Sligo lose out to league leaders

Rainey Old Boys 31      Sligo 0

Sligo arrived in Maherafelt last Saturday for their league encounter with league leaders and unbeaten Rainey Old Boys shorn of  seven players through injury and unavailability. |The worst fears of their supporters materialized when after eight minutes their team was fourteen points behind after conceding two converted trys.  However the team settled after that early concession of scores and really dug in.

For the rest of the half they battled gamely and refused to buckle with some brave defensive work and a huge effort from the pack. In this respect Conor Mitchell and Tadgh Power from the front row were very prominent. James Wilson in the second was prominent at lineout time and also in the loose. Andrew Williams a late call up also was putting himself about and was not out of his depth at this level The back row of Own Matthews Rory Kearins and Paddy Conlon were also giving it everything. Sligo got to half time without conceding further scores but with such a huge defensive effort it was always going to tell in the second half.

Once again Sligo got dug in after the break and while few scoring opportunitys were coming their way they were frustrating their opponents with dogged defence. As the game wore on the heavy toll of tacking was tagging its toll and on 55 minutes they conceded a further score, an unconverted try.  Then in the last ten minutes Rainey got the bonus try with a fifth arriving in the last minute.

This was a disappointing outing after their great bonus try win against Ards last day out. However with such a depleted side and the disruptions of so many late call ups it was inevitable that they were going to struggle against the only unbeaten side in their home patch.

The next outing will be in January and the break will allow the coach some time to get some work done on the training park . This will be vital as the second half of the season will be very important in terms of some much needed wins. This side can be very good when they have their full squad and on their day would be capable of beating any side.

Team ; R Keegan S Nairn G Foley C Finneran M Butler C Kane R Mannion T

Power(C) C Mitchell J Wilson A Williams O Matthews R Kearins P Conlon Subs. A McHale W Maxwell S Donnelly J OHehir, R Burrows

Under 17

Sligo U-17 ‘Blacks’ vs. Ballyhaunis U-17

Venue: Ballyhaunis Rugby Club

Score: Sligo 17 – Ballyhaunis 10

Starting Team:                            Subs:

John Barkley                        No.16 Emmett Flanagan

Diarmaid Hough                    No.17 Cian Hough

Paul Kelly                            No.18 Aaron Bolas

Ciaran Cassidy

Thomas Mullaney

Luke Walsh

Liam McElhinney

Luke Morrison

Neil Murray

Hadi Mousa

Jack Tillion

Ross Crystal

Jack Cox

Gareth Davey

Darren Harte

 Sligo U-17 Blacks won their third game of the Under 17 B North League today with a 17-10 victory over a determined Ballyhaunis side. The conditions for the match were less than ideal as overnight rain and a senior’s match before made the pitch into a mud bowl, making handling of the ball an issue for both sides. Despite this, Sligo began the game with a prolonged period of pressure which was only momentarily broken by a few turnovers and relieving kicks by the Ballyhaunis lads.

Sligo was beginning to dominate the scrums and at lineout time, a very effective maul came into play with Sligo gaining ground every time they got it motoring. Using this shear power to overwhelm the opposition was working well for Sligo but they couldn’t convert this controlling force into points. Midway through the half, a break in the deadlock looked likely. After some superb offensive work by No.12, Ross Crystal, Sligo broke the Ballyhaunis line and moved quickly up the pitch. It was the last pass that denied No.15, Darren Harte, the first try of the game as the ball drifted forward at the crucial moment. Ballyhaunis began to tire and couldn’t stop the endless phases coming from Sligo. Eventually a try was scored No.8, Luke Morrison, after a play off one of Sligo’s excellent mauls. No.10, Jack Cox, added another try before halftime, making the conversion from a difficult angle. With only a few minutes to go until the whistle, Ballyhaunis found themselves in the Sligo half of the field for the first time after a spilled kick led to a scrum on the Sligo 10 meter line. From this Ballyhaunis showed that they were very dangerous once they had some ball in hand. They played their way up to the Sligo 5 meter line. The Sligo defence held and No.7, Liam McElhinney, made some big tackles to knock Ballyhaunis back. The ref blew the whistle after a clearance kick from Sligo which ended the half with the score at 12-0.

No changes were made at half time and Sligo began like they did the first by pinning Ballyhaunis in their own half with some very clever kicking from No.10, Hadi Mousa.

Sligo showed how devastating their maul could be, as they drove 20 meters down field. Liam McElhinney finished off the move by grounding the ball over the opposition line. Then conversion attempt fell short but Sligo was feeling confident. Now it was the turn of Ballyhaunis to have a go at going on the attack. They started making some quick back-line plays which confused the Sligo defencive line and began probing the back-line with long, accurate kicks coming from the opposition No.10 and 12. At this point the ref was tired of Sligo’s backchat and this cost them 10 meters every time, handing free ground to Ballyhaunis. Bodies began to tire as conditions on the field worsened from the numerous scrums and rucks, so Sligo decided to freshen up their team by bringing on all of their subs. Ballyhaunis did likewise, hoping to give their side that spark that they needed to get back into the game. That spark came in the form of some very impressive counter attacking which caught Sligo napping. Sligo failed to pay attention and a quick lineout led to Ballyhaunis placing the ball down in the corner of the Sligo try line. With things swinging in their favour, Ballyhaunis pressed the attack and crossed for their second a few moments later which was converted to leave the score at

17-10 with five minutes to go. This brought Sligo back to earth with a bang and they started piling on the pressure but a confident Ballyhaunis defence didn’t waver. When the final whistle blew both sides were cold, wet and exhausted but Sligo came away with the five points. Final score was Sligo 17, Ballyhaunis 10

SLIGO LADIES

Sligo lose the battle but they won’t lose the lesson.

Siobhan Kilcoyne, Muriel Casserly, Lisa Moore, Grainne McGuire, Claire McManus, Fleur Kinsella, Mairead Keane, Amy Gerrity, Louise Orr, Jackie Caraway, Hannah Scollan, Grainne Blount, Ruth Goodwin, Rachel Gordon, Carley Leydon.

Coaches: Tadhg Power and Warner Wilders

A cold and wet day met Sligo women as they set foot on Dubarry Park, Athlone to face Buccaneers in their home territory. Buccaneers were hungry and they were going to take the fight to the unbeaten League Champions since their debut in the League two and a half years previous.

Buccs fronted up big time and after continous pressure for the first ten minutes in both attack and defense, Buccs capitalised off a kick and a hesitation from Sligo defense and got a soft try just to the left of the uprights. With a conversion from their outhalf, Buccs were leading 7-0.

Sligo’s response was met with big hits from Buccs. They really were determined to knock Sligo off their rhythm and dictate the game play.

Missing key players Karen Leydon at prop and Stef Savage at hooker were reflecting on the scrums. Back up prop and hooker , Moore and Casserly did their best despite the arduous uphill task and got stuck in at the crouch, touch, set time. Sligo held their ground at scrum time even though they were the smaller pack.

Buccs were playing a kicking game and with some clinical kicks into Sligo’s red zone, forced an error from Sligo and went for the penalty kick to put Buccs 10-0 up.

Sligo mounted a comeback from a lineout throw from Moore to McGuire’s experienced hands and winning rucks by forwards, of which Kinsella, McManus and Keane were culprits for securing most of the rucks throughout the game. On this occasion, they moved through phases via the solid hands of Louise Orr at scrumhalf and Jackie Caraway’s decisive and safe hands at outhalf, creating room for winger Rachel Gordon to blaze up the left wing and touch the ball down just to the left of the posts. An easy conversion for Number 8, Gerrity put the scoreline now at 10-7.

With Buccs dictating play and running a kicking game, Sligo were finding it difficult to find their momentum and missing players at key positions through injury and bereavement was beginning to weigh heavily on Sligo. It went into half time 10-7 and Sligo had a lot to think about.

There were times when Sligo seemed to be just at the brink of a try with some great ball carrying from prop Siobhan Kilcoyne, Grainne Blount and fullback Ruth Goodwin. Buccs caught trying to tackle but missing or bouncing off them. An eventual error from Sligo would see Buccs turnover the ball and take a kick and Sligo would have to make up ground and scrabble to regain their yardage. Even with big hits being made by Scollan, Gerrity, Keane, Kinsella and Moore, when she freed herself of her front row duties, didn’t seem to puncture their will power and they marched on for an eventual try in the right corner. The lead was now 15-7 to Buccs.

Sligo didn’t let their heads drop despite some frustrating minutes and mistakes. They fought it out. Unfortunately, again a kick that got Buccs their opportunity to force another Sligo error and kick for the posts and their outhalf put them 18-7 up.

It can be assured that Sligo may have lost the battle today at Dubarry Park but they won’t be losing the lesson. Back to Sligo they will go and work on their mistakes and the hungrier and angrier they will be coming into their next match against Tuam Womens RFC with an appetite.

A necessary evil was brought upon Sligo today to wake up and front up to keep their Connacht league title.Their Tuam game will be on Tues 11th December. Venue and timeTBC.

On another note, Connacht Senior Womens Rugby were playing their debut game in the Inter Provincial championship against Leinster. Managing to keep out tries for the first half but unfortunately, Leinster got 2 tries and 2 penalties to bring the score to 20-0 to Leinster. Plenty to learn for the Connacht Women but the Munster game next Saturday 8th December will hopefully be an improvement with a week of training and an appetite for a win in Connacht hearts and heads. Congratulations to Sligo Women’s Rugby, Jacqui Mulligan who made her debut on the Connacht Squad today and with our first representative from Sligo, there are only good things to come for both Connacht and Sligo Womens Rugby.

Christmas Party: (Please highlight this as its the last week to get notice into the papers) Sligo Rugby Club Christmas party is taking place in the View Bar in the Glasshouse Hotel at 8pm December 8th.

Christmas Jumper is the theme this year as it was very popular last year along with some party games happening on the night. The event is free to all members, coaches, players, volunteers of Sligo Rugby Club.

 Those wishing to attend are asked to text/ring Ross Mannion 087

6356752 or email [email protected] in order to secure you place for

the party.   For more info go to facebook or www.sligorfc.ie.

Under 13 Report

(Sunday 25th November)

Sligo 29 Westport 14

Sligo turned it all around Sunday 25th when they travelled to Westport for the  4th round of the Connacht u13 league.  After two previous losses the Sligo side finally clicked and started playing the type of

15 man game which should have seen them unbeaten so far this year.

The first half was a close affair with both teams battling it out with sniping runs and big tackles. The Sligo forward pack over powered Westport at scrum time and out rucked their opponents with Westport trying to slow the ball down at every opportunity. The Sligo backs were on form as well using width on the pitch and passing with great skill and breaking the advantage line numerous times rewarding them with a try before the halftime whistle.

The second half started with Sligo down 7-5 but Sligo picked up the pace of the game and strung together phase after phase of good ball scoring four more brilliant tries. Westport could only respond with one try with their big number four running through a couple of weak tackles, but it wasn’t enough and Sligo came away with a well deserved win to put them back on track for next weeks game against Corinthians.

Sligo U13’s (THIS WEEKs )

Sligo v Corinthians1st December 2012

Continuing on from their away win against Westport last Sunday, Sligo pre-match warm up began in a confident mood. However once the Corinthians stepped on to the pitch it was apparent that Sligo were slightly unnerved by the physical size of their opponents. A number of tentative tackles by Sligo in the opening minutes boasted the confidence of the travelling team. However, once the jitters were dispersed Sligo attacked the game line and after continual line breaks Dylan McDermott produced a fantastic attacking run powering through the defence to put the first points of the board. The restart from centre field saw the determined Corrithians bounce back securing a try and conversion to advance them on the score sheet. Sligo retaliated as Serge Kelly produced an aggressive run to touchdown to further the cause. The back and forth nature of the game continued for the remainder of the first half and it closed out even stevens at 12 points a piece.

The second half continued in much the same back and forth manner much like the to and fro of tug-of-war.

Sligo’s continued pressure saw Cian Hegarty breakaway from the opposition to touchdown for his first try of the season. Corinthians re-grouped and equalled the score with another try. Sligo were quick to signal their intent on the restart and after a quick ball out the the wing saw Eoin Hallinan produce a lightening fast sprint 3/4 of the pitch avoiding numerous tackles to score under the posts to ensure an easy conversion. A frustrated Corinthians reset, put their heads down and again equalled the scoreboard. As game entered the final quarter Dylan McDermott showed great strength in pushing though home defenders before producing the winning points of this tough and challenging match.

A hug step up in opponents which produced the best overall performance by this Sligo U13’s team to date.

Congratulations and well done from all the Coaches ;-)

Final Score: Sligo 29 Corinthians 24

Tries: Dylan McDermott (2), Serge Kelly, Cian Hegarty, Eoin Hallinan

Conversions: Ronan McGoldrick

Man of the Match: Conor McElligott

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