Sligo Rugby News


Connacht Senior League Sligo V Ballina

Sligo Rugby 55

Balina RFC 12

With Summer coming to a close, the sleeping giant that is Sligo Rugby, stirred into life with a comprehensive win over neighbours Ballina RFC in their first outing of 23/24 Season.

The bonus point win puts Sligo on top of the 23/24 Connacht Senior league after the first round of play.

In typical early season fare, both clubs fielded experimental sides, with Sligo fielding a squad with seven players making their senior debuts.

A heavy rain shower thankfully receded just before the teams took to the field and Sligo kicked off playing towards the Knocknarea end.

The Sligo pack put early pressure on the visiting eight and used their powerful maul and scrum to good effect to get into the scoring zone. A five-yard scrum was driven over the Ballina line and Brendan Cunningham was on hand to touch down for the opening score. Euan Brown added the extras.

From the restart a trademark Kuba Wojtkowicz burst brought Sligo to the 10 metre line before a searing break from Philip Carter opened up the visiting defence with Cunningham latching onto the final pass to race in for his and Sligo’s second try. Brown again added the extras.

Sligo’s Lineout was functioning well , and with 15 minutes gone a well-rehearsed lineout move between Ambrose Bamber and Matthew Earley saw Cunningham finish in the corner for his hat trick and Sligo’s third of the day.

The fourth try arrived soon after, a scrum in the right corner pushed the visitors back and when the ball was released to the backline, Jack Keegan rounded the cover and finished under the posts. Brown converted.

Ballina responded and put a sustained period of pressure on the Sligo line but the hosts eventually forced the turnover and from a scum in their own 22 a sweeping move culminated in a Conor Creaven try at the other end.

Sligo continued to dominate and a move that started in the Sligo half went the width of the pitch twice before James O’Hehir broke through to put the half time score at 36-0.

The visitors were rewarded for their efforts with a try at the beginning of the second half before Cunningham topped an excellent outing with his fourth try, after another powerful Sligo maul, which was well converted by Brown.

Ballina picked up a second try from a pre-rehearsed lineout move with 10 minutes remaining but Sligo again hit back with a try from Finn Bamber following a great line break from Eoghan Lang.

Sligo finished off the scoring right on full time with their 9th try of the day, when Michael McMorrow secured a 5 yard lineout and Matthew Early crashed over from the resulting maul.

Sligos next outing is a trip to Galway to lock horns with Galwegians in round 2 of the Connacht Senior League. The match kicks off at 2.30 in Crowley Park on Saturday September 2nd.

Sligo: Philip Carter, Jacob Fleming, Jack Keegan, Finn Bamber, Conor Creaven, Euan Brown, Brendan Cunningham, Kuba Wojtkowicz, Matthew Earley (Capt), Tom Gormley, Michael McMorrow, Gary Duffy, Daire Byrne, James O’Hehir, Ambrose Bamber. Reps Oisin Lawley, Eoghan Lang, Ciaran Cummins, Matthew Gallagher, Sean Gilvarry, Louis Mcvitty, Daire Walker, David Keyes

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