SLIGO 2ND XV's first game of the 2013 started on a positive note with a great home win over league rivals Connemara in the first round of the Heineken Junior Cup.
SLIGO 2ND XV's first game of the 2013 started on a positive with a great home win over league rivals Connemara in the first round of the Heinekien Junior Cup.
Sligo started the game very slowly allowing the visitors in for a soft try in the first 5 mins of the game. They responded well to this easy try by playing most of the remaining half in the visitors half of the field. In the scrums, the tight five of Brian Keane, Aaron Tansey, Darren Wilson, Ciaran Stafford and Micheal McMorrow dominated the push putting huge pressure on the Connemara scrum. The back row of David Cawley, Sean Donnelly and Leigh Fenton also applied pressure on the opposite back row and half backs. Fast ball from scrum half Stuart O'Brien and Billy Leahy led to some beautilful runs from centres Clive Morris and Adam Cullen and wingers, Andrew Williams and Sean Bagnall, but scoring from this was difficult as conditions did not suit.
The second half started well as subsitute back row dave bergain caught a high ball to crash in over the visitors. Sligo dominented again in the scrums and in the line out, with man of the match Micheal McMorrow making a huge nuisance of himself stealing any ball he got his finger tips. 15 mins into the second half Steve Alley began to use the experience he had on the bench by introducing Kieran Meehan into the front row and Dermot Keily into the second row. Fresh legs in the forwards was a huge advantage of the tiring visitors. All in all in the second half Sean Bagneall scored 12 points to give the home side a 5 point winning margin. SLIGO 2ND XV: Brian Keane, Aaron Tansey, Darren Wilson, Ciaran Stafford, Micheal McMorrow, David Cawley, Sean Donnelly, Leigh Fenton (c) Stuart O'Brien, Billy Leahy, Sean Bagnell, Clive Morris, Adam Cullan, Andrew Williams, Andy Mulligan. Subs: Kieran Meehan, David Bergain, Dermot Keily, James Coulter, Matt Mullvaney.
The Sligo under 16s got their New Year underway with a victory over Castlebar. Castlebar went up 5-0 and just before half time Sligo winger Richard Lang scored in the corner. With good defence sligo kept out castlebar and in the last minute team captain Dylan Gardner scored under the posts and TJ Ford converted for a 12-5 victory.
Sligo U-19's resumed their league with an away match to Westport Sunday last. Due to several injuries and illness, Sligo needed to bolster their squad with a number of U-17's. Although Sligo dominated possession and territory, Westport opened the scoring with an early penalty. Sligo had the lion's share of possession and spent most of the opening half deep in Westport territory, several elementary mistakes led to quick clinical counter attacks which resulted in an unlucky Sligo going in 18-0 down at the break.
Sligo management introduced their secret weapon James (Ling Ling) McGwynne after a long absence and this had an immediate effect. Sligo's new recruits grew in confidence throughout the game with Stephen Kerins pulling the strings at out-half, Daire Byrne sharp in attack and defence, Jake Sexton tackling well and Conan O Donnell working efficiently at set pieces and around the pitch.
Other than a soft Westport try midway through the half Sligo used ten man rugby intelligently to camp themselves on Westport's line. This resulted in Feargal Tully powering over the line and James (Ling Ling) McGwynne trundling over for two try's despite the best efforts of the opposite defence. The second of McGwynne's try's was converted by Aaron Melvin. Stephen Kerins showed a brilliant piece of individual skill to chip the opposition defence and hack the ball to score from a move which started in his own half.
There were great performances all over the pitch despite players playing out of position. In particular Feargal Tully and Aaron Melvin stood out. Sligo were desperately unlucky as they were held up over the Westport line on several occasions and may have left their comeback a fraction too late.