Creggs – 24
Dunmore – 11
Creggs advanced to the Quarter Final of the Junior Cup but it took a converted try three minutes from time to see off Dunmore who were very much in contention to that point.
Played in perfect conditions, Creggs roared into the game from the kick-off and within ten minutes were eight points ahead, thanks to a Brian Cleary penalty and a try from Aidan Leech in the left corner from which Cleary saw his conversion attempt rebound off the near post. Creggs continued to press but some sloppy handling allowed Dunmore break out of defence and only a last ditch tackle from prop Tom Fleming tracking back half the length of the field prevented a try against the run of play, Dunmore’s consolation coming in the form of a penalty chance converted by out-half Darragh Walsh just before Creggs pulled away again with a second penalty from Cleary on nineteen minutes. Creggs continued to dominate both territory and possession but Dunmore remained dangerous on the counter and another break-out from defence presented Walsh with a second penalty chance which he duly converted to leave the score at 11-6.
It looked to be déjà vu minutes later when another handling error by Creggs presented the visitors with a counter attacking opportunity, again a penalty ensued, this time Walsh spurned the posts opting for a kick to the corner and from the line-out his pack rolled towards the line with no. 8 Ryan Cummins crossing for a try. The game was now tied and only an amazing block down of Walsh’s conversion attempt by Creggs scrum half Chris Duignan presented his side falling behind. Buoyed by this let off Creggs quickly regained the lead thanks to full-back Kevin Gavin who, chasing his own long kick out of defence, tackled his opposite number in front of the Dunmore posts securing a penalty which Brian Cleary converted to leave the score 14-11 at the interval.
The third quarter was scrappy yielding little in the way of chances, Creggs moved further ahead with a fourth Cleary penalty after fifteen minutes. Ten minutes later another Dunmore counter attack was brought to a shuddering halt by a magnificent tackle from Tom Callaghan which indirectly resulted in Dunmore losing a man to the bin for dissent. It took Creggs another seven minutes to press home their numerical advantage when prop Tom Fleming, capping a tremendous performance, crossed between the posts and Cleary added the conversion to take Creggs into the Quarter Final.
Creggs have drawn Ballinasloe at home on Sunday, the sides last met in the first round of the Cawley Cup and Ballinasloe ran out easy winners. Creggs have improved significantly since that early outing but Ballinasloe are more than holding their own in the higher division and will start the game strong favourites, kick-off at The Green on Sunday 2 pm (note earlier time).