Creggs RUgby 14, Galwegians RFC 14.
Last Sunday, Creggs Under-17’s had their first game since mid-December against old rivals Galwegians in the Connacht Under-17 League.
Creggs currently hold second spot in the League table and needed to make sure not to lose so they can secure a home semi final and after a patchy performance they managed just that.
Creggs began this game by getting the better of Galwegians upfront early on with good work from Dara Byrne, Melvin Conteh, David O’ Gorman and Rian Biesty had Galwegians on the back foot from the start and they took the lead after 12 minutes when Adam Finnerty forced his way over from close range after a 5 metre penalty which was converted for a 7-0 lead
Creggs failed to gather the kick off and it was Galwegians who now took control of the ball and the territory and when a move from the back of a scrum led to a good break from their centre as he was tackled by Eoghan Coyle but he off-loaded expertly to their number 10 to run in under the posts which was converted to level the scores 7-7 at the break.
At the start of the second half Galwegians continued to dominate the game physically and Creggs were struggling to stay in touch, Galwegians had a couple of league games over the past two weeks and the extra game time certainly had them ready for the battle better than their opponents, but Creggs held in there and a couple of good turnovers by Shane Purcell, Rian Biesty and Danny Arnold at crucial times kept Galwegians at bay.
With 15 minutes to go Galwegians took the lead for the first time when they put huge pressure on the scrum 5 metres from their own line lead to scrappy ball which was blocked down and they dived on the ball to increase their lead to 14-7.
It looked likely that Galwegians would hold out for the win as they were still in the ascendancy. However this Creggs side have battled together for a number of years successfully and they drew on all this experience and teamwork and they managed to work their way up the pitch again.
Then a chip ahead was gather by Shane Purcell who chiped ahead again over the full back and when the defender dived on the ball near his own line. Creggs managed to turn it over and after a few phases through the hands of Byrne, Biesty, Brian Maloney and Brandon Hanmore, Eoghan Coyle picked and dived over which was again converted to draw the match level 14-14
Creggs Under-17’s are guaranteed a top 4 place and a semi final in the Connacht Under-17 league and they play Sligo RFC next Sunday in Creggs with the opportunity to guarantee the home semi. In fact, they could possibly face Galwegians again in the semi final in two weeks time.
Creggs and Galwegians are also drawn against each other in the first round of the Connacht Under-17 Cup later in February so a busy period ahead for this Creggs squad.
Creggs Panel: Ian Conlon, Danny Arnold, Melvin Conteh, David O Gorman, Brian Maloney, Dara Byrne, Rian Biesty, Adam Finnerty, Eoghan Coyle, Shane Purcell, Jason Hoare, Niall Cunniffe, Ben McGahon, Oisin Keenan, Aaron Glennon, Brandon Hanmore, Emmett Quinn.