This Saturday, 14th April at 2.30pm, the final league game of the season goes down to the wire, with the top two teams, both on 51 points after 17 games, scheduled to play each other, to decide who gets the one automatic qualifying spot to get into Division 2B of the Ulster Bank All-Ireland League.
This fixture is like something out of a Hollywood movie, complete with all the bad clichés and catchphrases. It really is a case of winner takes all. Sligo have home advantage and are hoping for a huge turnout from their supporters. Free entry for all under 18s, adults €5.
In the wake of the highly successful Strictly Sligo Rugby fundraiser, anyone who shows a Strictly Sligo Rugby programme will also get free admission.
The final pre-match lunch of the season is at 1p.m. at a cost of €20p.p., which includes complimentary wine and entry to the match. Places are limited, so contact John on 087 6212414 to book your place. There will be a cheese reception post-match, complete with prosecco bar, followed by live music with Dean Mahon.
This promises to be the clash of the titans and one match you do not want to miss.
Malahide RFC 32 – Sligo RFC 34
Sligo moved back to the top of the Ulster Bank League division 2c going into the final game with a, five trys to four, two point margin victory over a powerful Malahide outfit in an enthralling encounter on Saturday. Sligo came out on top in an incredible game in which the lead changed hands seven times and will long be remembered in the minds of the large travelling Sligo support.
With the Malahide home ground at Estuary road declared unplayable, the match was moved to the excellent all weather surface at Belvedere College which was ideally suited for fast running rugby and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
Malahide, with former Ireland International Mike Ross in the front row and ex Guinness pro 12 winner Danny Poolman lining out in the centre, kicked off into the Sligo pack. Sligo gathered and immediately took the fight to their hosts. The early exchanges were intense with both sides testing their defensive opposites before Sligo made the initial breakthrough on the 7th minute.
Sligo RFC 31 – Bruff RFC 10
Sligo put themselves firmly back into contention for a shot at the Ulster Bank League Division 2C title with a comprehensive 4 try bonus point win over a sturdy Bruff outfit at Strandhill on Saturday.
With two rounds of games remaining Sligo are sitting in second position one point behind leaders Thomond RFC and joint with third placed Malahide RFC. The sting in the tail being that Sligo’s two final league games commence with an away visit to Malahide followed by a potential mouth watering season deciding finale at home to Thomond. The ball is in Sligo’s court and two wins over their nearest rivals will see the long coveted Division 2c title residing in Hamilton park for the next 12 months. Continue reading
Omagh Academicals RFC 22 – Sligo RFC 14
Sligo’s poor form on the road continued when they they lost out to Omagh Academicals with an error strewn performance at the Thomas Mellon playing fields on Saturday. As a result Sligo have now dropped to 3rd place in the Ulster Bank League division 2C 5 points behind leaders Malahide with 3 games remaining.
With an early start time of 12 noon Sligo kicked off into the teeth of the strong wind. The early exchanges looked promising with Sligo having the edge at the scrum and putting pressure on the Omagh throw at the lineout but it was the hosts that opened the scoring with a penalty after 17 minutes.
Sligo looked to immediately respond but a loose pass was intercepted by the on-rushing Omagh defence resulting in the concession of a try under the posts.
Sligo’s woes were further compounded 5 minutes later when Omagh picked up their second try of the afternoon with a flowing move down the left. Continue reading
Sligo RFC 45 – Bective RFC 0
Sligo put their recent 3 match losing streak blip behind them in emphatic fashion as they put visiting Bective RFC to the sword with a comprehensive victory at Hamilton Park on Saturday.
Sligo scored seven try’s without reply securing the all important bonus point which moves the north westerners back into second place in the division 2c table, one point behind leaders Thomond RFC with four games left to play.
On a sunny Strandhill spring afternoon with little or no breeze Sligo kicked off playing towards the airport end. Visitors Bective signalled their intent early, immediately bringing their pacey back line into play but Sligo’s defence stood strong and the early threat was negated with strong defence from centres Mata Fifita and Mark Butler. Continue reading
Sligo RFC 10 – Seapoint RFC 13
Sligo relinquished the premier position in the Ulster Bank League 2c with a disappointing loss to visiting Seapoint at Strandhill on Saturday. With only a losing bonus point gained Sligo dropped to second in the league one point behind new leaders Thomond RFC.
Despite the recent heavy rain the Hamilton Park surface was in excellent condition as the teams took to the field with Sligo playing towards the mountain end in the first half.
The home team started brightly and raced into a seven point lead after only 3 minutes. Mark Butler put Sligo in position with a penalty into the left corner. James Wilson claimed the lineout and the pack drove for the line. Seapoint could not contain the well organised maul and hooker Shane O’Hehir was on hand to touch down for the opening score. Jack Keegan added the extras with a well struck effort from out wide on the left. Continue reading
Tullamore RFC 32 – Sligo RFC 17
Following their Bateman Cup heroics last weekend Sligo were brought back down to earth with a bang by a hungry Tullamore outfit in the refixed Ulster Bank League fixture at Spollanstown on Saturday. The midlanders outscored Sligo by 6 try’s to 2 to claim the bonus point victory and send Sligo home empty handed.
With underfoot conditions proving challenging but little or no breeze evident, Sligo kicked off playing towards the clubhouse end. Tullamore had the better of the early exchanges but a missed Karl Dunne penalty after 5 minutes meant no reward was earned for the early dominance.
Tullamore stuck to their task and with 15 minutes gone picked up the opening score following some good continuity play from a scrum on the Sligo 10 metre line. Dunne was wide with the conversion.
Sligo were stirred into a response and hit back within 5 minutes. A penalty awarded on the halfway line was expertly dispatched to the corner by outhalf Mark Butler. Shane O’Hehir found Matthew Cosgrove in the lineout and the pack drove over the line with captain Shane Boyle on hand to touch down. Jack Keegan added a well struck conversion to put Sligo into the lead.
The lead was short lived however and Tullamore hit back with their second try following a turnover from a Sligo scrum.
Sligo again tried to respond but an error in a Sligo attack saw the ball spill loose and Tullamore centre Brian Geraghty reacted quickest , hacked the Boyle forward and won the race to the touch down. Dunne’s conversion set the halftime score to 17-7 in favour of the hosts.
Unfortunately for Sligo the pattern continued after the interval with the locals capitalising on a Sligo error to pick up the bonus point try.
Sligo gamely tried to respond but Tullamore were managing the greasy conditions more efficiently and picked off two more tries from Sligo errors before Sligo’s Mark Rooney grabbed a consolation score for his side at the death.
Sligo will look to put this blip behind them and get back to winning ways as they host Seapoint RFC next Saturday. The match kicks off at 2.30 at Hamilton Park.
Sligo : Jack Keegan, Calum Goddard, Mark Rooney, Mike Wells, Philip Carter, Mark Butler, Garry O’Hehir, Mark Keegan, Shane O’Hehir, Conor Mitchell, James Wilson, Ciaran Cassidy, Shane Boyle (Capt), Manu Parkin, Matthew Cosgrove. Reps Shane Mc Guinness, Ross O’Boyle, David Heath, Niall Gray, Sean Mullen.
Bangor RFC 20 – Sligo RFC 20
Sligo picked up two more vital Ulster Bank League points with a hard earned draw against a physical Bangor outfit at a snow covered Upritchard Park in Bangor on Saturday. Sligo now top the Division 2c table by a margin of 3 points over second placed Thomond RFC as the teams go into the Christmas break. Continue reading