Sligo 46 :: Creggs 3
Despite a fairly evenly contested opening half, after which Sligo led by 15-3, although playing against the wind, Creggs’ challenge disintegrated in the second period, as Sligo went on a scoring spree in this ‘warm-up’ Connacht league game at Hamilton Park on Sunday last. Sligo added five tries without reply in that second period, and Creggs were probably saved from an even more punishing score-line by the fact that referee, Alan Rowe [Ballina] blew the long whistle after only 33 minutes play in the second half.
It was quite an impressive Sligo performance, which saw them run in eight tries, while they kept their own line intact. The Sligo pack was always in control, while the backs had too much guile and technique for their opponents. Ironically, Creggs made the early running and some unforced Sligo errors gave the Co. Roscommon side a foothold in Sligo territory. The visitors took the lead in the 11th minute, when out-half, Ger Heneghan landed a penalty. Heneghan, a star forward in the Connacht championship with the Roscommon senior football team, showed impressive proficiency with the boot, but he was given a lesson in practically all other facets of out-half play by Sligo’s stand-in No. 10, Gavin Foley.
This game marked the debut on the Sligo team for winger, Thomas Darcel. The young Frenchman, who earlier this year won a French U-18 Cup medal with the famed Colomiers club, made a very big impression on the home supporters, and capped an excellent all-round display by scoring two smashing tries. His acceleration and clever running lines certainly baffled the opposition.
Half-backs, Billy Leahy and Foley controlled matters behind the scrum, and all the backs demonstrated enterprise, with winger, Philip Henry showing he is rapidly regaining the flair which made him such a fine schools’ player. In the pack, Jamie Livingstone, Peter Mullan, Adrian McHale, Andrew Williams and Joe Sweeney were all on top of their games as they stormed all over the Creggs forwards.
Sligo emptied their bench in the second half, with Lloyd Wilkinson, Simon Coulter, Stuart O’Brien, Warner Wilder, Ross O’Boyle, David Kilcoyne and Ciaran Stafford entering the fray, and all fitted seamlessly into the team, with both Coulter and Wilder crossing for tries. Certainly, competition for starting places will be very keen this season.
The winners scorers were Thomas Darcel 2 tries. Gavin Foley 1 try and 3 conversions, Joe Sweeney, Cathal Culhane, Simon Coulter, Philip Henry and Warner Wilder one try each.
Sligo: Julian Rippon, Thomas Darcel, Andrew Feeney, Cathal Culhane, Philip Henry, Gavin Foley, Billy Leahy, Martin Feeney, Gary Conneally, Adrian McHale, Peter Mullan, Andrew Williams, Trevor Sweeney, Jamie Livingstone [c.], Joe.Sweeney. Subs: Ronan Gillespie, David Kilcoyne, Lloyd Wilkinson, Ross O’Boyle, Simon Coulter, Stuart O’Brien, Ciaran Stafford, Warner Wilder.