A large group of Sligo u/8 made the journey to Longford for a blitz on Saturday. As the matches were 8 aside, this necessitated mulitple substitutions and posed difficulties for coaches in ensuring continuity and yet avoiding substitutes getting cold on the sidelines on a wintery day in the midlands.
In the first game against hosts Longford, Sligo ran into an impressive early lead and were 5 tries to nil up at one stage. On an increasingly heavy pitch Sligo conceded some early second half tries before running out 10 – 3 winners.
In deteriorating conditions Sligo faced a physically strong, tough-tackling Cavan side. In spite of remaining competitive throughout Sligo could never match the effectiveness of the Ulster team. Sligo also lost key players to injury making their task more difficult. The match eventually ended up in a 6 – 2 defeat, Sligo having been 4 – 1 down at half time.
Sligo’s final match was against Mullingar, as the drizzle began in earnest. Sligo were far superior to their Leinster opposition and ran out comfortable winners 6 -2. But for some missed tackles on a very heavy muddy pitch, Sligo could easily have kept their line intact as they were both physically bigger than their opponents and able to attack in wave after wave.
The Sligo squad included Owen Faragher, Mark Harte, Callum McGrath, Niall Gray, Graham Kerr, Tom O’Hara, Ruadhan Feeney, Niall Quinn, Ross Hickey, Cormac Murray, Tony O’Kelly-Lynch, Luke McDermott, Bobby O’Hara, Thomas O’Hehir, Luke Weaver, Freddie Stewart, David Boles, Jamie Murray, Jonathan East & Simon Gillespie.
Photos from the blitz can be found here.