Sligo RFC 14 :: Corinthians RFC 8
Sligo’s U15s wrestled back the provincial bragging rights when they avenged last weekends one point Connacht cup final defeat by Corinthians after they superbly overcame the Galway outfit in an excellently fought league final encounter at Glenina on Sunday. Sligo scored two converted tries to nullify a Corinthian try and penalty in a game which was in the balance right to the final whistle.
Sligo kicked off into the strong breeze and immediately put pressure on their Galway opponents. Strong driving by the pack with Daire Byrne and Ryan Bright to the fore went unrewarded and it was the Galway outfit who were first to score. A series of rucks in the Sligo half culminated in a sweeping backline move which was rounded off with the concession of an unconverted try.
Sligo regrouped and immediately attacked the tribesmen. Outhalf Stephen Kerins took control and positioned his team in the attacking half. Pressure by the pack was rewarded with a penalty 15 metres from the Corinthian try line. Sligo decided to run the penalty and following a well set up ruck, powerhouse prop Conan O Donnell, burst through the cover and dotted down left of the uprights. Evan Mc Grath struck an excellent conversion to nudge his team ahead at the break.
Corinthians started the second half at a high tempo and their perseverance was rewarded with a well struck penalty 10 minutes into the half to regain a one point advantage.
Sligo were up to the task and their pressure game was starting to tell. Scrum half Ryan Feehily was giving his opposite number a torrid time at the scrums, centres Matthew Cosgrove and Mc Grath were winning the midfield battle and Full Back James Hampson was capably dealing with everthing thrown at him.
With ten minutes remaining on the clock Sligo struck the killer blow. A powerful Byrne drive was halted 7 metres from the Corinthian line before O Donnell picked, burst through the cover and crashed over for his, and his teams, second of the day. Mc Grath again converted to move his side 6 points clear.
Corinthians responded but excellent Sligo defence ensured the scoreline remained in Sligo’s favour when the referee blew the final whistle.
Sligo; James Hampson, Jack Tillion, Evan Mc Grath, Matthew Cosgrove, Jackson Smith, Stephen Kerins, Ryan Feehily, Thomas Moran, Francis Walsh, Conan O Donnell, Sean Hurley, Jake Sexton, Ryan Bright, Daire Byrne, Joe Conway. Reps Cian Cassidy, Ben Rooney, Luke Morrison, Jason Greer, Ronan Elliot, Diarmuid Mulligan, Darran Harte.