The outstanding performances of both the U-13 and U-14 sides in winning their respective Connacht Cup competitions, and the U-12’s achievement in winning the provincial blitz, highlights the strength of under-age rugby in Sligo RFC. The under-age competitions are contested by the senior AIL clubs such as Galwegians, Buccaneers, Corinthians and Connemara, as well as by the junior clubs of the province, and there are cup competitions in youth rugby at U-13, U-14, U-16,and U-18.
Sligo lost the U-16 semi-final to Galwegians by 3 points, but were forced to field without their star performer, Aaron Spring, who was on International U-18 duty, and they also lost the U-18 semi-final to Westport, also by 3 points, and again they had to field without their talisman, Spring, who was in Italy with the Ireland team. Indeed had he been available for both the U-16 and the U-18’s, it is possible that Sligo could have won these trophies as well.
With numbers in the Juvenile Section at record levels, the future of rugby in the North West was never brighter. The under-age sections in the club draws players from the Sligo urban area and from surrounding areas. At present there are players in the club from Bundoran, to the north, Aclare to the south, Boyle to the east and Dromore West to the west.
The club is fortunate to have so many excellent coaches, who give so generously of their time and expertise, and they deserve the gratitude of everyone involved in the club.
The increased interest in rugby locally was exemplified by the huge crowd which attended the Connacht Senior Schools’ quarter final between Summerhill College and Sligo Grammar School, while Grammar Schools’ achievement of winning the Connacht Junior Schools league/cup double, is further evidence of the healthy state of the under-age game here.