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.