Sligo U15s 24 Creggs RFC 7
Sligo U15s played Creggs at home on the 23rd of October in Division 1 Pool B of the league. Conditions were dominated by a strong wind off the mountain and heavy rain throughout.
Sligo won the kick off and elected to play with the wind. Intelligent kicking from outhalf Cillian O’Neill soon put Sligo in the opposition 22. Strong scrummaging from Rhoghan O’Neill and Sam Garvey either side of Ryan Burrows in the front row set up the platform for Jake Laws to use his athleticism to weave over for a try from number 8. Cillian O’Neill added the 2 points despite the conditions.
Creggs chose to kick to the backs from the restart and a return kick from rolled into touch for a 50:22. The lineouts were difficult all day with strong winds and a wet ball and the resultant loose ball was snaffled by good work on the ground by the fearless Michael Cosgrove. A passage of play in the Creggs 22 resulted in a scrum, from which Laws again picked and went, pounding his way over for a try. 12 -0 to Sligo and Cillian O’Neill added the conversion to make it 14-0.
Another foray into Creggs half resulted in a penalty sailing wide of the posts and seemed to kickstart the Creggs team. Creggs wisely held the ball in close with eye-catching runs from their outhalf and centres making ground down the pitch. The Creggs forwards displayed good close quarter skills and fitness to eventually ground the ball at the end of the half despite tireless tackling by Ted Keyes. Conversion added, and Sligo were looking at a half time score or 14-7 and facing a strong wind.
Despite the elements however Sligo’s backline came to the fore in the second half. Scrumhalf James McGetterick sniping form the base added a real threat and frequently made ground. Centres Patrick Brady and Conor McGoldrick tackled and passed well in very tough conditions. It was not a day for the outside backs but Conor Van Rensburg, Mark Greer, Tadhg Murphy, Harry Dennison and Heath Jeffrey all made short work of the kicks that came their way and ran strongly throughout the game.
Good work by the backs set up the pack for a series of rucks where twin threats of James Mackey and Naoise Fitzgerald worked hard all day securing ball and making tackles to free up Jake Laws for his hat trick on the blindside to make it 19-7. Creggs were tiring at this point and Sligo’s substitutions, especially of Robbie Gilleece , JD Barnicle , Keelan Gilmartin, Keelan Pol-Wajszczuk, Phelim McGowan and Odhran Buckley, on debut, all added energy. The final word went to the front row who stabilised the scrum all day and allowed Sligo’s backrow to shine when tighthead Sam Garvey galloped over having taken a quick penalty to make it a final score of 24 -7, with conversions impossible in the conditions.
No doubt this well drilled talented Creggs team will win many games in the league. Sligo were somewhat flattered by the scoreline in the end but adapted very well to conditions and for now are top of their league.