiriski.