There were mixed fortunes for the U17 teams as they both played away last Sunday. The Division 1 team travelled to the fortress of Monivea and came away with all the spoils, securing a 15-21 victory against the home side to add another 4 points to their league tally and remain in the top four of the U17 Division 1 league. Their next home game is on Sunday 2nd December, when they take on second placed Ballinasloe.
Such are the great numbers in the U17 squad, that they are able to enter a second team in the Connacht U17 boys’ leagues. After their narrow 2 point defeat to league-leaders Westport last weekend, the Sligo U17 Development team travelled to Westport on Sunday, where they were met by a strong home side who won 42-21, to go top of the table. The U17 Development side travel away to Loughrea next Saturday.
The U16 girls travelled to Westport last Saturday for their first game of the new season and were rewarded for their efforts with a comprehensive 39 point win over the home side.
Sligo RFC’s U16 girls, with coaches Gabriel Gormley and Michael Cox
The team have been training on Monday and Thursday nights at 7pm and all their hard work paid off, as they dominated from the first whistle. It was a whole team effort, as six players got their names on the score sheet, with tries coming from Sophie (2), Mia (2), Giselle, Amy, Bebhinn and Aoife slotting home two conversions. The next round of the U16 girls Qualifier Pool 2 will be on Saturday 6th October, when the girls travel to Ballinasloe.
The Senior teams had a break this weekend, so it was the turn of the Juvenile and Youth sections to carry the mantle for Sligo RFC. Over 200 boys and girls took to the 3 pitches in Hamilton Park on a bitterly cold Saturday morning. Up to 9 matches were being played at any one time and the home sides accounted well for themselves against stiff opposition from Castlebar and Westport. Well done to all the players, coaches, managers, caterers, parents and supporters who made the blitz the success that it was.
It was doubtful whether the game would go ahead last Sunday, with weather conditions not being so conducive to rugby, but Sligo made the journey to a picturesque Westport and succeeded in securing their second win over the experienced home side.
Niall Gray was once again wearing his golden boots, slotting home the first two scores of the game. Liam McElhinney added to his side’s tally with a well-worked try, which was duly converted by Gray. The home team failed to put any points on the score board and the half-time score was 13-0.
Another penalty from the accurate boot of Gray brought Sligo to a 16 point lead. However, it was Westport who finished strongly against a tiring Sligo side, scoring two successive unconverted tries, which led to a tense final 12 minutes of the game. Sligo held on for another impressive win in the arctic conditions of a bitterly cold Westport pitch.
The Sligo Development Team made it two wins from two to carry their momentum upon returning to the Connacht J1a League.
This was a hard-fought win in tough blustery conditions in Hamilton Park. The first half was a tight affair with Sligo playing into the wind. Sligo took the lead through the robust Garry O’ Hehir. After a series of forays to the Westport line with strong carries from Craig Adams and David Cawley. The ever opportunist O’Hehir made a pacey snipe from the base of the ruck catching the Westport team off guard and dotting down for 5.
In the second half and with a strong wind behind them the Westport Bulls found themselves with a lot more possession and territory and eventually after a strong break up the guts snagged themselves a converted try. Sligo fought back and with impact from the bench in the form of the Strandhill Velociraptor’s Liam Mc Elhinney and Sean Wynne, we began to take a foothold in the game and after some pressure our talismanic Skipper Mat Davey powered over with a real captain’s effort.
Westport tied the scores up with a penalty from the half way line to leave the scores even at 10 each and with 10 to go. Sligo’s fitness shone through in the last quarter and we seemed to find an extra gear when needed. After some great expansive play in tough conditions the winning try was scored by Brian Mullen, who backed himself to outpace his opposite number and then cut inside the last defender to seal the game for Sligo.