NUIG 17 – Sligo RFC 40
Sligo’s U13s were back in Cup action again last Sunday and had a long trip to Dangan to take on NUIG with a place in the cup semi-final at stake. Sligo got off to probably the worst imaginable leaking 2 quick tries and found themselves 12 nil behind with only 8 mins gone in the game.
The conditions for rugby couldn’t have been better. Sligo played with a slight breeze in their back and settled into the game when they realised that they looked threatening when they kept the ball in hand and the tempo up. Sligo scored their 1st try following excellent ground work by the pack with a super jinking break from Sligo’s 2nd centre Oisín Conlon to the relief of the squad and travelling supporters. Sligo No.10 Oisín O’Neill added the extra 2 with the conversion. Tackling and commitment from both sides was excellent. Territory was key and Sligo finished the half in the NUIG 22 and were rewarded by an excellent score by Conor Creaven on the left wing when he took a pass from O’Neill, rounded the last defender and ran towards to the posts to improve the angle of the conversion which was duly converted again by Oisín O’Neill. This left the half time score at 14-12 to Sligo.
NUIG opened the 2nd half with their 3rd try giving them a 3 point lead early in the half. At this stage NUIG were enjoying a lot of possession and were on the attack again when Robert O’Kelly Lynch put in the tackle of the game stopping another NUIG attack into Sligo’s half He was ably supported by Ronan O’Hehir who gathered the ball and ran clear of 3 chasing defenders scoring Sligo’s 3rd try of the game under the posts. O’Neill added the 2 with the conversion and Sligo were ahead again 21-17. At this stage in the game Sligo’s fitness showed true with a great team score with forwards and back all involved before Sligo’s out half got the ball after many phases, saw a gap and went over for Sligo’s 4th of the game. O’Neill converted his own try and Sligo had opened an 11 point gap. NUIG discipline began to let them down and Sligo were pressing hard to finish their opponents. Sligo 5th try came Robert O’Kelly Lynch who stayed wide for a pre rehearsed cross field kick by O’Neill. Sligo’s forwards had picked and drove tying in many of NUIG team and when their back line was caught narrow, O’Neill let fly a well-executed kick for O’Kelly Lynch to chase down and score. O’Neill converted and Sligo were ahead 35-17. Sligo’s final try of the game came from 2nd row forward Ross Clifford who ran a super supporting line off left winger Alex Harte. Harte came on to replace Conor Creaven moments earlier. Full time in Galway 40-17 and Sligo’s U13 squad have a semi-final match to look forward to on weekend of 7th/8th April. This again was a magnificent squad performance from everyone involved with the team.