Sligo U13s had a comprehensive 36 point victory over Claremorris RFC last Saturday in Hamilton Park. This was their first competitive game of the season, as the aim of the U13 league is to encourage players to learn and enjoy the game. It was the visitors who started the stronger, scoring in the opening 5minutes, but the home side were quick to even the scoring. Sligo then settled into the game and proved too strong for Claremorris, running in a further 6 tries. Sligo were the bigger pack and they were well-drilled and disciplined in their defence. They showed great determination and inter-linking play throughout the game.
Sligo will now play the Cup semi-final against either Loughrea or Ballina on March 30th.
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.
A last gasp try by Jasmine Morgan was enough to put the Sligo U16 Girls into the Connacht Cup semi-final and continue their incredible debut year in rugby.
Having beaten Buccaneers in the preliminary round of the Cup, Sligo, the U16 Division 2 league runners-up, knew they were undoubtedly the underdogs in this cup tie, as they were taking on Claremorris RFC U16 Girls who came 3rd in the Division 1 league.
It takes two to stop Sligo’s Bebhinn Harte
Sligo management had made several changes in the back line with the new partnership of Enya Hughes at scrum half and out half Bebhinn Harte combining well with Mia Clinch in first centre. It was the home side who started the stronger, dominating at the break down and set the tone for the cup clash when winger Cliodhna O’Sullivan opened the scoring with a try in the corner. She then slotted home a difficult conversion from the touch line to put Sligo 7 points up.
Claremorris responded within minutes with a score of their own but failed to add the extras. Sligo were impressive with their strong running and support play and it was full back Emma Cox who scored her team’s second try to bring the score to 12-5 at half-time. Claremorris came out all guns blazing in the second half and eventually levelled the scores. Sligo responded again and Cliodhna O’Sullivan ran in her second try of the game. In typical Cup fashion, there was still lots of drama to play out. The pack were dominant in securing rucks and strong, hard running from Jasmine Morgan, Jenny Cregg, Giselle Gallagher, Hannah Walsh-Kerins, Teresa Devaney and Grace Molloy gained valuable ground for the home side. A persistent rain made playing conditions difficult and the greasy surface resulted in handling errors on both sides. The visitors showed their experience and continued to pressure the Sligo defence and were eventually rewarded for their patience, when they dotted down under the posts and converted the try to go 2points ahead with only 5minutes left on the clock. Possession changed hands several times as the clock counted down, but it was the Division 2 team who showed passion and determination to work their way up to the Claremorris 5m line and win a penalty for an infringement in the ruck. The referee called last play of the game and Sligo knew they had one last chance to seal the win. Jasmine Morgan took the ball on and her pack drove her over the try line for a magnificent win.
There’s no getting through the Sligo defence of Teresa Devaney, Jasmine Morgan and Cliodhna O’Sullivan
The Sligo girls read the game well, showing a lot of imagination throughout, changing the plays and their positional kicking proving problematic for Claremorris. There was outstanding play and great heart shown throughout the game. Bebhinn Harte had the back line well organised with Mia Clinch calling the line breaks. The Man of the Match accolade must go to full back Emma Cox for her determined running with the ball, defensive positioning and high tackle rate.
Sligo U16 Girls are the only Division 2 team left in the Cup and their historic semi-final Cup tie is scheduled for 16th February against either Corinthians RFC or Portumna/Loughrea. Sligo U16 Girls: Giselle Gallagher, Jasmine Morgan, Jenny Cregg, Teresa Devaney, Hannah Walsh-Kerins, Grace Molloy, Lara Lopez, Enya Hughes (c), Cliodhna O’ Sullivan, Katelyn Benson, Mia Clinch, Bebhinn Harte, Cria Flanagan, Emma Cox, Clare Keegan, Brid Madden
On Sunday last the Sligo U16s hosted Claremorris in the U16s Connacht Cup quarter-final at Hamilton park. The Sligo Squad were without key players Max King, Dara Cregg and Damien Cullen due to injury but were still able field a very strong 23.
Sligo started the stronger and quickly exposed huge gaps in the Claremorris defense with a superb team try by new player Cian Barden and converted by out half Finn Young. After 5 mins tight head prop Eddie Coyle suffered a knee injury and was replaced by Cillian McMeekin who slotted into the back row with Patrick Dixon moving to prop. Sligo continued to dominate with a excellent try by Rowan Elliot in the corner after he received a loop pass from scrumhalf Cathal Feely, this was followed by another well worked try by Cathal Feely leaving the half time score at 17 – 0.
Sligo started the second half well and quickly secured another try from flanker Cillian McMeekin. Sligo then began to offload their bench with substitutes Jim Davis and Mark McGlynn swapping in a 9 and 10. Claremorris had no answer for Sligo’s pressure with further scores from Jim, Cathal and Rowan Elliot leaving a final score of 36 – 5.
Next up for Sligo is a semi-final against the winners of Galwegians and Greggs scheduled for the weekend of the 24/25 March.
Sligo: Damien Cullen Vega, Callum Wall, Edward Coyle, Michael Broaders, Patrick Dixon, Stephen Doyle, Matthew O’Hara, Robert Reynolds, Jamie Reynolds, Ronan Elliott, Josh Cronin, Cian Barden, Louis Scott, Michael D Cregg, Cathal Feely, Ben Millar, Cillian McMeekin, Finn Young, Jack Carroll, James Davis, Mark McGlynn, Danny Funke, Marc O’Hehir, Patrick Badowski, Mark Erwin, Ronan Gilmartin
With many fixtures having been cancelled over the weekend due to adverse weather conditions, it was left to the girls to represent Sligo RFC in Hamilton Park last Saturday.
The U-13 girls hosted a regional blitz, and despite the bitterly cold conditions, gave a warm welcome to teams from Ballina, Gort and Claremorris. Team managers Michael Cox and Gavin Clinch were happy with the great running play by the Sligo girls, and the dominance they showed in many areas of the field.
Coach Gabriel Gormley praised his team, saying that they improved with each game, their fitness and hard work at training really showed as the tournament progressed.
Girls rugby training, ages 8 to 15, continues every Saturday morning at 10a.m. in Sligo RFC and on Tuesday evenings at 6.30p.m. Anyone interested in joining should contact Gabriel Gormley (087 7636168)