Sligo 28 – Corinthians 14
After a disappointing league campaign, 5th placed Sligo were drawn against 2nd placed Corinthians in the Connacht U18.5 Cup and they were under no illusions as to the mountain of a task that lay ahead. A sizeable home crowd had gathered in anticipation of a cracker of a cup game and they were not disappointed. It was the home team who started the stronger and enjoyed a considerable period of dominance over a frustrated Corinthians side. Sligo were the first on the scoreboard with two successive penalties from the trusty boot of out half Hubert Gilvarry. This was followed by a spirit comeback from the visitors, but they were unable to penetrate the solid Sligo defence. A Luke Hogge try added another 5points to the home side on the half time whistle.
The second half saw a Corinthian’s resurgence, applying pressure in the Sligo 22. They were eventually rewarded for their efforts and brought the score to 11-7. Sligo immediately rallied, and the pack worked the ball down the pitch, with Donnacha Byrne crossing the line in the corner to stretch the lead to 9points. Possession changed hands over the next ten minutes, but it was Corinthians who made the next break through down the Sligo touch line to score in the corner and slot home a difficult conversion to bring the score to 16-14. This narrow margin seemed to spur the Sligo lads on and an impressive maul, off a lineout on the 10m line, drove Matthew Early over the try line, with only 10 minutes left on the clock. Sligo sealed the deal with a sweeping move off a lineout on the halfway line. The ball was worked wide through the hands and across the pitch for Will Whelan to speed up the wing and touch down in the corner.
This was an impressive game by the Sligo side and all focus is now on the semi-final of the Cup on 24th March against Ballinasloe.
Sligo: 1 Matthew Harte 2 Matthew Earley 3 Cullen Vega 4 Anderson 5 Cummings 6 Will Whelan 7 Adam West 8 Donnacha Byrne 9 Andrew Ward 10 Hubert Gilvarry 11 Brennan 12 Whelan 13 Ronan McGoldrick 14 Higgins, 15 Luke Hogge16 Darragh Mc Elhinney 17 Thomas Fox 18 Matthew Horan 19 Niall Stokes 20 Staunton