New head coach Kieran Dowd got his tenure off to a winning start on Saturday last, as his young first team Creggs Rugby squad were victorious in the annual George Tees tournament hosted by City of Derry RFC. The Creggs men won five out of five games to take home the cup.
With two groups of four, the format was twelve and a half minute a half games, with the winning team from each group contesting the final.
First up for the Creggs men were YMCA RFC and it was a matter of off the bus and on to the pitch. Thankfully the long journey had no effect on the players as they exploded into action and were comfortable winners on a scoreline of four tries to nil.
Letterkenny RFC were the next opponents and they posed no problems for the Creggs side who were in total control from kick off to the full time whistle and were deserving winners racking up six tries along the way.
The third and final game of the group were against the hosts City of Derry RFC. With both teams winning their previous two games this was the group decider with the winner going into the tournament final. Creggs applied some early pressure but found themselves ten nil down at the break.
Creggs came out in the second half and played some fantastic rugby and managed to drag the game back to to ten all with tries from captain Bernard Kilcommins and David Brandon. It looked as if the game was heading for a draw until outhalf Michael Green made a beautiful line break before popping the ball back inside to No.8 Kevin Brandon to seal victory and ensure their place in the Tournament Final.
The final was contested against Omagh RFC who had also won all three of their group games. Injuries to full back Noel Flynn and centre Bernard Kilcommins meant Kieran Dowd and his coaching staff had to do a slight bit of reshuffling in the line up. There was nothing in the game with both sides coming close to scoring but the breakthrough finally came when full back for Creggs David Brandon collected a loose clearance just inside the Omagh half way line and weaved his way through several players showing some beautiful footwork skills before crossing the try line much to the players and coaches delight.
Some powerful runs by Tom Flemming, Kieran Ryan and in particular a fantastic run from Kevin Brandon from his own try line nearly saw Creggs score again. There was also some defending to be done and big hits from David Brandon, Michael Green and the rest of the Creggs side ensured Omagh didn’t breach the Creggs men disciplined and powerful defence.
Bernard Kilcommins collected the trophy as Creggs Rugby were deserving winners in what was a great day out for the club. To add the icing to the cake Creggs man David Brabdon collected the player of the tournament for his efforts and it was a special day for incoming Connacht Branch President Adrian Leddy who was once a City of Derry player himself.
The George Tees Memorial Cup sees the first bit of silverwear returning to the Green Creggs this season. WAnd with a young and enthusiastic squad and several weeks of hard pre-season training behind them hopefully its a good sign of things to come.
Creggs Rugby Squad: Barry Egan, Leo Nally, David Feeney, Michael Tiley, Kevin Brandon, Tom Flemming, Kieran Ryan, Michael Green, Michael McAteer, Damien Miskella, Noel Flynn, Mattie Corcoran, Paul McNeill, David Brandon, Tom Callaghan, Enda Tully, Peter Heavy, Larry Mannion, Bernard Kilcommins (capt), Peter Corcoran, Andrew Callaghan, Stephen Crehan, and David Hoare.