Creggs – 24
Ballyhaunis – Nil
With two tries in the bag after twenty minutes Creggs looked to be cruising towards a bonus point victory over Ballyhaunis at The Green on Saturday night. However the next fifty minutes degenerated into a war of attrition fought mainly between the 22s and it was only in the final minutes Creggs rediscovered their scoring touch and just two minutes remained when Chris Duignan touched down between the posts to secure the bonus point.
Creggs suffered an early disruption when centre Fintan Kelly limped off with a torn quad after just two minutes, Philip Leech coming in on the left wing and Ger Heneghan moving to centre. His fellow centre Barry Egan powered his way through for the game’s opening score after nine minutes, Heneghan adding the conversion. On the quarter mark second row Brian Donoghue was on hand to capitalise on a Duignan break, Heneghan narrowly missing the conversion.
Shortly afterwards Heneghan was forced off due to injury, replaced by Stephen Crehan. Creggs fluffed a few chances thereafter but Ballyhaunis barely threatened and the game seemed on course to simply peter out before Ryan Horan who looked menacing all night rounded off a back line move at the left corner flag. Mark Brandon just failed with a difficult conversion but tapped over from Duignan’s try seven minutes later, when the scrum half took a quick penalty and caught the visitors napping to clinch the bonus point.
Creggs, finding it impossible to get a settled team due to injuries and unavailabilities, were particularly well served by Mike Bligh who was a barnstorming presence throughout, young flanker Edward Clinton made a most impressive debut and Eoghan Farrell showed up well when coming on in an unaccustomed position as replacement second row. Out wide Horan was full of running all night and the backs generally gelled well but proved somewhat wayward in their execution against opponents who defended bravely but barely threatened the Creggs line.
Creggs : B Cleary, R Horan, B Egan, F Kelly, G Heneghan, M Brandon, C Duignan, P Callaghan, P Lohan, E Clinton, B Donoghue, A Glennon, A Leech, S O Higgins, M Bligh
Reserves : P Leech, S Crehan, E Farrell, M McNeill, B Coady