Such was the passion shown on the second pitch in Hamilton Park, that you could be forgiven for assuming that it was a cup final between Sligo and Creggs RFC and not a standard league game. For the Sligo Development team, this was a fight for survival in the J1A league, as only a win would suffice. Second placed Creggs RFC, have been in impressive form all season and contest the Connacht Junior Cup final in two weeks’ time. The last time these two sides met, it was the visitors who had an emphatic 32-12 over Sligo, so there was no doubt that the home side had a huge battle on their hands.
From the first whistle, it was apparent that Sligo would be leaving nothing on the pitch. First blood went to the home side, when Sean Mullin punched through the Creggs’ defence at speed and touched down to the right of the posts. The visitors upped the pressure, but the Sligo defence stayed strong and it was Enda Gavin’s penalty that stretched the lead for Sligo, much to the delight of the large home crowd. Just before half time, Creggs went through the phases and worked the ball out wide. A perfectly-timed ankle tap, by full back Donal Brady, seemed to have prevented a certain try, but the offload found its target and the big Creggs second row crossed the line to touch down under the posts and the subsequent conversion brought the score to 8-7.
A nerve-wracking second half saw the home side stretch their lead to a mere 4 points, but they were under pressure to clear their lines and Creggs threatened to end the cup atmosphere on the side line. However, a resolute Sligo defence never cracked and their dominance in both the scrum and lineout allowed them to retain possession, go through the phases and run the clock down. The final whistle was met with joyous scenes both on and off the pitch, as the Sligo Development team avoided the relegation playoffs and finished the season in 5th place.
The next outing for the Development team is in Hamilton Park next Sunday, 10th March, when they take on Ballinrobe in the semi final of the Junior Plate.
The Sligo Junior team travelled to Creggs last Saturday in Round 7 of the Connacht J1A league. They were met by a determined home side, who are now only 5 points off league-leaders Connemara. The sides remained scoreless until the 25th minute, when Creggs crossed the whitewash, but failed to convert their efforts and add the extra 2 points. A second try came only 10 minutes later to bring the score to 12-0 at half-time. Creggs continued with their barrage and the home side added a subsequent 2 tries without reply. A Robbie Ryan intercept try finally got Sligo on the scoreboard, but it was a case of too little, too late, Creggs 24, Sligo 7.
A squad of twenty-five U13 players travelled to Galway last Saturday to play Creggs RFC in their fourth game of the season. A determined Sligo RFC maintained their 100% record with a comprehensive 5-34 win against the home side.
Our U17s were playing their third game away to Corinthians on Sunday and were delighted to secure their second win of the season, winning 22-42.
Sligo RFC’s U7s played Creggs on Saturday morning
Well done to all players, coaches and managers involved.
The U18s had a well-deserved victory last Sunday against a sold outfit from Galwegians. The visitors led by 4points with only minutes to go. Sligo pulled out all the stops to score a converted try to earn their first win of the season.
Minis Blitz at Hamilton Park
Over 200 boys and girls, aged 6-12 took part in a Minis blitz last Saturday. The weather did little to dampen the spirits, as all the teams played on the three different pitches. Congratulations to all the players on a great display of rugby. Thank you to all the parents and coaches involved.
U10s Play at The Sportsground
Sligo RFC U10s travelled to Galway last Saturday to play at halftime in the European Challenge Cup game between Connacht and Bordeaux. The players also formed a guard of honour for the Connacht players as they entered the pitch. Well done to all the coaches and parents involved in organising the trip.
Mixed results for Sligo U14s
Sligo U14s on the attack
Both Sligo U14 teams were playing at home last Saturday. The boys were playing Corinthians and maintained their 100% record, when the visitors decided to concede the game.
Sligo U14 girls
The U14 girls came up against tough opposition in the visiting Creggs side and were unfortunate to lose 6 tries to three.
Boston Tea Party at the Glasshouse.
Guests at the Sligo RFC Boston Tea Party in The Glasshouse
The first fundraiser of the new season took place last Saturday night in The Glasshouse Hotel. Almost 200 people attended the Boston Tea Party, organised by Mary O’Hehir and Martha Cosgrove.
Chef Michael Storey presents the Culinary Award to Emer Bree
The night was a great success, with the much-coveted culinary award going to Emer Bree, representing The Warriors Committee.
Sligo U10s competed in the Aviva blitz hosted by Corinthians on Saturday. Sligo RFC were well-represented with two panels and a total of 28 players. Our teams played Corinthians, Galwegians, Buccaneers, Creggs, Ballina, Ballinasloe, Oughterard & Gort. All games ended in a draw (minis rules!) but both teams acquitted themselves very well and matched anything they came up against. Well done to all the players, coaches & parents involved
Sligo RFC’s development team paved the way for a Connacht Junior Cup final encounter against local rivals Ballina with a hard fought win over Creggs. The home side had a slow start, under pressure for the first 20 minutes, but their defence stood up to the waves of attack from Creggs. Neither side crossed the whitewash in the first half but the trusty boot of Niall Gray gave Sligo a 6-3 lead after 40 minutes.
Charlie Cooper about to grubber kick the ball through
Sean Mullin on the attack
The second half opened with a flurry and Creggs once again stepped up the pressure on the home side and were rewarded with an equalising penalty on the 45minute mark. The sides remained deadlocked until 6minutes before the final whistle. Sligo patiently worked their way up the pitch and Creggs found themselves defending their line through countless phases of possession, until Christian Neilsen finally punched through at the side of a ruck to score the first try of the game. Gray coolly slotted the conversion home, to give the home side a 7point advantage. Creggs opted for the long kick in the restart, and eventually won the ball back, spreading it wide to the wing for a touchdown in the corner. Much to the delight of the home supporters, the difficult conversion failed to add the equalising points and a relieved Sligo side held on for the final two minutes of the game to advance to the final in the Sportsground, Galway on March 25th.
David Heath shows his power in the line-out
Stewart O’Brien is tackled off the ball to deny him a try
Sligo Development Team:
Craig Adams, Ross O’ Boyle, Jamie Bowes, David Cawley, Jake Sexton, Mattie Davey, Christian Neilsen, Ross Hickey, Gary O’Hehir, Niall Gray, Stewart O’ Brien, Gavin Foley, Charlie Cooper, Sean Mullin, Enda Gavin,
Three youth teams were in action on Sunday in the first round of their Connacht Cup and it was a clean sweep for Sligo RFC. Hamilton Park hosted two out of the three games in brilliant sunshine. The U13s kicked off proceedings with an impressive 17-0 win in the local derby against Ballina RFC.
News soon filtered through from Clifden, that the U15s had romped home to a 62 point victory, with no reply from Connemara.
Then it was the turn of the big guns, in the form of the U17s. This was a tough match, with Sligo taking an early lead from the start.
Hubert Gilvarry puts in a big hit
Creggs kept their heads and it wasn’t long before the home side were chasing the visitors’ lead. More tries from both sides ensued, but the home side still found themselves 5 points down with only 5 minutes to go.
A determined defence from Sligo denied Creggs any further scores and indiscipline from the visitors gave possession back to the home side, which they used to the max, scoring the equalising try to the right of the points.
Gilvarry’s conversion sealed the deal for Sligo and they hung on for a well-deserved win.