Sligo RFC 9 – Bangor RFC 7
Sligo got back to winning ways and increased their lead at the summit of the Ulster Bank League division 2C table with a battling win over a hugely physical Bangor side in a titanic encounter at Strandhill on Saturday.
Following their first defeat of the season on the previous Saturday, Sligo entered the game knowing the game knowing that a win was vital to regain momentum particularly with back to back games against Bangor in store.
With the slight breeze in their favour it was the visitors who got the best of the early exchanges with their well drilled pack carrying strongly. Sligo weathered the early storm and worked their way into the game through some good work from Matthew Cosgrove, Shane Boyle and Shane O’Hehir.
Bangor continued to press and were getting a good return from their strong scrum but inaccuracy with the boot ensured the scorekeeper wasn’t troubled for the first 35 minutes.
Just before half time Bangor made the first telling blow. The referee awarded penalty in the Sligo 22 and Bangor opted for the scrum. The visitors applied the pressure and when the scrum went down the referee went to the posts and awarded penalty try to put the half time score 0-7 in favour of the visitors.
Following the resumption Sligo upped the work rate and their improved intensity particularly at the breakdown began to reap rewards. The lineout was working well with Diarmuid O’Dowd-Hill and James Wilson secure on the Sligo throw. Manu Parkin was heavily involved with a fine performance and Ryan Feehily was his usual busy self behind the pack. Callum Goddard on the right wing caught the eye when the ball went his way.
A quarter of an hour in, Sligo opened their account with a well struck Jack Keegan penalty. Keegan repeated the dose 5 minutes later to set up a tense and thrilling last quarter. Sligo smelled blood and forced another penalty on the 10 metre line with 5 minutes remaining. Keegan again stood up and coolly slotted his third of the day to push Sligo ahead for the first time in the match.
Bangor came back again but Sligo’s resolve was strong and stout defence was the order as the Bangor threat was subdued and when the long whistle sounded it was the Sligo faithful that were rejoicing.
Next up for Sligo is the reverse fixture in Bangor. Sligo will need to be at their best with their hosts undoubtedly seeking revenge. There will be a supporters bus travelling. For details contact Michael at 0868198540. The match kicks off at 2.30 at Upritchard Park.
Sligo Jack Keegan, Callum Goddard, Mark Rooney, Mike Wells, Philip Carter, Mark Butler, Ryan Feehily, Kuba Wojtkowicz, Shane O’Hehir, Conor Mitchell, James Wilson, Shane Boyle (Capt)Manu Parkin, Diarmuid O’Dowd Hill, Matthew Cosgrove. Reps Shane Mc Guinness, Mark Keegan, Matthew Davey, Niall Gray, Enda Gavin