SLIGO'S SUPERB U17s won the Connacht league on Sunday in emphatic fashion scoring three tries, with one converted to nil. This team are unbeaten this season and it showed on the day why this is so .
They are a really good team with some excellent individuals and they had an excellent work ethic on the day in difficult conditions.
In the early stges, Corinthians were coming in waves of attack at them but the Sligo team to a man defended with their lives a trend that was continue all match and which was critical to their eventual success. In this area the back row were magnificent with Daire Byrne excellent and number eight Conway not far behind. Out in centre field Matthew Cosgrove and the imperious Evan McGrath were closing down the space and putting in the hits and they needed to be as the Corinthians number twelve Ruairi Greene was a serious attacking threat.
The pressure Sligo was putting on in defence and at the breakdown was yielding dividends and it was one of these turnovers that led to the first of three trys from turnovers. With a turnover in midfield Sligo attacked down the left first before scrum half Kerins cleverly switched play to the right . Cosgrove made a very telling incision before doing a smashing draw and pass to release Paul Kilcoyne who raced in from the 22 to score. The conversion was missed but the score gave Sligo the confidence to drive on.
It was Sligo who were to strike again. Again as Corinthians attempted to attack from deep the ball was spilled. Sligo were on it like a flash and the ball was hacked forward and the chase was on. Ross Chrystal won the race showing super pace as he had a lot of ground to make up and he dived on the ball for a crucial score and a scoreline of 10 nil.
Sligo had the wind in the second half and unlike Corinthians they used that wind to huge avail.
All the pressure finally told as Corinthians turned over yet another ball. Sligo were immediately on the offensive and they broke down the right side with the spikey scrum half Stephen Kerins scoring in the corner . To put the icing on the cake Matthew Cosgrove converted from the touchline with a kick that Ronan OGara would be proud of.
On the day Sligo's unity of purpose and sheer tenacity was joy to behold. The pack hunted like a pack of wild dogs but with a lot of control and discipline. Sligos front row of Thomas Moran Joe Bennett and Conan ODonnell led by example getting through a mountain of work with Conan ODonnell one of the stand out forwards on the pitch and a star in his own right. The second rows of Jake Sexton and Cillian Gallagher worked well together with the athletic Gallagher winning some good clean line out ball and getting around in the loose. The back row for Sligo were truly magnificent covering every inch of the pitch. All three Ryan Bright Daire Byrne and Joe Conway did their jobs superbly and they showed great skill fitness and tenacity with Byrne a real terrier and a complete pest to the opposition.
If Sligo's pack did the work up front so did the back line getting all those crucial scores. Each one of them stood up when it mattered especially in the crucial area of defence. At scrum half Stephen Kerins Sligo had the perfect link between forwards and backs. He mixed game very well passing kicking and sniping and at all times posing a huge threat to the opposition and he capped a fine performance with a great try to seal the match, At 10 Paul Kilcoyne was handed the task of filling the boots of Darragh Cummins and after a shaky start he acquitted himself very well and was not in any way overawed by the occasion and he capped a fine day with the first try of the match. Sligo are blessed with two fine centres the big powerful Matthew Cosgrove and the excellent Evan McGrath. The wingers Jack Keegan and Ross Chrystal acquitted themselves very well in attack and defence in difficult conditions and Chrystal showed his pace to score the days second try. Full back Ryan Feehily a fine all rounder did a great job showing some lovely touches when required. SLIGO: Ryan Feehily Jack Keegan Evan McGrath Matthew Cosgrove Ross Chrystal Paul Kilcoyne Stephen Kerins (C) Thomas Moran Joe Bennett Conan ODonnell Cillian Gallagher Jake Sexton Ryan Bright Daire Byrne Joe Conway SUBS; Neville Walker Liam McElhinney Luke MorrisonCiaran Cassidy Andrew Beirne Ronan Redmond Jack Tillion JUVENILE: Sligo juveniles travelled to Ballina for our last game of the season, more than 80 kids made the trip in what turned to be a very successful day. Ballina is one if the biggest clubs in the west with over 200 kids playing U7 to U12. There will be Christmas training for all age groups this Saturday 22nd at the Rugby club. Please return all registration forms, new members are always welcome pleae see website for more details. UNDER 14: Castlebar 10 Sligo 24
The Sligo U14s travelled to Castlebar on Sunday and in difficult conditions out scored their hosts by 4 tries to 2 to record a well deserved victory. Oisin Staunton opened the scoring for Sligo with a well taken score out wide. Sean Mc Veigh and Christian Neilson dotted down for try's before the interval with Cormac Murray adding 2 conversions. Castlebar added a try to put the half time score 5-19 in favour of the visitors. Conditions worsened for the second half and Castlebar began to use their rucking game to good effect. Sligo stuck to their task and the strong running Mc Veigh added Sligo's fourth before Castlebar rounded off the scoring with their second try. SLIGO: Phiilip Carter, Jack Mc Loughlin, Christian Nielson, Brian Cox, Fiachra Doherty, Cormac Murray, Hugh Kispie, Fergus Lang, Oisin Staunton, Sean Wynne, Sean Snee, Conan Marren, Conal Ryan, Sean Mc Veigh, Fionn Costello. reps Daragh Murphy, Brian Flannagan, Dylan Martyn, Rettso Solarno. LADIES: A wet Hamilton Park met Sligo Women for their Connacht League game versus Carrick on Shannon. Sligodominated the game and built up a commanding lead 19-0.
In the last 10 minutes, Sligo were really dominating their scrums and got some great ball off a scrum in the Carrick half. With quick ball out to the wing, Jacqui Mulligan was able to make her patented dash for the line and put Sligo's last try on the score board to the left of the posts. The final score was 240. Sligo could now go in to the Christmas holidays holding the top of the league place and a bonus point from the fourth try. Their next game will be at home against Tuam in the New Year on the 6th January. SLIGO: Siobhan Kilcoyne, Stef Savage, Karen Leydon, Grainne McGuire, Fleur Kinsella, Lisa Moore, Kiera Kilfeather, Amy Gerrity, Louise Orr, Hannah Davey, Rachel Gordon, Hannah Scollan, Mairead Keane, Jacqui Milligan.