300-sligo 11Sligo RFC 20
Nenagh Ormond RFC 24

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Sligo kicked off the new year with the unenviable task of hosting table topping Nenagh Ormond at Strandhill on Saturday. Nenagh arrived at Strandhill having won all seven of their Ulster Bank League fixtures in the first half of the season and were expected to roll over the home outfit comfortably, 
Sligo had different ideas however, and produced an excellent performance to carry the fight to Nenagh from the kick off and with a little bit of good fortune may even have taken the win. 
In cold but still conditions the home team kicked off and put pressure on their visitors. Nenagh signalled their early intent with use of their strong maul but Sligo’s defence held firm and matched the intensity in the early exchanges.
To the delight of the home support it was the locals who opened the scoring. Sligo gained possession on the halfway line. The ball was recycled a number of times with Rory Kerins, Eddie Connell and David Heath all involved. Stefan Moir chipped through for winger Colin Keane who collected before producing an excellent slip pass to Mark Butler. The full back injected pace and beat three defenders to race in from the 10 metre line and dot down in the corner. Moir’s conversion drifted agonisingly wide. 
Sligo’s lead was short lived as Nenagh hit back from the kick off. The locals failed to deal with the  restart kick and Nenagh took full advantage to regather possession and open their account with a try in the left corner.
Sligo retook the lead on 28 mins with a well struck Moir penalty from the 10 metre line but the lead was negated with a Nenagh penalty on 35 minutes.
Two minutes before the break the Tipperary outfit took the lead with a well taken score following a sweeping backline  move to move the halftime score to 8-13
A controversial penalty on 52 minutes allowed Nenagh extend their lead when it looked like Sligo were away for an intercept score. 
The visitors moved further ahead 3 minutes later with a try in the right corner following a sweeping backline move.
Sligo refused to crumble and continued to battle to get back into the game. Aaron Spring marked his comeback following shoulder surgery with a typical powerhouse finish in the left corner to move the score to 13-21.
Sligo’s confidence grew and replacement wing Conor Kerins brilliantly intercepted a Nenagh pass before racing clear from his own 22 to dot down under the posts. Moir converted to move Sligo within to within one point. 
Nenagh again responded with a penalty and despite Sligo’s gallant efforts the Tipp men held on to take the win. 
Next up for Sligo is an away trip to De la Salle Palmerstown. Athough DLSP are 5 places above Sligo in the league only 3 league points separate the teams so a win for Sligo would certainly see them move up the table. The match kicks off at 2.30 at Kirwan Park on Saturday 25th January.
Sligo Mark Butler, Colin Keane, Chris Nairn, Gavin Foley, Aaron Spring, Stefan Moir, Paddy Pearson, Wesley Maxwell, Ross Mannion, Adrian Mc Hale, David Heath, James Wilson, Eoin Matthews, Rory Kerins, Eddie Connell. Reps Tadgh Power, David Cawley, David Greene, Conor Kerins.

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