Sligo U14s progress to the semi-finals of the Connacht Cup after a hard fought win over Ballinasloe on a blustery afternoon at Hamilton Park.
Sligo scored first after 8 minutes as Alastair Hill barged across the line despite good Ballinasloe tackling. Shortly afterwards Ballinasloe followed with a converted try. The visitors added a penalty score to make it 10-5 at half-time.
A resurgent Sligo hit back in the second half with a magnificent intercept try by centre Hugo Filan who touched down behind the posts. David Keyes slotted over the conversion. A penalty kick by David from a very tight angle brought the score to 15 – 10 but with 10 minutes to go Sligo were not out of danger.
With Sligo looking to extend their lead they came close to breaching the strong Ballinasloe defences. In the last 5 minutes the action moved dramatically to the Sligo 5 metre line. The Sligo defences scrambling to repel the attack. Sligo won three scrums on their 5 metre line, one against the head. The tension only ending with the ball being kicked out two minutes after the clock went red.
This was a disciplined and intent Sligo team. Strong tackling by Ben Cawley, Jack Dennison and Sergey Donoghue helped Sligo relieve pressure on a number of occasions. The forward pack operated as a tight unit with notable contributions in particular from front rowers Teddy Kilgallen and replacement prop Ross Clark.
Matthew Ryan in the second row and James McDermott in the back row were very much in evidence around the field with big contributions.
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’s U13’s enjoyed a win in their 1st competitive cup game against local rivals Ballina in a sunny Hamilton Park last Sunday.
Sligo opted to play against a whirling wind in the 1st half and put their bodies on the line for their jerseys. Ballina ran at the Sligo youngsters at every opportunity but were unable to break through the walled defence that they have worked on all season. Their tackling and sheer determination not to let their foe through was a joy to behold. Sligo played most of the 1st period in the Ballina half of the field and came close to scoring on a couple of occasions. Alas there was no score from either side to leave the game in the balance at 0-0 at half time.
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.
Sligo U14s began their Connacht Cup campaign with a comprehensive 66-5 win over NUIG on a bright, sunny day in Dangan last Saturday. Despite a number of absences as a result of sickness and injury the Sligo side ran in a total of 12 tries against their rivals. Top try scorer was Jack Dennison with three tries; tries also for Alastair Hill, Eoghan Lang, Hugo Filan and Ben Graham.
Spirited performances from the forwards pack with notable contributions from Andrew Barlow, Sam White, Matthew Ryan and Teddy Kilgallen. Sean McLoughlin at outhalf had another great outing including a contribution to the try fest.
Second half saw the introduction of a strong subs bench including a front row comprising Eoin Mulkeen, Malachy Costigan and Oisin Lawley and Daniel Casey at scrum half.
Next stage in the campaign is an at home clash with Ballinasloe on March 3rd’. The determination of this squad was evident at training the following day as they acknowledged the work required in their tackling and at the breakdown.
On Saturday last the Sligo U16s travelled to Ballinrobe in the first round of the Connacht Cup.
On a glorious day for rugby, Sligo started the strongest scoring penalty after 4 mins, the away side continued to mount the pressure on this young Ballinrobe side, scoring 29 points in the first half.
Sligo U-16 Max King, Man of the Match against Ballinrobe