Kanturk RFC 13 – Sligo RFC 27
Sligo’s run of excellent form in the Ulster Bank League division 2C continued with a bonus point win over county Cork based Kanturk at Knocknacolon on Saturday. Sligo’s win pushes their winning run to nine matches in a row and moves them to within three points of league leaders Navan with two matches remaining.
In Mediterranean like conditions with a mild cross wind Sligo kicked off and immediately positioned themselves in their hosts half of the park. An early Jack Keegan penalty attempt drifted wide before Sligo opened the scoring in the seventh minute. A penalty out wide on the right of the Kanturk 10 meter line was kicked to the corner. The lineout was secured and the pack rumbled towards the line. Hooker Shane O’Hehir sniped down the blind side and touched down in the corner.
Kanturk immediately hit back with an equalising score in Sligos right hand corner before Keegan had his first successful kick of the day with a well struck penalty from the 10 metre line. However Kanturk again equalised a penalty from the Sligo 22.
Sligo responded and again positioned themselves in the Kanturk 22. A sustained period of pressure ensued and Sligo looked set to capitalise but an interception turned the play on its head as Kanturk went the length of the pitch to score in the Sligo left corner. Sligo didn’t let this setback detract them and again went on the attack. Some excellent interplay between Ryan Feehilly and Wells opened up the Kanturk defence and Wells took full advantage to force his way over out wide on the left. Keegans sweetly struck conversion regained the lead that Sligo never relinquished.
Sligo were now in full flow and were imposing their game on the Cork men. Conor Mitchell and Kuba Wojtkowicz were dominating the front row battle, Jamie Bowes was in his usual wrecking ball mode, carrying powerfully at every opportunity ably assisted by his engine room partner Ciaran Cassidy. Diarmuid O’Dowd-Hill and Shane Boyle were secure out of touch and Sligo’s midfield duo of Dara Byrne and Mark Rooney were a constant thorn in the Kanturk side.
Five minutes before the interval Wells again weaved his magic to score in the left corner before an excellent team effort, which secured the all important bonus point, was finished off by Rooney just before the the referee blew for the end of the half.
Somewhat disappointingly for the watching attendance Keegans conversion of the Rooneys try proved to be the last score of the game as neither side increased their tally in an intense second half.
Sligo are now perfectly poised in second place with a home game against Tullamore and a final away day showdown against leaders Navan to come. The Tullamore match is fixed for 2.30 on April 8th with the Navan match fixed for April 15th.
Sligo: Jack Keegan, Conor Kerins, Mark Rooney, Dara Byrne, Callum Goddard, Mike Wells, Ryan Feehily, Kuba Wojtkowicz, Shane O’Hehir, Conor Mitchell, Jamie Bowes, Ciaran Cassidy, Simon Coulter, Diarmuid O’Dowd Hill, Shane Boyle (captain) reps Thomas Gormaley, Mark Keegan, Matt Davey, James O’Hehir, Enda Gavin