A lesson from the students

Creggs 19 NUIG 24
When impressive Creggs No. 8 Jarlath Hughes carved open the NUI defence for a superb try with just three minutes remaining, it gave the home side a 17-10 lead and looked to be the decisive score in a tight contest at the Green on Sunday. But, in a remarkable finish, NUIG came back to equalise with a well-worked try under the posts, making the conversion a formality and then the students won the game with a try, which owed more to Creggs’ mistakes than College’s creativity.
NUIG went ahead in the fifth minute when Creggs conceded a penalty for offside at a ruck. Midway through the half, Creggs regained the lead when mobile second row Tom Fleming finished off a good handling move with a try in the left corner.
The remainder of the first half was keenly contested with both teams opening up the play at every opportunity. Just before half time, Creggs winger Bernard Kilcommons made a powerful run up the wing, which took him to within two metres of the NUIG line and a well-timed offload to the supporting Kevin Brandon resulted in a great score for Creggs. However, College responded almost immediately with a try, availing of some slack defence to level the game at 10-all.
Stalemate followed, until Ja Hughes’ try, which looked to have given Creggs victory before College finished in style to leave the home team’s players and supporters stunned with the dramatic finale. In hindsight, Creggs may have been better advised to keep the play tight in the closing stages against the lively students. As one dropped pass was all they needed to set their speedy backline in motion for the match-winning try.
Creggs now have a break from league action, but they must travel to take on high-flying Monivea in the Cawley Cup next weekend. They will reflect on this game as one that slipped away in the last few minutes, despite dominating territorially during the second half.
Ja Hughes was in rampant form in the Creggs backrow, making several runs, which NUIG struggled to contain. Peter Comiskey and Tom Fleming impressed upfront, with Kevin Brandon and Bernard Kilcommons also making vital contributions, while Gareth McElhone looked lively on the wing despite limited opportunities.
Creggs: Dave Flahive, Bernard Kilcommons, Barry Egan, Enda Mulkerrins, Gareth McElhone, Tom Callaghan, Noel Flynn, Pat Coffey, Peter Comiskey, Paul McNeill, Tom Fleming, Kevin Brandon, Jamie Jones, Ja Hughes, Killian O’Shea, Jonathan Clarke.

Creggs 17 Westport 36
Even though there were 19 points between the sides at the end of this game, the game itself was a much closer affair. Creggs got off to the worst possible start by giving the Westport full back way too much room and he sauntered around the defence to score under the posts. This try was converted and another soft try followed, when the Westport centre broke through some weak tackling to score in the corner. A big defeat looked probably, but Creggs re-grouped and front row Simon Spain, who was Creggs’ best performer on the day, surged forward, supported by John Keegan and Michael Kelly and scrum half Mark Ward transferred the ball to Andrew Clarke, with help from Thomas Beattie and Brian Collins. The ball was then moved to the backs and Shane Dowd evaded a few would-be tackles to touch down in the corner. He failed to convert but Creggs got a much-needed boost from this score. After the re-start Creggs got into the Westport half and a series of rucks where Connor Gore, Michael Regan and Jack Gunning recycled possession led to some good drives from a very impressive Matthew Butt, ably supported by James Walker, Tomás Clayton and Rory O’Donoghue.

Last Sunday morning in spite of poor weather conditions, Oughterard travelled to Creggs for a match, which was played at Donamon Castle. The sun broke through the thick cloud, creating a pleasant early afternoon for supporters in the beautiful surroundings of the Castle.
This was a match that turned out to be an exhibition of excellent teamwork from the young Creggs players. Creggs where wide awake from the start and were not afraid to go into the opposition’s territory. Three brilliant first-half tries were scored by Brian Diffley scoring under the post and out wide. This and other tries resulted from a combination of great ball carrying, fantastic passes form the team, well backed-up by front row trio Rory Cuniffe, Thomas O’Byrne and Max Bannon, supported by Aaron Gacquin and Michael Farrell.
Oughterard responded in the second quarter when Owen Witteracur got through the Cregg’s defence to score their only try of the match, which was converted by Kieran Molloy.
Two further tries came from Edward Clinton, aided by great passes from James McNally, Matthew Browne and Daniel Butt. Confidence was growing for the outhalf Michael Farrell with excellent conversions. Creggs led at half time 43 – 7.
Creggs came out in the second half and again played with great discipline. They continued to get through the Oughterard defence, with further tries from Aaron Langan, Brian Divilly, Rory Cunniffe, Aaron Gacquin and Edward Clinton and conversions from Breen Fallen and Mathew Browne. Oughterard responded with very strong tackling, but unfortunately for them this was not reflected on the score sheet. The referee’s whistle brought play to a close making the score to 55 – 7.

Mini rugby
A very enjoyable rugby blitz took place in Creggs last Saturday, featuring teams from Ballyhaunis RFC and Ballaghaderreen RFC. Games were played at U8, U9, U10, U11 and U12 level and everyone enjoyed the lovely weather conditions. Training for U8, U9, U10, U11 and U12 continues next Saturday at 11 am in Creggs.


Gallery: HT minis – Ballinrobe, Ballyhaunis, Corinthians and Dunmore