Sligo se­cure max­i­mum points as they re­main top of the ta­ble

The Sligo Champion - - SPORT - BY JOHN KANE


SLIGO in­creased their lead at the top of the Ul­ster Bank League Divi­sion 2C with a com­pre­hen­sive vic­tory over Tul­lam­ore at Hamilton Park on Satur­day. Sligo scored 6 trys to Tul­lam­ore’s 3 to earn the max­i­mum 5 match points which puts them 4 points clear of sec­ond placed Thomond RFC at the top of the ta­ble.

In calm con­di­tions, Sligo kicked off play­ing to­wards the moun­tain end. The early ex­changes were typ­i­cally at­tri­tional with both sides try­ing to stamp their au­thor­ity.

Sligo were first to work the score­board with the open­ing try mid­way through the first half. A sweep­ing left to right move­ment gave flanker Manu Parkin the op­por­tu­nity to drive into the Tul­lam­ore 22 be­fore be­ing stopped 5 me­tres from the line. The ball was quickly re­cy­cled to dy­namic prop for­ward Kuba Wo­jtkow­icz and the young­ster drove over to crash down out to the left.

Tul­lam­ore re­sponded and a Karl Dunne penalty nar­rowed the gap to 2 points. Sligo landed a telling blow right on the stroke of half time. A li­ne­out on the half­way was moved quickly off the top by Diar­muid O’Dowd-Hill. The ball was quickly moved in­field where Daire Byrne car­ried with in­tent. From the re­sult­ing ruck the play was switched back to the left where Full back Jack Kee­gan hit the line at pace be­fore link­ing with sup­port­ing scrum half Ryan Fee­hily who raced to the line for Sligo’s sec­ond. Kee­gan added the ex­tras to put the half time score at 12-3 in favour of the hosts. Five min­utes into the sec­ond half Sligo fur­ther in­creased their ad­van­tage. A pin point But­ler kick to the left cor­ner forced a rushed clear­ance from the vis­i­tors. Num­ber 8 Matthew Cos­grove col­lected the clear­ance on the 10 me­tre line and drove into the heart of the Tul­lam­ore de­fence be­fore a well timed pass to Mark Rooney gave the cen­tre the op­por­tu­nity to race in un­der the posts. Kee­gan again added the ex­tras to push the score to 19-3

Sligo were now in the as­cen­dancy and were trou­bling Tul­lam­ore in all as­pects of play. A scrum on the half way line was moved to mid­field where cen­tres Byrne and Rooney were both in­volved. The ball was quickly re­cy­cled and shifted to the right where Kee­gan again in­jected pace be­fore be­ing stopped close to the line. From the ruck pow­er­ful prop Shane Mcguin­ness col­lected and blasted over for the all im­por­tant bonus point well score. Kee­gans again con­verted. Try num­ber five soon fol­lowed. Cos­grove charged from a 5 me­tre scrum and was stopped short of the line. The pack re­cy­cled and the ball was moved left to Fee­hily who sniped in for his sec­ond of the day.

With 15 min­utes re­main­ing sec­ond row James Wil­son added to the try tally with a well worked score fol­low­ing a scrum in the Tul­lam­ore 22 be­fore the vis­i­tors staged a mini re­vival with scores in the 75 and 80th min­utes and a fi­nal score in in­jury time. Sligo now have a week off from Ul­ster Bank League duty be­fore they travel to Dublin to take on Sea­point RFC on Novem­ber 25th.

Sligo Jack Kee­gan, Calum God­dard, Mark Rooney, Daire Byrne, Philip Carter, Mark But­ler, Ryan Fee­hily, Kuba Wo­jtkow­icz, Shane O’Hehir, Mark Kee­gan, James Wil­son, Shane Boyle (Capt) Manu Parkin, Diar­muid O’Dowd-Hill, Matthew Cos­grove reps Ross O’Boyle, Shane McGuin­ness, Matt Davey, Enda Gavin, Niall Gray.

Sligo RFC’s Niall Gray car­ries with Shane McGuin­ness in sup­port dur­ing their Divi­sion 2C game with Tul­lam­ore. Pics: Carl Bren­nan.

Sligo scrum half Ryan Fee­hily on the at­tack.

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