Sligo and Mullingar served up a cracking encounter at Sligo IT last saturday morning. The game was played in three sections of fifteen minutes each to ensure that all players were able to show their skills.
Playing against the slight hill in the first half Mullingar were the quickest out of the blocks and quickly raced into a three tries to nil lead. This setback was quickly dealt with and strong running by Mark Gerrity and Padraig Mitchell saw Sligo quickly claw back a well taken score. Sligo then started to control the exchanges on the ground with Rory Molloy, Conor Mc Daniel and Sean Hurley using their considerable strength to subdue the Mullingar pack. Out half Niall Connolly and centre Dara Kiely attacked the Mullingar midfield with power and pace and by the end of the first period of play the sides were level at three tries each.
After the resumption Sligo continued where they left off with their pack winning fast ball at the rucks and scrum half Stephen Kearins keeping Mullingar on the back foot with his sniping game. Conor McGoldrick and Arthur Wall both put in big performances during this period.
The final period started with Sligo leading six tries to four ahead but this strong Mullingar outfit showed that they were not there just to make up the numbers and despite some great defence by the tough tackliing Evan Mc Grath and strong running Gavin Sweeney and Dara Byrne sneaked ahead nine tries to eight with two minutes to go. Sligo’s powerful bench came to their rescue when the fresh legs of Chris Kane, Evan Barry, Stephen Knowles and Shane Gilligan put Sligo in a position to score the equalising try right on the final whistle.
This was a good performance by this improving Sligo team and with continued hard work and discipline they should be challenging for honours at the business end of the season.