Friday 15 December 2017

Sligo braced for play-off push

Sligo can move one step closer to crowning a magnificent season with promotion when they host Rainey at Hamilton Park in the Ulster Bank League Division 2B/2C promotion play-off. Photo: Getty Images
Sligo can move one step closer to crowning a magnificent season with promotion when they host Rainey at Hamilton Park in the Ulster Bank League Division 2B/2C promotion play-off. Photo: Getty Images

Daragh Small

Sligo can move one step closer to crowning a magnificent season with promotion when they host Rainey at Hamilton Park in the Ulster Bank League Division 2B/2C promotion play-off.

Sligo fell at the last hurdle in Round 18 when they lost 15-5 against Navan RFC at Balreask Old.

The result secured Navan's first ever league title, as they finished seven points clear of Sligo at the summit of the Division 2C standings.

The Connacht outfit won 13 of their 18 games this season, but it still wasn't enough to secure automatic promotion, and they must go through the play-off route.

Tomorrow at Hamilton Park (2.30) Sligo will host a Rainey side who finished four points worse off than them in the Division 2C table, with winner of this semi-final facing either Bective Ranger or Tullamore in the final. That play-off decider takes place next Saturday, April 29 at a venue to be confirmed.

Read more: Is seventh place worse than eighth?

And Rainey are in form - they hammered Bangor 49-0 at Hatrick Park last weekend to make sure of their place in the semi-finals.

But Sligo beat Rainey 17-13 at that same venue on March 4, and they also claimed a 19-18 win when they sides met at Hamilton Park at the end of October.

Buccaneers are champions of Division 1B and will play their rugby in the top tier next season, but Galwegians got relegated from 1B. They lost for the 14th time this season, 27-16 at home to Naas, last weekend, and will play alongside Corinthians in Division 2A next term.

Corinthians finished sixth in Division 2A after a brilliant 43-10 win at home to Blackrock College in the final round.

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