Tuesday 6 December 2016

Dowd puts Creggs in pole position

Published 27/11/2015 | 02:30

Tom Oates rising highest to claim a lineout for Creggs in their victory over Tuam
Tom Oates rising highest to claim a lineout for Creggs in their victory over Tuam

Tuam remain top of Division J1B but their lead hangs by a thread following a six-try defeat at the hands of second-placed Creggs.

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Tuam are on 24 points, same as Creggs with slightly better percentages which keeps them on top, but Creggs have a much superior points difference and crucially a game in hand.

That is the home game against Ballyhaunis re-scheduled for this weekend and a win there would put Creggs in pole position at the halfway mark of the campaign.

The first scoring chance fell to Tuam, a penalty missed by out-half Eoin Cosgrove after 13 minutes.

Five minutes later Creggs second-row Tom Oates opened the scoring with a try at the left corner flag having been put through by out-half Shane Dowd, who rifled home the touchline conversion.

Former Galway footballer John Donnellan, who had come on as full-back replacement, missed his side's second shot at goal before Creggs extended their lead on 25 minutes when winger Philip Leech finished off a break out of defence, again at the left corner, again converted by Dowd.

Dowd added a penalty three minutes later before Donnellan finished the first half scoring with a penalty, leaving Creggs 17-3 ahead at the interval.

The visitors pulled further away seven minutes into the second half when Neville Walker barged his way over in the right corner, with Dowd adding his third conversion to leave his side 24-3 ahead.

Tuam clawed back the deficit with a try from substitute Keith Fleming converted by Donnellan, but a Sean Quinn try again at the right corner flag bagged the bonus point for Creggs.

Although Dowd was slightly off target with the conversion attempt, his first miss of the day, he continued his kicking masterclass with the conversion of Creggs' fifth try, a breakaway from centre Ger Heneghan.

Quinn's second try in the corner, unconverted, following a magnificent turnover from Aidan Leech, wrapped up the scoring.

This was a performance from the top drawer with all 20 players contributing to the success but there were stand-outs in Philip Leech, Andrew Callaghan and Shane Dowd who are forging a very promising half-back partnership.

The pack, although under pressure in the scrums, dominated the line-outs primarily through Oates and won a number of crucial turnovers, with No 7 Peter Lohan back to his marauding best.

Irish Independent

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