By John O’Sullivan

Sligo 19
Corinthians 12

Sligo clinched Connacht Senior Cup final success for the third time in their history with a hard fought victory over Corinthians at the Sportsground.

Three penalties from the boot of Euan Brown, as well as tries from Enda Gavin and Shane O’Hehir accounted for Sligo’s points in a win built upon rock solid defence and clinical attack.

Corinthians, who enjoyed the lions share of possession and territory throughout, registed tries through captain Aaron Broderick and Hiram Wood Hennessy but were powerless to prevent Sligo — whom they lead by ten points in the All Ireland League Division 2B table — from upsetting the odds and claiming a deserved victory.

In an unseasonably dry day, both teams were keen to flex their attacking muscles from the outset and test the oppositions defence.

The Galway based side, with winger Michael O’Reilly prominent with the ball in hand, were in the ascendancy in terms of early possesion and territory but it was Sligo who opened the scoring on the day.

Organised and aggressive line speed — the bedrock upon which Paddy Pearson’s charges won — saw Sligo force a Corinthians knock on in their own 22. When they played the ball after the knock on, they were penalised for being offside. Euan Brown then slotted the kick to make the score 3-0.

Corinthians immediately sought to fight back, but, despite the best efforts of full back Simon Keller, all of their attacks were repelled by the same stubborn Sligo defence. Any try would have to be earned and when the game’s first try did arrive, it took a special piece of play to manufacture it.

A huge break from fly half Mark McDermott saw Corinthians establish field position deep in Sligo territory. A few phases of hard carries then saw the ball recycled wide to O’Reilly and his deft offload found Broderick, the big second row, to touch down. The difficult conversion fell narrowly wide, with the game delicately poised at 6-5 midway through the first half.

The try was Corinthians’ last score of the half, however, as Brown continued his 100% record off the tee with further penalties for Sligo to make the score at the interval 9-5.

The JP Cooney coached Galway side started the second half with the intensity they started the first and, after ten minutes of near constant pressure, scored the try their efforts deserved.

Once again, it required an audacious piece of play to prize Sligo open. Hooker Wood Hennessy’s quickly taken short lineout found it’s way back to him and he opportunistically crossed for a try which Keller, from the most difficult of angles, bisected the posts with.

It proved to be Corinthians last score as Sligo — helped by the energy of winger Callum Goddard and the hunger of lock Ciaran Cassidy in the ball carrying stakes — began to assert themselves.

Full back Enda Gavin, trusting his own pace, raced over for a try in the right hand corner after the hard work of the pack had given Sligo the opportunity to spread the ball wide to their backs in the Corinthians 22. The conversion was wide, but the tide of momentum was now firmly with the 7th placed side in the AIL Division 2B.

With Corinthians desperately looking for a try with only five minutes remaining, Sligo lay in wait on the counter attack.

Winning a turnover just outside the Corinthians 22, the ball was worked to hooker O’Hehir and he escaped the wide defensive coverage to touch down. The conversion was wide, but the seven point lead – with the trademark hard nosed red and yellow clad defence again coming up trumps — was insurmountable and Sligo held on for the win.

Sligo team: 15-9: E.Gavin; C.Goddard; M.Butler, R.Feehily; P.Carter; E.Brown, B.Cunnigham; 8-1(M.Davey, B.West, S.Boyle; R.Holian, C.Cassidy; T.Gormley, S.O’Hehir, M.Keegan.

Corinthians team: 15-9: S.Keller; M.O’Reilly; C.Evans, S.Kilgallon; R.Greene; M.McDermott, R.Murphy; 8-1: R.Murphy, M.O’Brien, J.Campbell; A.Broderick, C.Raftery; C.Hansberry, H.Wood Hennessy, G.Noone

The make-up of this season’s 2019/20 Connacht Senior Cup final is now known.
 
Sligo RFC reached the decider over the weekend after an impressive 31-16 win away to Galwegians, and they’ll now play Corinthians for the right to be crowned Cup winners.
 
Corinthians booked their place back last month after overcoming Cup holders Buccaneers 32-23.
 
Sligo ended an incredible wait of 103 years to win the Connacht Senior Cup back in the 2017/18 season, while Corinthians have won the trophy 33 times in their history.
 
However the Galway side haven’t had much final luck since their last success in 2011, so they’ll be eager to make amends this time around.
 
The final takes place on Sunday 22nd December at The Sportsground.

Connacht Rugby are currently recruiting for a Club & Community Rugby Officer for Sligo RFC. Details below.
 
POST TITLE: Sligo RFC Club Community Rugby Officer (CCRO)
 
LOCATION: Co. Sligo and Sligo RFC catchment area within Connacht
 
ROLE AND PURPOSE OF POSITION: The purpose of the position is to increase the numbers of people participating in rugby in Co. Sligo and Sligo RFC catchment area. The role will include working with local National and Secondary Schools to develop rugby and recruit participants.
 
REPORTING RELATIONSHIPS:
Operational & Functional: Operationally, the CCRO will report directly to the Rugby Participation Manager. Functionally, the CCRO will report to the Domestic Rugby Manager of Connacht Rugby.
 
EXPERIENCE / BACKGROUND / EDUCATION:
The ideal candidate will have a strong background in rugby and will have experience of coaching and/or playing the game.
It is desirable for the candidate to have completed a minimum of an IRFU coaching course at Stage 1, Stage 2 or Stage 3.
Previous experience of coaching young people from the age of 7 to 18 is desirable.
Previous experience of working/volunteering in a club, school or community environment is desirable
A third level qualification in a sports relation discipline would be beneficial.
 
SKILLS AND ABILITIES:
Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
Ability to build relationships with diverse stakeholder groups.
Ability to work on their own initiative and as part of a team.
Be extremely well organised.
Conscientious and trustworthy.
Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint.
Full clean drivers licence and access to own transport.
 
RESPONSIBILITIES:
The Sligo RFC CCRO will be responsible for:
Working towards agreed key performance indicators.
Delivery of appropriate training sessions to National/Secondary Schools and Community groups in the Co. Sligo and Sligo RFC catchment area.
Introduction and development of a culture of playing rugby within participating schools and groups.
Organisation and management of festivals and blitzes according to need.
Organisation of weekly, monthly timetable with stakeholders.
Available as a coach and player development resource to Sligo RFC on a needs basis and in consultation with line manager.
Provision of up to date reports to Connacht Rugby management.
Provision of photographs and reports to the Connacht Club & Community Communications Officer for inclusion on the Connacht Club and Community website.
 
PERFORMANCE MEASURES:
Actions and behaviours will ensure Connacht Rugby and Sligo RFC are viewed in a professional manner.
KPI’s to be agreed with successful candidate on commencement of the role.
 
APPLICATION PROCESS:
The closing date for applications is Friday, 25th October 2019. Interested candidates should upload their CV & Cover Letter to connachtrugby.ie/jobs

Sligo RFC overcame a 7 point deficit midway through the second half to defeat Buccaneers 10-7 and claim the U13 Boys Cup at a windy Sportsground this afternoon.
 

Seven teams from eight clubs have learned their opponents for this year’s Connacht U20 Cup which will be held across the month of April.
 
The U20 Cup will see teams representing Ballina, Ballinrobe, Connemara Corinthians, Creggs, Monivea/Westport and Sligo face off in a knockout series of games with three quarter-finals before two semi-finals and a decider on the Easter weekend.
 
The draw was conducted by two Connacht men who were integral to Ireland U20s Grand Slam win – forwards coach Ambrose Conboy and hooker Dylan Tierney-Martin.
 
Check out the pairings of some intruiging games we’ve got coming up in the weeks ahead!
 

QUARTER-FINALS
Sligo v Ballina
Monivea/Westport v Ballinrobe
Creggs v Connemara

SEMI-FINALS
Sligo or Ballina v Monivea/Westport or Ballinrobe
Creggs or Connemara v Corinthians

More silverware is up for grabs on Sunday when 10 teams compete in 5 league finals across the province, ranging from the U15 Boys to the Women’s League.
 
First up at 12pm are the Division 2 finals at U15 and U17 level. Corrib will play host to the U15 Division 2 decider between near neighbours Monivea and Dunmore, while at the same time in Ballina there’s a meeting of Westport and Sligo in the U17 Division 2 final.
 
One hour later at 1pm to more deciders will kick-off in Ballinrobe and Ballyhaunis. Ballinrobe will play host to the Connacht Women’s League final as Westport take on NUIG, while Ballinasloe and Galwegians will face off in the U17 Division 1 final in Ballyhaunis.
 
The last of the deciders gets going at 1.30 in the U15 Division 1 final as Galwegians take on Buccaneers, with Ballinasloe acting as the venue.
 
Best of luck to all 8 clubs, and we’ll have the results for you on the Connacht Club & Community Facebook page on Sunday evening.

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