Castlebar – 20
Creggs – 17
Despite a disastrous start in which they conceded 15 points in as many minutes Creggs left Castlebar with a losing bonus point from their league opener on Saturday. The game began ominously for the visitors with the home side capitalising on a disorganised defence to ground near the posts in the second minute. Somehow the conversion went west but Castlebar made no mistake following a second try 5 minutes later and a penalty shortly afterwards left Castlebar seemingly cruising towards an easy victory. That such an outcome never materialised is thanks to a heroic fight back by Creggs who scored tries either side of half-time, remarkably both clocked up whilst no. 8 Kevin Brandon was in the sin bin. The first try came from full-back Dave Flahive just before half-time and the second within 5 minutes of the interval when Castlebar trying to utilise their numerical advantage flashed the ball out the line with the final pass intercepted by Creggs Captain Tom Callaghan who scorched his way half the length of the field to touch down under the posts for a try converted by Rory Collins. Castlebar stretched their lead following a series of forward drives when openside Matthew Staunton added a third try but Creggs almost caught them at the death and when Neville Walker crashed over in the right-hand corner for a third try with two minutes plus injury time remaining the possibility of a major upset was on the cards. It was not to be however, with Castlebar holding out grimly as Creggs laid siege to their line in the closing stages. A major plus for Creggs was their capacity to complete in the set pieces, both scrums and line-outs where the powerful Castlebar pack back-boned by four Stauntons have enjoyed a marked superiority in recent years. On Saturday Creggs achieved parity through a solid scrum and the emergence of Tom Oates as a line-out jumper of great potential. Another stand-out feature of the second half was the performance of young centre Rory O’Brollachain whose incisive running caused all sorts of problems for the Castlebar defence. In truth, had Creggs gone into the game with a recognised place kicker they could have won, with Collins conversion the only return on a day when a number of different kickers were tried and this is an area which must and hopefully will be resolved in the coming weeks. This Sunday Creggs are away to Loughrea, kick-off at 2.30 p. m.
Creggs : D. Flahive, P. Leetch, T. Callaghan, B. Kilcommons, S. Crehan, R.Collins, A. Callaghan, A. Leetch, S. O. Higgins, K. Rushe, B. Donoghue, T. Oates, R. Cassidy, M. Brandon, K. Brandon.
Replacements : R. O’Brollachain, R. Mugan, N. Walker.