Under 18s – Lights out in Ballinasloe


WITH five minutes remaining in this keenly contested Connacht U-18 league tie in Ballinasloe on Friday night last, impressive Sligo looked set to record a deserved victory over the Garbally College powered home side as they led by 8-5 and were on the attack.

However, Sligo had not reckoned with a defective lighting system, or perhaps a supernatural force, as darkness descended, and the referee, Eddie Walsh, blew the final whistle.

Sligo will now be seeking that the result stands and that they will be awarded the league points.

Despite the low scoring, this game was played with cup tie fervour, and the score does scant justice to Sligo’s territorial advantage.

Ballinasloe led by 5-0 at the break, scoring their try on their only incursion into Sligo’s half. However, in the second half, Sligo continued to dominate, and were rewarded when centre Cian McCann touched down.

Although the hugely impressive Cathal Sheridan was off target with the conversion, he made amends by scoring a fine 40 metre penalty to give Sligo a lead they never looked likely to surrender.

In another fine team performance, Sheridan gave a man of the match display at scrum-half, where the speed and length of his passing was impressive.

Sligo’s pack was outstanding. Peter Ryder, with excellent assistance from Eamon Keane, dominated the line-outs, while the front row of Craig Cooper, Richard O’Boyle and Richard Henry provided a very solid scrummaging platform.

Sligo’s back row of David Bergin and the Connacht Academy duo of Jason East and Rory Kerins was outstanding.

Conor Brady at out-half, formed a fine partnership with scrum-half, Sheridan, until forced to retire with an injury.

Stuart O’Brien played well in his new position of inside centre and had a good understanding with try scorer, Cian McCann. The back three of Brendan Glynn, Gary Feeney and Joseph Scanlon were all impressive.

Sligo U-18s have no game this weekend.

SLIGO: Brendan Glynn, Gary Feeney, Cian McCann, Stuart O’Brien, Joseph Scanlon, Conor Brady, Cathal Sheridan (c), Craig Cooper, Richard O’Boyle, Richard Henry, Peter Ryder, Eamonn Keane, David Bergin, Jason East, Rory Kerins. Subs. used: Michael Conlon, Aaron Loftus, Barry Cullen, Keelan Cawley.