Creggs – 15
Dunmore – 14
Creggs took the lead just once in this game, Mark Brandon’s fifth penalty in the eightieth minute clinching victory by the narrowest of margins. There were still four anxious minutes for Creggs, played out entirely in their half but their defence and discipline held out for a vital four points which in a tight league consolidates their mid table position.
As the teams emerged for the kick-off there was a marked disparity in size with the massive Dunmore team dwarfing their opponents. Dunmore were determined to play the game on their terms from the off and took the lead after eight minutes when Creggs undid some good defensive work with a silly penalty which out-half Mark Coen slotted over with the aid of a stiff breeze. Five minutes later Brandon was off target with a penalty attempt following a break-out from defence by Peter Lohan who with his back row colleagues Kevin Brandon and Eoin Kelly put in a monumental shift, Lohan quite outstanding throughout. On 25 minutes Mark Brandon levelled the scoring with a penalty goal but Coen restored his side’s lead with a well struck kick on the half hour. Creggs, again looking good in broken play, dominated the last quarter before half time but were falling foul of the referee both technically and verbally, their only return from this period of dominance a second Brandon penalty to level the scoring just before the break. With Coen sin-binned a minute into the second half and Brandon lined up for another penalty attempt the momentum looked to be going Creggs way, however Brandon missed and Dunmore’s huge pack battered their way back down the pitch to score the game’s only try, flanker Eugene Stretch crossing following a series of assaults on the Creggs line. Coen’s absence may have proved decisive however as the relatively easy conversion was missed, he did add a third penalty almost immediately on returning to the fray to leave Dunmore 14-6 ahead on 55 minutes. Creggs with their disciplinary issues resolved launched a series of attacks but against an unyielding defence scores were at a premium, Brandon adding a third penalty after 25 minutes and another 10 minutes later before his fifth secured the victory.
Overall Creggs can take a number of positives from this game, the scrum dominated their much heavier opponents throughout, the lineout yielded a reasonable return considering Dunmore’s height advantage, newly signed prop Ciaran Cawley made an impressive debut and substitute Colin Canny made a welcome return to the Creggs jersey with a number of vital contributions n the closing 20 minutes. Against that however Creggs second row Trevor Nee left the field with concussion mid-way through the first half and is likely to be sidelined for a couple of weeks.
This weekend Creggs play Ballyhaunis at the Green, likely kick-off Saturday 8 pm and a third successive home win would greatly bolster their league position.
Creggs : C Cawley, E Garvey, M Tansey, T Fleming, T Nee, E Kelly, P Lohan, K Brandon, M Brandon, S Quinn, S Crehan, T Callaghan, P Leetch, D Miskell, S Kilcommons.
Substitutes : L Nally, P McNeill, M Corcoran, C Canny, A Leetch.