Sligo 19 :: Corinthians 5
Sligo U16 got their league hopes back on track after a hard earned win over Corinthians in Galway on Sunday last. On a day perfect for open rugby both teams served up a cracking display. This was the strongest panel Sligo had available all season with only three players unavailable, Sean Conlon, Gerard Keaney, Cathal Finneran.
From the kick off Corinthians were first to exert pressure after a dropped pass was booted towards the Sligo try line but full back Pat Hughes(who was solid throughout the game) scrambled back well to save a certain try.
Sligo then began to settle with Caolan Oâ€™ Hehir dominating the line outs at number 2 and driving Sligo forward , with the Sligo pack getting on top the game began to open up. Good bursts by Aaron Spring and Keith McGolderick stretched the Corinthians defence, from one of a number of McGoldericks line breaks he fed winger Robbie Keegan who showed a clean pair of heels to the Corinthians cover only to be hauled back when the pass was adjudged forward.
Sligo continued to dominate with the Sligo flankers Mark Nairn and David Heath excellent at the breakdown and constantly turning over possession. With 20 minutes gone from one such ruck Sligo made a great 50 yard break when No 8 Spring found winger Enda Cawley in good support and when he was tackled on the 22 quick hands by the Sligo back line fed the ball to centre and captain Chris Nairn who side steeped his way through the defence to score under the posts. Out-half Peter Laffey added the points.
From the resultant kick off Enda Mc Manuas gathered the ball and the Geevagh man made great ground before passing to Peter Laffey who drew the cover before releasing Chris Nairn on a great run but with only one player left to beat and a certain score on, the Sligo support over ran Nairns off load and a great chance was lost just on half time.
Corinthians started the second half brightly and were much more direct in their running with both their No 8 and out-half finding holes in the Sligo defence and after Sligo were penalised for not retreating 10 metres for a penalty the Corinthians No 8 burst through in the corner for a well deserved try but they were unable to add the points.
The match was very competitive at this stage with props Blyth Mc Cormack and David French getting through trojan work in the loose and in the tight. Tomas Mc Munn at hooker through a perfect long throw to Heath at the back of the Sligo lineout and Sligo made good ground in the 22 from the ruck scrum half Donal Brady broke on the blind side and fed Chris Nairn to squeeze over in the corner, on another occasion it might of gone up stairs to the TMO but Tony Heath (touch judge) was well placed to assist the referee in awarding the try! Peter Laffeyâ€™s well struck conversion was narrowly wide leaving the score 12 points to 5 in Sligo favour.
Corinthians lifted their game after this and threw everything at Sligo but Sligo stood firm and replacements Donal Rooney at hooker, Guilio Schinaia and Cian Mc Fadden at props all played their part in keeping the Galway boys at bay, until finally their pacey full back broke the cover with only Pat Hughes between him and the line but the full back brought off a great tackle and Donal Brady found a safe touch near the half way, Sligo won the line out through Mc Manuas and when the ball was fed out the irrepressible Aaron Spring popped up in the centre to run 40 yards for a great try under the posts , Chris Nairn added the points for the final act of the game. Sligo also had 3 unused replacements Adam Donnellan, Conor John Mc Carrick and Michael Farrell.