Creggs Suffer setback
Connaught Junior League
Creggs, Saturday 13 October 2012
Buccaneers - 27
Creggs - 13
Creggs suffered a setback in their Junior League campaign, losing to Buccaneers in Dubarry Park on Saturday night. Having taken 9 points from their three opening games Creggs were hoping to build on that against their old rivals but came away empty handed. The opening period went well for Creggs, 6-0 ahead after 20 minutes from two Noel Flynn penalties and they should have been 9 to the good as between landing his first and third penalties Flynn missed the easiest of the three chances presented to him. The second quarter saw Buccaneers move up a gear and from then on Creggs were very much second best in the forward exchanges. On the half hour mark sustained pressure from the home pack yielded a try for Declan Byrne in the left hand corner, full-back Gerard Fallon landing a difficult conversion. Byrne added a penalty just before half time to leave his side 10-6 ahead at the interval. Early in the second half the lead changed again as Ja Hughes a first half replacement for the injured Trevor Nee shredded the home defence for a fine individual try well converted by Flynn. From thereon however it was downhill all the way for Creggs, not helped when replacement prop Mike McAteer was sinbinned within minutes of his entry to the fray. Already under pressure Creggs needed all hands on deck and with 14 men struggled badly in the tight ultimately conceding 10 points during this period from a converted Darragh Lennon try and before that Fallon had landed an equalising penalty. At 20-13 Creggs were still good for a losing bonus point but even that was denied them as Buccs added a third try from a rolling maul, again converted by Fallon on the stroke of full time. This Sunday Creggs play Dunmore in Creggs, kick-off 3 pm – this is a vital game for Creggs as last year they were comprehensively beaten by Dunmore in the Junior Cup and the visitors are now second in the league with 13 points from 4 games played.
Buccaneers : G Fallon, C Greene, J Maguire, G Walsh, D Byrne, J Keegan, D Griffith, R Walsh, R Reid, D Egan, J Tormey, R Madigan, D Lennon, D Burns, M Staunton.
Creggs : D. Brandon, E Gilleran, C Ryan, B Kilcommons, E Egan, N Flynn, P Lohan, K Brandon, T Callaghan, T Nee, R Cassidy, P Coffey, P McNeill, L Mannion, M Corcoran.
Replacements : M McAteer, J Hughes, S Blake.
Juniors suffer first defeat of the season
Connaught Junior League
Creggs, Saturday 29 September 2012
Castlebar – 19
Creggs – 17
Superior forward power carried the day for Castlebar but only after a thrilling second half in which Creggs outscored the visitors but not by enough to claw back a half time 5 point deficit.
League leaders Castlebar came into this game strongly fancied on the back of two bonus point victories and opened at a blistering pace which Creggs struggled to match. No. 7 Shane Casey was particularly prominent in a marauding back row but Creggs clung on to keep the game scoreless and missed a chance to take the lead after 15 minutes when Noel Flynn, so sure footed of late badly skewed his opening penalty attempt. From then on it was mostly Castlebar attacking, Creggs defending with gusto and confining their opponents to just one kickable penalty which rebounded off the right hand post, was well retrieved by Kevin Brandon and no. 8 Ja Hughes relieved the danger with a huge clearance kick. Relief however was short-lived as Castlebar laid siege to the Creggs line and hooker Ian McDonagh crossed on the stroke of half time for a try which Jason Keane failed to convert. The second half began in much the same way and following a series of scrums on the Creggs 5 metre line scrum half Keane crossed near the post for a try which he duly converted.
12-0 down with half an hour to go, it looked ominous for Creggs but Noel Flynn landed a long range penalty after 20 minutes and 2 minutes later scrum half Enda Gavin touched down between the posts for a magnificent individual try, Flynn adding the conversion. Disaster struck as Creggs failed to deal with the resulting kick-off affording Castlebar a succession of scrums and rolling mauls which ultimately yielded Castlebar’s third try from reserve prop Liam Molloy, Keane again adding the conversion. Remarkably Creggs recovered from this to strike back almost immediately, good back play ending in a Noel Flynn try after David Brandon came into the line from full back and passed inside to his out half who landed the difficult conversion, leaving the score delicately balanced at 19-17. Castlebar had further chances but Keane missed a kickable penalty, were generally stopped in their tracks by ferocious tackling from the Creggs midfield Bernie Kilcommons and Kieran Ryan and the back row, particularly Tom Callaghan. And when they did break through, Brandon was unyielding as their last line of defence, hitting a couple of last ditch tackles to deprive the visitors of a bonus point. In fact the last chance fell to Creggs, Gavin obstructed as he chased his own kick ahead to within striking distance of the Castlebar posts but the referee saw no infringement and sounded the final whistle in somewhat controversial circumstances.
Creggs have no league game this weekend which will afford a badly needed rest for some players, the front row has proved a problem area, with Sean Og Higgins and Paul McNeill retiring early to injuries, adding to a growing casualty list in this crucial department.
Next up Buccaneers, Sunday 14 October in Dubarry Park, kick-off 3 pm.
Creggs : D. Brandon, S Kilcommons, K Ryan, B Kilcommons, E Gilleran, N Flynn, E Gavin, M Corcoran, S O Higgins, P McNeill, R Cassidy, K Brandon, T Nee, T Callaghan, J Hughes.
Replacements : S Quinn, P Lohan, L Mannion, M Tiley, J Walsh.
Castlebar : M Conlon, O O’Malley, L Staunton, N Byrne, D Moran, s Rogan, J Keane, D Staunton, S Casey, D Mulgrew, R Hughes, M Staunton, D Flannery, I McDonagh.
Juniors make it two from two
Connaught Junior League
Saturday 22 September 2012
Creggs - 12
Ballinasloe - 10
For the second week running Creggs came out the right side of a 2 point margin. Ballinasloe, set to make amends for last week’s surprise loss to Dunmore came blazing out of the blocks and within 4 minutes opened the scoring – a scum infringement handing out-half Paddy Birch an easy penalty chance which he duly converted. A sustained period of pressure followed but the Creggs defence held, notwithstanding a struggling scrum and so so line out. That Ballinasloe failed to add further scores in a first half which ran to almost 50 minutes, was due to heroic defensive work by the home side, notably Kevin Brandon and Trevor Nee in the back row and an impressive debut from young scrum half Enda Gavin who showed his pedigree at the base of a retreating scrum. Gavin, last year’s Connaught Schools scrum half, has opted to play with his father’s old club this season and grew in influence as the game progressed. A rare foray out of defence afforded Noel Flynn a penalty chance half way through the opening period and Flynn slotted between the posts, the first of 4 penalties landed in a flawless place kicking performance. His second on 49 minutes, still in the first half ensured Creggs turned around 6-3 ahead at half time, despite their difficulties in the tight. The opening 10 minutes of the second half was Creggs best period during which they controlled the game, even the set pieces, with Flynn landing a third penalty after 2 minutes and a long range strike on 6 to leave his side 12-3 ahead. It could have been more as a re-shuffled back line now freed from their defensive duties flashed the ball out wide and only a last ditch tackle from full-back Matthew Tierney prevented Nee from going over in the left hand corner. Buoyed by their let off Ballinasloe re-grouped and again laid siege to the Creggs line with their impressive prop JJ Carey crossing for the game’s only try in the sixteenth minute. Scrum half Rory Doolan landed the conversion to leave the game delicately poised at 12-10. And there it stayed. Creggs by now had emptied their bench, 2 substitutions forced by injuries to front rows Mike McAteer and Mattie Corcoran. Ballinasloe introduced their huge no. 8 Brendan Brophy, a man who has caused Creggs plenty of problems in the past but on his first serious charge he was laid low by a daisycutter tackle from Tom Callaghan and that set the pattern for the final quarter. Ballinasloe continued to monopolise possession but were stopped in their tracks by a succession of big hits from Callaghan, Kieran Ryan, David Brandon and back rows Kevin Brandon and Nee continuing their war of attrition all the way to the end. The end, when it came, saw Ballinasloe handed a last chance to snatch victory but Doolan was well off target with a long range penalty in the fifth minute of injury time. Even then, the drama was not quite over with Creggs slow in realising they still had to clear their lines but when they belatedly did so the final whistle sounded.
Creggs are again at home this weekend, playing Castlebar at the Green on Saturday, earlier kick-off at 6.30 pm.
Creggs : D. Brandon, P. Lohan, K. Ryan, T. Callaghan, S. Kilcommons, N. Flynn, E. Gavin, K. Brandon, S. O. Higgins, T. Nee, R. Cassidy, S. Blake, P. McNeill, M. Corcoran, M. McAteer.
Replacements : P. Corcoran, D. Flahive, J. Hughes, L. Mannion, S. Quinn.
Ballinasloe : M. Tierney, C. Loughrey, C. Johnston, K. O’Neill, M. Gibbons, P. Birch, R.. Doolan, N. Staunton, A. Doorley, H. Reynolds, K. Dolan, D. Fenton, T. Dolan, A. O’Hara, J. J. Carey.
Juniors off to a winning start
Connaught Junior League
Saturday 15 September 2012
Creggs – 11
Ballyhaunis – 9
Creggs took both points from their first league game of the season but it was a close run thing and a puzzling decision by Ballyhaunis as the game went into extra time may well have cost them the spoils. Played under lights in near perfect conditions Creggs suffered a double blow within minutes of the kick-off when captain Bernard Kilcommons clashed heads with right winger Peter Lohan, Kilcommons’ game ending there and then with a deep cut to his eyebrow and although Lohan returned after sideline treatment he too ultimately succumbed to his injuries and was withdrawn early in the second half. Tom Callaghan replaced Kilcommons and following Lohan’s withdrawal Eddie Mannion took over his duties on the wing.
Scores were hard to come by with Creggs missing a number of kickable penalties before full-back David Brandon crossed for the game’s only try on the half hour mark. A follow-up penalty from Noel Flynn left the home side briefly 8-0 ahead but just before half time Jean Pierre Geoffries converted a penalty chance for the visitors to leave the game very much in the balance.
Creggs brought on three substitutes at the break, props Paul McNeill and James Walsh and wing forward Trevor Nee whose influence in the game grew as the second half progressed. A second Flynn penalty restored his team’s margin of safety but it was shortlived with Geoffries responding in kind immediately from the resulting kick-off. Thus the game entered its final quarter with Ballyhaunis piling on the pressure and Creggs conceding penalty after penalty in all facets of play and although most of these were outside kickable range Ballyhaunis opted for scrums or to run those within striking distance of the posts. Creggs defended stoutly but having repelled a series of 5 metre scrums near the touchline, conceded a penalty under the posts as the game went into injury time. Remarkably Ballyhaunis now chose to take their three points which still left them two adrift and Creggs were never again seriously threatened, playing out the final two minutes comfortably camped in the opposition half.
Next up is Ballinasloe, now switched to Saturday night in Creggs, kick-off 8 pm.
Creggs : D Brandon, R Whyte, C Ryan, B Kilcommons, P Lohan, S Kilcommons, N Flynn, K Brandon, S Higgins, R Cassidy, M Tiley, S Blake, M Corcoran, L Mannion, M McAteer.
Replacements : T Callaghan, E Mannion, P McNeill, J Walsh, T Nee.
Ballyhaunis : M Waldron, D Marley, F Kelly, S Horan, C Gallagher, JP Geoffries, G Gallagher, F Crowley, P Gallagher, S McKay, L Convey, T Gleeson, D Daly, G Delaney, D Jordan.
Deserved win for Dunmore
Creggs 6 Dunmore 10
Creggs interest in knock-out competition ended with this defeat at the hands of Dunmore in the Junior Plate on Sunday last. Dunmore fully deserved their win, although trailing in each half, their physically imposing side ultimately ground Creggs down and in each half their response to an early Ja Hughes penalty was a sustained onslaught culminating in a try, both scored by left wing Fergus Fahy. Although this was a game of two identical halves in terms of scores and scorers Creggs second half performance was in fact much better than their first. Extremely fortunate to be just two points adrift at half time, Creggs rallied in the second half and as the visitors tired a number of critical turnovers credited to Hughes and particularly Peter Heavey kept Creggs in the game. Having lost outhalf Emmet Collins to injury midway through the first half, Creggs regrouped with Dave Flahive moving to no. 10 and Ed Payne reverting to fullback. Dunmore’s formidable pack with no. 8 Martin Cummins outstanding kept Creggs on the back foot but their back play generally lacked the cutting edge to translate their monopoly of possession into scores. Only in the two decisive scores did Dunmore create the overlap for Fahy to ground at the corner flag, neither side converted.
Creggs must now concentrate on consolidating their league position. They have a difficult task ahead with back-to-back games against Loughrea and away to Corrib. Loughrea are in contention for the runners up spot and although Creggs edged out Corrib in The Green, Headford can be a very unforgiving place for visiting teams. Both Loughrea games are re-fixtures with dates yet to be allocated, Corrib scheduled for Sunday 4th March.
Creggs: D Flahive, M Conway, B Egan, E Kilcommons, E Payne, E Collins, M Flynn, L Mannion, P Heavey, P Coffey, S Blake, M Holland, K Ryan, T Callaghan, J Hughes. Replacements: P McNeill, E Reynolds, M McAteer.
Dunmore: K Cummins, L McGarvey, E Stritch, S Heavey, F Fahy, M Coen, V Flaherty, G McHugh, J Garvey, D Heavey, T Glennon, N Silke, S Rattigan, K Rattigan, M Cummins. Replacements: S O’Toole, V Burns, T Costello, N Rattigan, N Nowlan.
Depleted Creggs side lose out to Gort
Connaught Junior League, Division 1B
Gort – 31 Creggs -17
At the turn of the year Creggs were in contention for league honours but two defeats in January have seen them slide to an uncomfortable mid table position with every lower placed team mathematically capable of passing their points total. Injuries have taken their toll but so has emigration, with Alan Glennon the latest of five departures since Christmas. The squad can ill afford any more losses to whatever cause and hopefully can reverse the recent sequence of defeats, away to Ballinrobe on Sunday next.
Last weekend, Creggs, struggling with injuries and unavailabilities got the perfect start against Gort when no. 8 Ja Hughes touched down within two minutes of the kick-off.
Emmet Collins was slightly off with his conversion attempt. For the next 25 minutes Creggs looked to be very much in control with a marked territorial advantage and a monopoly of possession. Ominously however this was not converted into scores and even more ominously on their first foray into their opponents’ half, Gort scored under Creggs posts with their hooker Declan Nohilly barrelling through a slack Creggs defence. John O’Donnell added the convert, his first of four in a flawless place kicking display.
Ten minutes later Gort stretched their lead when full-back Nollie Glynn scored the best try of the game, linking well with winger Michael McNamara to clinically finish a counter attack which began well inside their own half. O’Donnell’s conversion left the score 14-5 at half time. The introduction of Paul McNeill and Michael McAteer bolstered a Creggs scrum which had creaked badly in the first half and as before Creggs enjoyed a distinct territorial advantage which they failed to convert into points.
The visitors suffered a serious blow in losing Kevin Brandon to injury after 10 minutes and things looked grim when his back row colleague Hughes followed him into the pits five minutes later. Hughes was ultimately deemed fit to resume but not before Gort had struck again, this time centre Brian Burke’s crossing for a try was converted by O’Donnell. With Hughes return to the fray, Creggs struck back quickly and following a sustained onslaught, McNeill crossed under the posts for a try converted by Collins. That left Creggs within striking range but O’Donnell struck once more, almost immediately following the re-start, converting his only penalty chance of the day to give his side a 12 point cushion. A late try from centre Bernard Kilcommons brought Creggs within bonus point range but the bonus point went the other way when Creggs let Gort outhalf Evan Kilroy in for the softest of tries right at the death and the final kick of the game, this gave O’Donnell his fourth conversion of the match.
Gort: N Glynn, J O’Donnell, E Burke, E Kilroy, M McNamara, E Kilroy, D Ryan, T Finnegan, D Nohilly, D Conroy, P Niland, E Stanford, D Coen, R Pigott, P Crean.
Creggs: E Payne, M Conway, T Nee, B Kilcommons, E Reynolds, E Collins, N Flynn, P Corcoran, P Heavey, L Mannion, S Blake, A Glennon, K Brandon, T Callaghan, J Hughes. Replacements: P McNeill, M McAteer, R O’Grady.
Buccs secure bonus point after overpowering Creggs
Connaught Junior League, Division 1B
Buccaneers – 26 Creggs – 3
Creggs, already depleted through injury, suffered a further blow before the kick-off as no. 8 Ja Hughes limped in from the warm up. Hughes was deemed fit to enter the fray on the half hour, by then his team were trailing by 7 points to a try from Buccs centre Alex Haymans which he himself converted. That proved to be Buccaneers only score during the first half in which they totally dominated but failed to capitalise on their superiority.
A combination of fluffed chances and resolute defending by Creggs kept the visitors very much in the game and Creggs struck just before half time when Emmet Collins landed a penalty goal after Pete Heavey won a magnificent turnover just left of the Buccaneers posts. The third quarter continued in much the same vein, Buccs exerting continuous pressure, the Creggs defence in which Kevin Brandon was quite outstanding, refusing to yield. It was pretty much all one way traffic however and the Creggs defence looked to be finally breached when Buccs full-back Kevin Naughton spilled the ball with the line at his mercy as the game entered its final quarter. Naughton duly made amends 5 minutes later when he finished off a back movement in the left corner for an unconverted try and even more so shortly after that when he came in from the right wing to link up with the impressive Haymans to score under the posts. Haymans added the conversion and prop David Lennon secured the bonus points for the home side in barging over between the posts on the stroke of full time.
The five points gained from this win leaves Buccaneers top of the table and very much in pole position to win out this year’s league. Creggs are away to Gort in the league on Sunday next, kick-off 2.30 pm.
Buccaneers: D Lennon, S Stapleton, B Gilligan, A Hughes, R Beirne, T Burke, R Walsh, A Hughes, C Molloy, A Douglas, B Walsh, A Haymans, T Beirne.
Creggs: P Heavey, P Corcoran, P Coffey, A Glennon, S Blake, J Clarke, T Nee, K Brandon, N Flynn, E Collins, E Payne, B Kilcommons, K Ryan, M Conway, D Flahive. Replacements: J Hughes, M McAteer, L Mannion, P McNeill.
Connacht Junior Cup
Carrick on Shannon 5 Creggs 58
Creggs advance in Cup after Leitrim win
Creggs advanced to the second round of the Junior Cup with a comprehensive win over a brave and determined Carrick side at Leitrim village community grounds on Sunday. Creggs got off to a great start, with second row Alan Glennon and prop Joe Heavey scoring tries in a whirlwind opening ten minute spell. With Carrick struggling to contain the powerful Creggs pack, Bernard Kilcommons knifed his way through for another try in the 18th minute, converted by Emmet Collins.
A Collins penalty gave Creggs a comfortable 20-0 lead, before Carrick gradually began to secure more possession and apply some pressure on the Creggs defence. In a dominant spell by the home pack, Carrick missed three kickable penalties before halftime and almost breached the Creggs tryline on several occasions.
The match continued in similar vein after halftime, and Carrick finally got a try which was thoroughly deserved following another period of sustained pressure. That score sparked Creggs back into action, and when impressive no. 8 Ja Hughes ran 50 metres for a superb solo try in the 47th minute, there looked to be no way back for the Leitrim men.
And so it proved, with Creggs easing into gear with two further tries by Hughes to complete his hat-trick, while prop forward replacement Larry Mannion also stormed over for two tries with a combination of nifty footwork and excellent handling. Michael Holland also got in on the scoring act with a powerful run which outstripped the tiring home defence.
The final scoreline does not do justice to the wholehearted effort of the Carrick team, which plays in a lower league division than Creggs.
If Creggs are to advance further in the competition however they must now bridge a similar gap when they face Boys Club in the second round on Sunday. Boys Club are currently second in division 1A despite losing narrowly to Galwegians at the weekend. Kick-off at the Green 2 pm.
Creggs: Dave Flahive, Michael Conway, Bernard Kilcommons, Barry Egan, Trevor Nee, Emmet Collins, Noel Flynn, Joe Heavey, Peter Heavey, Pat Coffey, Stephen Blake, Alan Glennon, Tom Callaghan, Kevin Brandon, Ja Hughes, Peter Corcoran, Larry Mannion, Michael Holland, Mattie Corcoran.
Connaught Junior 1B League
Ballinasloe 15 Creggs 6
Two penalty goals from outhalf Emmett Collins were scant reward from a first half dominated by the visitors pack and unless it could be built upon, Creggs slender lead at the interval looked insufficient to carry the day against table toppers Ballinasloe on Sunday. And so it proved.
Creggs valiantly held on to their three point lead into the final quarter but two late tries from the home side settled the issue and with almost the last kick of the game Creggs were left with nothing as Robert O’Beirne converted JJ Carey’s try, having seen his earlier attempted conversion rebound off the post to leave Creggs still in bonus point territory.
The game started promisingly for Creggs, John Comiskey setting off on a storming run, the first of many directly from the kick-off. Pat Coffey, Alan Glennon, Joe Heavey and Mattie Corcoran were also prominent in making the hard yards but with the backline decimated by injury, Creggs’ blunderbuss approach was too one-dimensional to unpick the Ballinasloe defence which yielded just two penalties against one from their outhalf Cathal Brophy in the opening period.
At half time Ballinasloe introduced two substitutes who were to have a major bearing on the outcome. No. 8 Mark Harrigan took Creggs on at their own game and as the war of attrition played out Creggs inevitably tired with Harrigan barging over for the game’s opening try in the 63rd minute. The second substitute, regular outhalf Robert O’Beirne saw his conversion rebound off the post but otherwise he kept Creggs on the back foot with line kicking of the first order. As the game entered the final stages the only question was could Creggs hold on to their bonus point but that was answered when the loosehead Carey crashed over under the posts leaving O’Beirne with an unmissable conversion.
Creggs now have back-to-back league games against Loughrea, still in contention at this stage, but this defeat, their second at the hands of Ballinasloe has struck a severe blow to Creggs bid for league honours. Of most immediate concern is the injury crisis in the backline with no back on the replacements bench and hooker Peter Heavey manning the right wing position on Sunday.
Ballinasloe: D Burke, C Loughney, C Johnston, C Feerick, M Gibbons, C Brophy, J Kelly, K Herd, R Wakefield, H Reynolds, D Fenton, N Staunton, T Dolan, D O’Hare, JJ Carey. Replacements : M Kerrigan, R O’Beirne.
Creggs: S Quinn, P Heavey, B Kilcommons, B Egan, M Conway, E Collins, N Flynn, T Coffey, M Corcoran, J Heavey, J Comiskey, A Glennon, K Brandon, T Callaghan, J Hughes. Replacements : P Corcoran, S Blake.
Connacht Junior League:
Creggs Rugby 27 - 3 NUI Galway (UCG).
Creggs Rugby collected a winning bonus point in their good victory over a spirited College team at Creggs on Sunday. The team has built up a good winning run and developed a great team spirit and perform very well as a strong unit. Onwards and upwards….
Connaught Junior League, Division 1B
Creggs 22 Corrib 3
Creggs made it four wins on the trot by comprehensively outplaying Corrib at the Green on Saturday night. Only two league points separated the teams beforehand but Creggs dominance was such their only regret will be their failure to add the fourth try that would have secured a bonus point. Played under lights in perfect conditions the home team started well but resolute defending from Corrib coupled with Creggs failure to get in the vital last pass on a number of occasions kept the game scoreless until the 25th minute when right winger Ed Payne crossed in the corner for the opening try. Emmet Collins failed to land the difficult conversion but 5 minutes later crossed under the postS before adding the conversion to leave the home side 12-0 ahead. Corrib gradually worked their way into their opponents half mainly through the prodigious boot of outhalf Cormac Bane crossing codes from his more regular slot in the Galway full forward line. Bane landed a long range penalty shortly before half time to leave the score line 12-3 in Creggs favour at the interval. The third quarter saw Creggs produce their best rugby in recent seasons. Wave after wave of attacks down the left flank produced a Collins penalty after 5 minutes and Ed Payne grabbed a second try shortly afterwards when he emerged with the ball from a ruck on the 22 following good work by his pack and particularly the impressive no. 8 Ja Hughes. Collins added the conversion and that remarkably finished the scoring. Payne looked to be set up for his hat-trick almost immediately from the re-start but the last pass went astray and the game degenerated in the final quarter with two yellow cards shown to Creggs and the Corrib flanker Martin Lee receiving a straight red for an apparent body check on the referee. Corrib had the upper hand in this period but Creggs defended doggedly and the visitors best efforts invariably centred on their stand out performer Bane fell marginally short. The Creggs pack played well throughout with Kevin Brandon turning in another ferocious display, ably assisted by his back row colleagues Hughes and no. 7 Tom Callaghan, with John Comiskey producing a powerhouse performance in the second row. Of the backline both try scorers Payne and Collins had a good day at the office and the impressive mid-field defence, in the first half Barry Egan and Bernard Kilcommons, in the second Egan and Kieran Ryan snuffed out any threat from the visitors backline. Behind them Dave Flahive had another assured outing at full back. Next up is the return leg against UCG, likely to be Friday evening at the Green, see the notice boards when kick-off time is confirmed.
Creggs: D. Flahive, E. Payne, B. Egan, B. Kilcommons, M. Conway, E. Collins, N. Flynn, P. Coffey (captain), M. Corcoran, J. Heavey, A. Glennon, J. Comiskey, K. Brandon, T. Callaghan, J. Hughes. Replacements : K. Ryan, L. Mannion.
Corrib: C. Sullivan, JJ Greaney, R. Colleran, D. O’Connor, R. Casey, C. Bayne, E. Kenny, B. McDonagh, M. Lee, John Leahy, R. Molloy, John Gannon, G. Forde, E. O’Connor, Conor Moylan.
Connacht Junior League Div. 1B
Creggs 11 Ballinrobe 8
Winning streak continues for Creggs
Creggs ground out a third successive league victory in a gruelling encounter with Ballinrobe at the Green on Sunday.
By current standards, weather conditions during the game were relatively clement but earlier rain made for a tacky surface which took its toll on the players, as this war of attrition unfolded.
Creggs laid down a marker from the off with their backrow trio of Kevin Brandon, Tom Callaghan and Kieran Ryan especially prominent in the opening stages. The home side took the lead on 23 minutes with hooker Peter Heavey touching down on the tryline following a series of well-worked forward drives. Emmet Collins was off target with the conversion but made amends with a well-struck penalty five minutes later to leave the visitors eight points adrift.
Ballinrobe’s only scoring opportunity in the first half went abegging when outhalf Stephen Rochford missed a sitter in front of the Creggs posts. On 40 minutes Brandon left the field due to injury, with Trevor Mee taking over at No. 8 and Ed Payne replacing him on the right wing. In added time Creggs had two unsuccessful shots at goal, firstly Mee and then Collins falling short with long-range penalties.
Ballinrobe came out with all guns blazing in the second half, but the re-jigged Creggs backrow continued to thwart their efforts and some sterling midfield defence, coupled with an assured performance from full back Davi Flahive, kept the Creggs line intact.
The forward battle ground relentlessly on with Ballinrobe now in the ascendancy but Creggs stretched their lead with a second Collins penalty after fifteen minutes, his opposite number Rochford having again spurned an easy kicking opportunity moments earlier.
Tempers flared from the ensuing drop off with both hookers sinbinned and Ballinrobe took full advantage of the resultant disarray with No. 8 Dougie Costello powering over from a tapped lineout on the Creggs 22. Rochford added the conversion to leave the game finely balanced entering the final quarter. Remarkably Creggs held on to their slender lead with no further scores recorded and closed out the game comfortably encamped in their opponents’ 22. This was a gutsy performance from Creggs, with all nineteen players called upon acquitting themselves well and the team will be hoping to extend their winning streak away to Loughrea in the league on Sunday.
Creggs: D Flahive, M Conway, B Kilcommons, B Egan, T Mee, E Collins, N Flynn, P Coffey (capt.), P Heavey, M Corcoran, A Glennon, J Comiskey, K Ryan, T Callaghan, K Brandon. Reserves: E Payne, J Heavey, K Raftery, L Mannion.
Ballinrobe: J Walsh, M Grufferty, J McTigue, B Lynskey, D Reilly, S Rochford, M Ansbro, M Mikolajewski, C McHugh, B O’Toole, P Moylette, M Joyce (capt.), C Varley, S Kelly, D Costello.
Connacht Junior League
Creggs 20 Gort 5
Creggs overcome Gort
Creggs produced a much-improved second half display to defeat Gort at The Green in Saturday’s evening’s Junior League game. At half time, Creggs led by a single point, and were lucky to be ahead following a sustained period of Gort forward dominance.
Creggs led 3-0 after Emmet Collins kicked a penalty in the fifth minute following a lively opening by the home pack. Creggs continued to dominate the early exchanges, and another successful Collins penalty in the 14th minute was a fair reflection of play.
However, Gort regrouped and gradually began to dictate up front, where the lighter Creggs pack began to struggle to secure possession in difficult underfoot conditions. With their strong pack producing quality ball, Gort broke through for a well-worked try in the 28th minute after Creggs had been overstretched in defence. Gort had a few other chances before half time, but Creggs held out with the back row tackling ferociously to repel several dangerous attacks.
Creggs raised the tempo in the second half, and a much higher work-rate began to pay dividends with the Gort forwards being moved around the field and struggling to contain the lively home pack.
The introduction of Joe Heavey made a significant difference to the Creggs scrum, as he used his bulk and experience to good effect to regain control for Creggs in the key forward battle.
Kieran Ryan scored a vital try for Creggs midway through the half when he blocked down an attempted clearance, and he showed great skill to control the ball before touching down under the posts. Emmet Collins’ conversion gave Creggs a valuable eight-point cushion, which meant that Gort needed at least two scores to regain the lead.
Creggs finished the game strongly, with captain Pat Coffey rounding off an excellent handling move involving forwards and backs, for a well-deserved try and again Collins added the conversion to close out the game as a contest.
This was a tough examination for Creggs, and one they passed with flying colours once they sorted out Gort’s dominance in the scrum and lineout which looked ominous at half-time. Full back Edward Payne dealt capably with everything thrown at him, while the three quarters tackled solidly and made occasional breaks to test the Gort defence. Halfbacks Noel Flynn and Emmet Collins used their experience to good effect, keeping Gort on the back foot in the final quarter.
Up front, Peter Heavey, Pat Coffey and Kevin Brandon impressed, while young flanker Tom Callaghan gave an all-action display which contributed significantly to this victory.
Creggs play Ballinrobe at the Green on Sunday next, and they will be hoping for another victory to maintain recent good form, which has seen two wins and a draw move them steadily up the table and into a challenging position for league honours.
Creggs Team: E Payne; M Conway, D Flahive, B Egan, B Kilcommons; E Collins N Flynn; M Corcoran, P Heavey, P Corcoran; P Coffey, A Glennon; K Brandon, T Callaghan, K Ryan, J Heavey, K Raftery, T Nee.
Connaught Junior League
Creggs – 10 Buccaneers – 8
Creggs survived a second half onslaught to take full points from a gruelling encounter with Buccaneers at the Green on Sunday. Playing in wild, wet conditions, Buccs exerted the early pressure and were first on the score board with a penalty goal from scrum half Gerard Fallon after 5 minutes. The visitors launched wave after wave of attack but sterling Creggs defence kept their line intact. On a rare foray out of defense, Creggs took the lead with a try on the half hour from Kevin Brandon, following a good run by hooker Peter Heavey. Outhalf Emmet Collins landed the difficult conversion and 5 minutes later following Creggs only sustained period of pressure in the entire game, added a penalty to leave Creggs 10-3 ahead at the interval. Buccs threw everything at Creggs in the second half with a number of barnstorming runs from their big no. 7 Padraig De Burca but Creggs fought a valiant rearguard action in which their back row was outstanding. Remarkably both flanker Kevin Brandon and no. 8 Ja Hughes came direct to the Green from Hyde Park where they played for the Creggs footballers in their hard earned victory over Leitrim Gaels. Hughes picking up the Man of the Match award in the earlier game. Brandon, Hughes and their colleague Tom Callaghan would all be serious contenders for that accolade in this match as they harried and hustled their bigger opponents, secured numerous turnovers and tackled relentlessly throughout. The Creggs backline also played its part in that regard with Kieran Ryan and Barry Egan impregnable in midfield. Outhalf Collins also stopped Buccs no. 8 Adrian Hughes dead in his tracks with a monster hit midway through the second half. Buccs eventually breached the Creggs line with an unconverted try from centre Brian Walsh but no further scores ensued. Creggs did concede a succession of penalties but none within kicking range and the final whistle blew with Creggs encamped on their opponents tryline.
This was a much improved performance from Creggs after their lacklustre showing against UCG the previous weekend. Coaches Nigel Glennon and Patrick O’Farrell will be boosted by the return of Mattie Corcoran and Noel Flynn from their sojourn in New Zealand and Joe Heavey who impressed on his introduction after a long injury layoff. Creggs next play Gort under lights at the Green on Saturday evening, Kick-off 7 pm.
Creggs: E Payne, M Conway, C Ryan, B Egan, B Kilcommons, E Collins, N Flynn, M Corcoran, P Heavey, K Keane, A Glennon, P Coffey (capt.), K Brandon, T Callaghan, J Hughes.