The Gain Line

THE GAIN LINE 10/12/18

126

SENIOR Rugby

Big Creggs top 3 bonus point win away in Monivea

Connacht Junior 1 League.

Monivea RFC 12, Creggs Rugby 24

Creggs recorded a superb away bonus point victory over Monivea in a titanic battle at their Castle Grounds in Saturdays crucial J1 League encounter.

A pleased Creggs team after defeating Monivea RFC away with a 4 try bonus point.

Having already defeated Monivea 18 – 8 in a tight contest at The Green just a fortnight ago, this was always going to be another difficult fixture for Pat Cunningham’s rapidly improving Creggs squad.
And so it proved with the outcome hanging in the balance until a late flurry saw Creggs home in convincing fashion. Creggs dominated early possession and territory but could not break down the strong home defence.
It was totally against the run of play when Monivea went ahead with a breakaway try in the 21st minute on a rare foray into the Creggs half. Creggs responded with some rousing play which led to a fine try by flanker James Brandon following excellent interplay between forwards and back.
Creggs welcomed Australian winger Elliot Jennings back for his first game of the season and his initial surge down the left wing played a key part in unlocking the Monivea defence in the buildup to this try. Quick hands by the Creggs backs created an overlap which Brandon finished off with aplomb as half-time approached.
The opening exchanges in the second half were frenetic as both sides struggled for ascendancy. A superb kick by Creggs out-half Shane Dowd put the home team on the retreat and from the resulting line-out Creggs attacked down the blindside, creating an overlap which culminated in a penalty try when a Monivea back was adjudged to have deliberately knocked on. To his credit the referee had no hesitation in going under the posts to award a vital seven pointer to Creggs.
Monivea continued to carry the fight to Creggs but a superbly marshalled defence held out in the face of ever increasing pressure. Creggs tackled with great determination all over the park and broke away for another excellent try by James Brandon in the 63rd minute to lead by 17 to 5.
However shortly after, Vinny Nally finished off a strong drive by the Monivea pack with a try with ten minutes remaining and a good conversion by Ger Fahy left the game delicately poised as 17 to 12.
The final try in a rip-roaring contest went to Elliot Jennings who demonstrated great power and pace when he outstripped four Monivea defenders for a magnificent individual try. Mark Brandon’s well judged conversion was the final score in a match that has finally declared Creggs as serious contenders for the top J1 title.
Having only gained promotion to this league in March it is great to witness the progress which has been made so far but there are still many tough challenges ahead. On a day when each and every squad member made a vital contribution to this victory, the Creggs forwards laid the foundation with excellent line-out and strong scrummaging against the imposing Monivea pack.
The front-row got through an enormous amount of work with Aidan Leech, Sean Higgins and Eoghan Farrell to the fore throughout. Farrell has really came of age with a highly impressive display, while Tom Oates line-out work was top class and Brian Donoghue was tireless around the park. In the back-row, Brian Diffley was immense carrying ball to great effect and punching holes in the Monivea defence at every opportunity while James Brandon complemented him with an all action performance underlined by 2 tries.
At number 8, Kevin Brandon was equally effective as his two colleagues and that speaks volumes for his contribution.
The half-back combination of Mark Brandon and Shane Dowd was very effective, with Dowd steadily regaining full fitness and confidence to provide a vital link to his speedy three-quarters. Tom Callaghan was a tower of strength in the midfield defence while alongside him Eoghan Coyle made serious yardage with some telling breaks which Monivea struggled to contain.
Chris Duignan also impressed with some powerful tackling and running while Ronan Dowd was unerring in defence and dangerous in broken play. Elliot Jennings fitted seamlessly in to the backline and showed his pedigree with his late match-winning try. Luke Meehan was strong and competitive, and tackling very well when called upon.
Creggs Rugby: Ronan Dowd, Elliot Jennings, Eoghan Coyle, Tom Callaghan, Chris Duignan, Shane Dowd, Mark Brandon, Aidan Leech, Sean Og Higgins, Eoghan Farrell, Brian Donoghue, Tom Oates, James Brandon, Brian Diffley, Kevin Brandon (Captain), Mattie Corcoran, Alan Glennon, Edward Clinton, Luke Meehan, and Oisin McConn.

CONNACHT J1A LEAGUE TABLE

POS

TEAM

PLD

W

L

D

PF

PA

DIFF

BP

DED

PTS

1

Connemara

9

8

1

0

242

78

164

7

0

39

2

Creggs

8

7

1

0

161

69

92

5

0

33

3

Buccaneers

9

4

5

0

175

178

-3

6

0

22

4

Monivea

9

5

4

0

153

164

-11

2

0

22

5

Castlebar RFC

9

3

6

0

149

185

-36

9

0

21

6

Westport

9

3

6

0

145

199

-54

3

0

15

7

Sligo

9

2

7

0

145

178

-33

5

0

13

8

Galwegians

8

3

5

0

150

269

-119

3

-3

12

Next up – Cawley Cup Final this Sunday in Galway
Creggs take a break from League action until January but face arch rivals Castlebar in the Cawley Cup Final in Galway (at Glenina – Glaswegians grounds) at 2pm on this Sunday (Dec. 16th.).
This is another massive game for Creggs and hopes are high due to good current form, but Castlebar are always difficult opponents, so it promises to be another tight affair with little separating the teams. A big Creggs support should travel for the first Final of the season, a important Cup completion open to all Division 1 teams.

Creggs Development succumb to late Corinthians pressure

Connacht J1C League

Creggs Rugby Dev. 10, Corinthians RFC 24.

A storming finish by Corinthians sealed victory for the Galway city team over Creggs Development team at The Green on Saturday evening.
Incessant rain made conditions very difficult but both teams, but they adapted well to serve up an entertaining contest which was deadlocked at 10 all until two late Corinthians tries proved decisive.
Creggs led by 7 – 0 after 22 minutes when number 8 Matthew Brandon scored an opportunist try which outhalf Noel Gately converted from the touchline. Gately added a penalty to put Creggs 10 – 0, ahead at half-time but Corinthians replied with a try immediately after the resumption.
Creggs faced into a strong downfield wind in the second half and found it difficult to gain ground in the worsening underfoot conditions. Corinthians broke through for their second try after 55 minutes and then added two further tries in the last five minutes as Creggs tired under the severe pressure applied by the strong and experienced Corinthians pack.
Creggs were missing some key players for this game but battled bravely to the end with Tommy Curley, Noel Gately, Alan Glennon, Edward Clinton, and Matthew Brandon to the fore while Michael Fleming made a huge contribution with some powerful tackling and linebreaks.
The Creggs Development squad now have a break from League action until after Xmas.
Creggs Rugby: Conor Gore, Jamie Ryan, Barry Egan, Peter Heavey, Tommy Curley, Damien Nolan, Alan Glennon, Edward Clinton, Matthew Brandon, Graham Curran, John Duffy, Matthew Curley, Philip Leech, Neville Walker, Niall Cunniffe, Aaron Donnelly, Seamus Collins, and Matthew Browne.

YOUTH Rugby

Great away winning performance from Under-17’s

Connacht Under-17A League:

Sligo RFC 29, Creggs RFC 31.

For the second week running an under-strength Creggs Under-17 team took to the field and put in a heroic performance. Missing 10 of their squad, they travelled more in hope than expectation last Sunday morning. And when Sligo ran in a try and converted after only two minutes and scored another try after 7 minutes to take a 12-0 lead it looked like it could be a long day at the office for the lads.

Creggs did rally and looked good with ball in hand and after 12 minutes good work up front by Darragh Kiernan, Luke Divilly, and Ciaran Corcoran produced quick ball for Mark Dowd who moving the ball very quickly from the base of the ruck. The Creggs backs transferred the ball through the hands and Jack Deegan went over in the corner. Mark Purcell converted from close to the sideline.
The big Sligo forwards were causing issues for the Creggs defence early on and Sligo crossed for two further tries in the first half, one of which was converted and Sligo led by 22-7 after 20 minutes.
However, the resilient Creggs lads rallied again and brilliant work from Darren Gately, Mark Purcell and Cian Glennon released Aaron Lyons on the wing who outpaced the defence to touch down which Mark Purcell again converted on the stroke of half time for the Creggs lads to go in 22-14 at half time.
Creggs now believed that an upset could be on the cards and played brilliant in both attack and defence for the majority of the second half with Ethan Glennon, Ronan Lambe and Conor McNulty excelling in the set piece and Tiernan O Sullivan brilliant at the breakdown while Naoise Coyle was a constarnt threat on the wing putting in some excellent kicks to keep Sligo under pressure.
Creggs spent most of the half in Sligo’s 22′ and Shane Connaughton went over for two well taken tries after Sligo were penalised for a couple of infringements near their line and Aaron Lyons going over for his second try after a very good off-load by Mark Purcell for Creggs to lead by 31-22 with 11 minutes remaining. A remarkable turnaround!
Sligo did get back into the game with 4 minutes remaining with a try and convert but the Creggs lads held out for a wonderful 31-29 victory.
If this promising Creggs team win at home next Sunday v Corinthians, they should qualify for the Connacht Under-17 League Semi-Final at the end of January, with one more game still to play v Monivea in mid-January.
Creggs Rugby: Jack Deegan, Daniel O Brien, Ciaran Purcell, Naoise Coyle, Aaron Lyons, Cian Glennon, Mark Purcell, Darren Gately, Mark Dowd, Conor McNulty, Ronan Lambe, Ethan Glennon, Darragh Kiernan, Luke Divilly, Ciaran Corcoran, Tiernan O Sullivan, Shane Connaughton, and Mark Silva.

Under-18’s go down away to Corrib

Connacht Under-18’s League 1B.

Corrib RFC 14, Creggs RFC 7.

Played in atrocious weather conditions under the fabulous new floodlights in Headford, an under-strength Creggs lost for the first time this season. It was a ferocious encounter Creggs defended heroically and to go in at half time just 7 – 0 down.
With such good defensive play, they had given themselves every chance and a try from Tom Farrell and touchline conversion from Mark Purcell was the perfect start to the second-half.
Indeed, Creggs would have fancied themselves to take control of the match at that point but the Corrib team were up for this encounter and as the weather abated Corrib broke clear to go 14~7 up.
Creggs finished strongly but a few mistakes at vital times meant Creggs came up just short at the final whistle. Creggs remain top of the League, and no doubt there will be another outing against Corrib, possibly in the League Final.

Youth Fixtures and Results

YOUTH Team’s (Boys) Fixtures
Creggs Under-17’s will play Corinthian RFC next Sunday at 12pm in Creggs
Creggs Under-15’s will play Sligo RFC next Saturday at 1.30pm in Creggs
N.B. – Always check CreggsRugby.ie for any late changes to the fixtures.

YOUTH Team’s (Boys) TRAINING
All Training in Creggs for:
Creggs Under-13’s and Under-14’s, train on Tuesday night at 7pm.
Creggs Under-15’s train on Thursday evening at 6.30pm.
Creggs Under-16’s on Thursday night at 7pm.
Creggs Under-17’s train Thursday night at 7pm.
Players new to rugby and returning players always welcome at all age groups.

YOUTH Team Registration/Membership – Last Call

Registration/ Membership is now overdue for all Youth Teams. The last opportunity to pay your membership will be at training and games during the next few days.
N.B. – All paid-up playing members will get a pair of the newly designed Creggs RFC socks.

Creggs YOUTH Rugby – GIRLS

Creggs Under-16’s girls have a friendly against Buccaneers RFC next Sunday morning in Athlone at 10.30am.
New players at Under-16 and Under-14 levels always welcome.
Please note, new players at Under-16 (born 2003/ 2004) can come out and give it a try. Creggs will enter teams in the Cups at Under-14 and Under-16 levels after Christmas. For further details, please contact: Dave Purcell on 089 7000547.

MINI Rugby

Creggs Minis are now on a Christmas break. We do hope to have an evening for all the Mini players players(Boys and girls from Under-7’s up to Under-12’s) on Sunday, December 30th in the Club. There will games for all under the lights on the new 4G pitch, with further details to follow.
A big thank you and a Happy Christmas to all the coaches and parents for their continued great contribution to Mini Rugby in Creggs.

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Connacht Rugby will host a free strength and conditioning webinar for female rugby players on Wednesday December 9th at 7PM.

Hosted by Ann Caffrey, an athletic development coach with experience with elite sports teams in GAA & Rugby, the webinar will first focus on U14 & U16 players. Afterwards, it will be U18 and senior player specific.

Full story & sign up link 👇🏼

www.connachtrugby.ie/connacht-rugby-to-host-free-female-rugby-strength-and-conditioning-webinars/
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