News, Seniors - Firsts

Connacht Junior League

11

OLBC – 5
Creggs – 37

Without quite matching the explosive start which marked their recent performances, Creggs nonetheless found themselves 7 points to the good within 2 minutes of the kick-off at The Sportsground on Sunday. Tom Callaghan pounced on a spilled ball in mid-field feeding Shane Dowd who still had a long way to go but the Creggs no. 10 out-ran and out-manoeuvred the defence to touch down between the posts, tapping over the conversion himself. This score set the template for the rest of the game, Creggs ultimately running out convincing winners but all the Creggs tries began as counter attacks and three of them from inside their own 22. Boys Club who have struggled this season brought a physicality to the game which the much lighter Creggs team struggled to match. Creggs powerful loose head Tom Fleming limped off after 13 minutes to be replaced by Neville Walker and after Creggs survived a period of intense pressure Bernard Kilcommons began a break-out from defence, linking with Kevin Brandon and Barry Egan who put his full-back Kevin Gavin through for a try at the right corner flag. Creggs no. 6 Alan Brandon, making his senior debut following his recent transfer from Ennis was yellow-carded for a late tackle on the half hour and in his absence Boys Club ramped up the pressure which culminated in their no. 8 Tom Breen crossing for a try just short of the half-time whistle. Within 5 minutes of the restart Creggs pulled away again, a trademark Aidan Leech turnover on his own 10 metre line securing the ball for Ger Heneghan to sprint the length of the field for his side’s third try. Dowd added a penalty after 20 minutes, in the meantime a second yellow for Creggs had seen Bernard Kilcommons sent to the bin. A spectacular piece of fielding from Ray Cassidy laid the groundwork for a Heneghan penalty on the half hour and the floodgates opened in the final period with the home side tiring, firstly Alan Brandon breaking out of defence with Kilcommons on his shoulder for the latter to score under the posts and Kilcommons grabbed a second within minutes when running through a by now demoralised opposition, Heneghan adding both conversions. In terms of territory and possession this was a much closer encounter than the scoreline would suggest and tenacious defence, particularly from Callaghan in mid-field and both Brandons in the back row provided the platform for the victory. The result means Creggs now advance to the next round of the Cup at home to Connemara on Sunday, kick-off at The Green 2 p. m. This game which will evoke memories of many great battles in the past, is a maj0r step-up for Creggs but Connemara, who a couple of seasons back were in the All-Ireland League, are in a relegation battle this season and Creggs will be aiming for a shock result on Sunday.

Creggs : K Gavin, B Egan, G Heneghan, T Callaghan, P Leech, S Dowd, C Duignan, T Fleming, S O Higgins, A Leech, B Donoghue, B Kilcommons, A Brandon, P Lohan, K Brandon.

Replacements : N Walker, N O’Rourke, R Cassidy, S Cregan, R Kelly.

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