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CSL: Back to winning ways

Sligo RFC 31 – Galwegians RFC 13

Sligo kickstarted their 2018-19 season with an excellently crafted victory over a lively Galwegians outfit in their second Connacht Senior League fixture played at Strandhill on Saturday.

Sligo scored 5 trys to a solitary Wegians effort as they collected a welcome bonus point to bolster their senior league challenge.

With conditions perfect for running rugby the match kicked off with Sligo playing towards the airport end. It was the visitors who started brightly owning the lions share of possession and putting the Sligo defence under heavy pressure. Sligo’s tackling was strong with front row forwrds Conor Mitchell, Craig Adams and Tom Gormely putting in a notable defensive effort. Continue reading

2B or not 2B – Winner Takes All

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.

UBL: All to play for with two games to go

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

Development Team in Semi-final Thriller

Sligo RFC 11 – Creggs 9

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,

U16s Put on Fine Display to Secure Semi-Final Spot

Sligo RFC 35 – Claremorris 5

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

U14s Connacht Cup Quarter Final

Sligo RFC 15 – Ballinasloe 10 

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.  

Cup Success for U13s

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.

James Horan in full flight


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