Sligo 22 – Claremorris 7
Sligo U14s qualified for the Connacht league final with a comprehensive 15 point victory over the Claremorris Colts last Saturday in Hamilton Park.
Captained by Ambrose Bamber at no.8, the home side quickly put pressure on the visitors, pinning them within their 22. This pressure resulted in hooker Keelin Schoen being driven over the try line for the opening score, which was followed by a well-struck conversion from Oisin O’Neill. Good tactical play by Sligo ensured the game was being played in Claremorris territory and the constant pressure resulted in a 2nd try for the home side, scored by James Horan and the sure boot of Oisin O’ Neill brought the score line to 14-0. Sligo continued to exert their dominance in play and with time running out in the first half, a fine running move released winger Ronan O’ Hehir to touch down in the corner. O’Neill’s conversion was pushed wide by the increasing wind. Claremorris enjoyed a period of possession from the restart, and finally established some foothold in the match, winning several penalties in the Sligo 22. However fierce defence by the home team kept the score at 19 points to Sligo with no reply.
The weather conditions deteriorated at half time and all 30 minutes of the second half were played through strong winds, driving rain and hailstones, turning what was a free-flowing game into a stop-start affair. Sligo stuck doggedly to their task adding a penalty midway through the second half. Claremorris, to their credit, showed a never-say-die attitude scoring in the final minutes to leave the score 22-7 at the final whistle. Joe Walsh’s charges will now play Corinthians R.F.C. in the league final on the weekend of 23/24 February, with the venue yet to be confirmed.
Sligo U14s: Conor Clinton, Keelin Schoen (1 try), James Horan (1 try), Tom Walsh, Arran Platt, Max Hunter, Ambrose Bamber, Malachi Cullen, Jacob Kilcoyne, Oisin O’Neill (2 cons, 1 pen), Conor Crevan, Oisin Conlon, Ronan O’ Hehir (1 try), Oliver O’Riordan, Robert O’Kelly-Lynch, Michael Honeyman, Aran Gilligan, Colm Mc Gonagle, Ross Clifford, Lochlan Jordan, Ben Hayden, Alex Harte, Stefan Roche, Matthew Gallagher.