Creggs come up short against resolute Connemara
Connacht J1 League
Creggs Rugby 8, Connemara RFC 16.
Last season, newly promoted Creggs Firsts and Connemara fought a battle royal for supremacy in the Connacht Junior ranks. Creggs pushed the Blacks all the way in the Connacht J1 League but an emphatic victory in the Cup Final which secured the double for Connemara left no-one in any doubt as who was No.1 in the province.
But what a journey that Creggs has travelled on the last couple of seasons and continues to move forward. Having just won promotion, they immediately set about challenging the major force that is Connemara last season, impressing those that came across them along the way. The rate of improvement at this level is proof positive of the very strong youth rugby work being done by coaches in this decade in particular. The conversion through the much improved Development squad structure and the work of head coach Pat Cunningham and his fellow coaches with the First team squad gives great optimism for the rest of this season and for many years ahead.
On last Saturday night in their opening joust of this season Creggs began in blistering fashion as if to demonstrate just how far they had managed to close the gap since the team’s previous encounter. Playing against the wind, Creggs launched a series of attacks but one of Connemara’s many strong points is their defence and this held, just about, aided by some Creggs mistakes with last passes going abegging when all the hard work had been done.
When Creggs did finally make a breakthrough in the 22nd minute it was a magnificent solo effort from scrum half Eoghan Coyle who broke through a lineout on his own 10 metre line and somehow evaded all efforts to bring him down before powering to the line to give his team a deserved lead as the game entered its second quarter.
Connemara however hit back almost instantly, Connacht player of the year last season, full back Henry O’Toole who was well marshalled in open play by the Creggs defence, landing a penalty almost immediately from the kick off. Creggs continued to grind their way out of defence with almost no recourse to the boot, a tactic which sapped their forwards in never-ending combat with a formidable opposition pack and the second half began with an invigorated Connemara, rolling their bench to good effect, pounding the Creggs line, however a resolute if clearly tiring defence held.
What was now one of the most absorbing encounters ever seen at The Green became a clear contrast in styles. Creggs continued with their strategy of grinding their way out of defence, Connemara upped the tempo, then slowed as it suited with their scrum half Michael O’Toole directing the pace of the game. It looked like the game would go right to the wire when Creggs finally broke out of defence, Tom Fleming wrestling a turnover on his own 22 and offloading to his front row colleague Aidan Leech. Leech who had an exceptional game by any standards battered his way up field with the ultimate outcome a Shane Purcell penalty to leave the home side 8-3 ahead with 15 minutes remaining.
Ominously for Creggs the penalty count was running very much in favour of the visitors and continuing to hold the ball in defence left them open to conceding kickable penalties. And that’s exactly what came to pass, two penalties in quick succession from Henry O’Toole, one of which Cregg’s fullback Shane Dowd got a yellow card for, saw the Blacks inch ahead by a point as the game ended its closing stages.
Creggs finding themselves a man down, and behind for the first time had to go for broke and a mistake allowed Connemara’s South African out-half Curtis Jones cross with 2 minutes remaining, the conversion from Shane Sweeney depriving Creggs of a losing bonus with the last kick of the game. And so notwithstanding a heroic effort in which all their players rose to the occasion, Creggs had nothing to show for their efforts other than the knowledge that they are closing the gap on Connemara.
The Blacks game management however is second to none, they know how to win tight games and that is the area this young Creggs team must work on if they are to reverse the pecking order over the coming seasons.
Creggs Rugby: Shane Dowd, Ronan Dowd, Elliot Jennings, Tom Callaghan, Kevin Gavin, Shane Purcell, Eoghan Coyle, Tom Fleming, Maurice Buckley, Aidan Leech, Ian Whittington, Brian Donoghue, James Brandon, Pete Lohan, Brian Diffley (Capt.), Danny Arnold, Sean O’Higgins, Kevin Brandon, Mark Brandon, Martin Quinn.
Creggs Development team prepare for OLBC game
Creggs Development play Our Lady’s Boys Club in the Connacht Junior 1C game this Saturday (Nov. 16). Creggs Development are currently third in the J1C League Table and with two good wins in a row, the squad is coming into good form.
New and returning players always welcome in Creggs – and no previous rugby experience necessary, as full coaching available for all levels.
ADULT TEAM TRAINING
This weekend, the Creggs Under-20’s, Development squad are training at 8.15 pm on Friday evening. The First Team training time TBC.
LATEST UPDATE On Official Opening Day in Creggs
In addition to the First Team will play Buccaneers RFC in a J1 League match at 5pm and the Creggs Development team will play Loughrea Second XV for the annual PJ Forde Memorial Trophy at 2,.30pm, with both of those games on the new 4G pitch.
Also, at 2.30pm on the Green, there will also be a Third adult rugby match with our extended Development squad and other players playing against an Invitational XV of former and retired players. There are already over forty players confirmed that they will be in Creggs for this game.
All former players that would like to be involved in this game, please contact: Mattie Corcoran, Kevin O’Rourke, Paul Turley, Micheal Glennon, Pat Coffey, Sean Brandon, Adrian Leddy, Alan Glennon, or Vincent Collins.
The plan is that the day will start off with a showcase MINI Blitz with all boys and girls involved. More details next week on the Youths and MINI programmes for the big day.
There will also be 9 Youth rugby games on the day from 12 Noon to 2 pm on four pitches and continuing on two pitches until 4pm. All Boys and Girls Youth teams will play at some stage on the four pitches during the biggest day in Creggs Rugby Club’s history.
The official opening of the three new pitches (including the 4G artificial/ all-weather pitch), the new stand, new Scoreboard and the new amenity walkway around the grounds will take place as part of a full programme of events at the club.
45th Anniversary Dinner
That night, the 45th. Anniversary of the Club will be celebrated at a Dinner Dance in the Abbey Hotel in Roscommon. Tickets are currently available now from Committee members. They’re selling fast so order yours as soon as possible.
Please mark the 23rd. of November in your calendar. It will be a great day and night!
Great win for Under-16 Girls away to Connemara
Connacht Under-16 Girls League
Connemara RFC 10, Creggs RFC 22.
Creggs Under-16 Girls travelled to play a strong Connemara RFC outfit last Sunday in Clifden and came away with a very impressive 22-10 victory.
Played in cold and wet conditions, this was always going to be a tough test for the girls where catching the ball was going to be a test in itself, the girls managed to defend brilliantly and also scored four very good tries during the game.
Playing with the strong wind in the first half, the Creggs side had the better of the territory in the first half and the home side were forced to defend for long periods but Creggs found it hard to break them down, but upfront there were some strong carries from Grace Hanley, Jemima Adams Verling, Jean O’Boyle, Grace Hanley and Eadaoin Walsh, while Eabhaoin Murray kept the ball moving out wide where Rachel McDonald, Megan Donoghue and Caoimhe Walsh were very good.
After 17 minutes Creggs did get in for the opening score when Sarah Purcell got over for a try which she converted for a 7-0 lead. From the kick off Creggs knocked on and Connemara weer ararded a scrum in the 22″ and from that scrum did manage to get over in the corner for a try against the run of play so Creggs lead 7-5 after 20 minuted but Creggs stretched their lead 5 minutes before the break when the Connemara defence sent a long kick downfield which Jennifer Morris collected and she managed to beat the defence with pace and score in the corner for a 12-0.
The second half the Creggs girls were playing against the wind, but defended magnificently with Eabha Conroy, Emma Mannion, Caoimhe Walsh, Erica Keegan, Emily Murray, Julie Ann Fahy excellent in defence while going forward Nadine Fizmaurice, Roisin O’Brien, Gabrielle Kilcommons and Sarah Purcell were a constant threat.
The next score would be vital and after a sustained period of pressure Roisin Maher got in for a score to stretch the lead to 17-5 and the Creggs girls were now on top and the next score was the score of the game when a super carry by Roison O’Brien was recycled and the next phase was carried on by Gabrielle Kilcommons, which again was recycled and Mikayla Gilooly moved it quickly to Jennifer Morris who broke the defence and offloaded superbly to Emma Mannion who ran in for the try for Creggs to lead 22-5.
The home side did get in for an uncoverted try with two minutes remaining but the Creggs girls held out for a well deserved victory.
Creggs Rugby: Roisin Maher, Nadine Fitzmaurice, Jean O Boyle, Grace Hanley, Eadaoin Walsh, Rachel McDonald, Roisin O’Brien, Caoimhe Walsh, Sarah Purcell, Emma Mannion, Emily Murray, Gabrielle Kilcommons, Megan Donoghue, Jemima Adams Verling, Julie Ann Fahy, Stacey Cobally, Erica Keegan, Eabha Conroy, Mikalya Gilooly, Jennifer Morris, Eabhoin Murray.
Great away win for Creggs Under-16 Boys Team
Connacht Under-16 Boys League:
Sligo RFC 7, Creggs RFC 12,
Creggs Under-16’s travelled to Sligo RFC last Saturday and came away with a good and much needed victory to keep their League semi final hopes alive.
Played in cold and windy conditions scores were always going to be hard to come by and both defences were on top for long periods. The home side played with the wind in the first half and Creggs were forced to defend their line for long periods but some brilliant defence early on up front from Lee Kilcoyne, Ciaran Purcell and Eoin Kelly saw them turn over the ball on a number of occasions. However the clearance kicks were being affected by the strong breeze so Creggs were forced to carry the ball into contact with Aodhan looby, Edimar Fimho and Ryan Conlon doing their best to make yards in the backs when the opportunity arose.
Sligo did eventually break down the Creggs defence as the first half came towards and end but the Creggs lads were quite happy going in 7-0 down at half time after playing into a very strong breeze.
Creggs attacked for long periods in the second half with Noah Fallon, Darragh Gilleran, Aindriu Oates and Tomas Tiernan especially prominent up front carrying the ball. Their hard work was rewarded when Creggs did get in for a try after 5 minutes when Cormac Dolan, Fed DJ Hession who released Aodhan Looby to score in the corner which DJ Hession converted to level the scores.
Creggs got in for another score after 15 minutes when the ball was moved wide for Ryan Conlon to score in the corner for a 12-7 lead.
Creggs were finding it hard to break down the Sligo defence for a score that might secure the victory and this gave Sligo a new lease of life. They had a period of pressure towards the end of the game but brilliant defence from Miguel Arthur, Noah Fallon, Ciaran Purcell and Conor Betts when required and some excellent clearing kicks from Hession and Looby saw the Creggs lads hold out for a good away victory.
Creggs Rugby: Aindriu Oates, Tomas Tiernan, Miguel Arthur, Aidan Hoare, Noah Fallon, Lee kilcoyne, Eoin Kelly, Darragh Gilleran, Ciaran Purcell, DJ Hession, Cormac Dolan, Aodhan Looby, Jack Fleming, Josh Adams Verling, Ryan Conlon, Conor Betts, Edimar Fimho, Noah Fallon.
Corinthians 18’s win-out over understrength Creggs
Connacht Under-18.5 League
Corinthians RFC 19, Creggs Rugby 15
The Creggs Under-18.5s team who travelled away to Corinthians RFC last Sunday and came up just short losing 19-15, but delivered a great fighting performance.
With injuries and lads unavailable, Creggs travelled with a very small squad but the boys showed great pride and commitment coming back from 19~3 down at half time to narrowly lose by just four points, gaining a losing bonus point.
A super bunch of players who have a very promising season ahead.
CONNACHT YOUTH LEAGUE GAMES THIS WEEK:
Creggs Under-13 Boys v Ballina RFC in Creggs next Saturday – Time TBC
Creggs Under-15 Boys v Oughterard RFC in Creggs next Saturday – Time TBC
Creggs Under-17 Boys v Sligo RFC away in Sligo next Sunday at 12pm
Creggs Under-14 Girls v Claremorris has been refixed from next weekend to Wednesday night the 20th of November in Creggs at 7pm.
YOUTH TEAMS TRAINING
Creggs Under-18.5’s training TBC for this week.
Creggs Under-17 Boys training on Wednesday night at 7pm in Creggs.
Creggs Under-16 Boys training on Wednesday nights at 7pm in Creggs.
Creggs Under-15 Boys training Wednesday night at 7pm in Creggs.
Creggs Under-14 Boys training Tuesday and Thursday nights at 7.30pm in Creggs.
Creggs Under-13 Boys training every Wednesday night at 7pm in Creggs.
GIRL TEAMS TRAINING
Creggs Girls Rugby Training every Monday night for Under-14, Under-16 and Under-18 Girls at 7.30pm in Creggs.
Creggs Minis Rugby Girls and Boys travelled to Tuam RFC on Saturday last, and a great time was had by all.
Creggs MINI Rugby welcomes new players always welcome. We will have boys and girls teams from Under-7 (six year-olds) through Under-8’s, Under-9’s, Under-10’s Under-11’s, and up to Under-12’s.
Registration is available on-line and the new season that will run through to April 2020.
Parents are very welcome to help with coaching (full training provided) or helping to support the great efforts at Creggs MINI Rugby.