Creggs had already taken the All-Blacks scalp in the Junior Cup but the Connemara team which turned up in Castlebar to salvage its top flight status was a very different proposition. Connemara upped the tempo from the start and Creggs had difficulty in keeping pace, finding themselves 6 – nil behind after 15 minutes, two penalty goals from full-back Ian Heaney. It could have been worse as Creggs were just hanging in thanks to last ditch tackles from firstly Andrew Callaghan, then Kevin Brandon, then Tom Fleming. Connemara’s breakthrough came after 18 minutes, a defensive lapse allowing inside centre David McDornan to touch down virtually unopposed, Heaney adding the conversion. Heaney missed a penalty shortly afterwards before yet another last ditch tackle from full-back Kevin Gavin kept the game from running away from Creggs who gradually established a foothold in the Connenmara half and Shane Dowd was off target with two penalties either side of half-time. The third quarter was far and away Creggs best period as they laid siege to the Connemara line but simply couldn’t pick their lock. The Blacks survived a series of 5 metre scrums and penalties, a yellow card, of which there should have been more given the number of successive penalties awarded to Creggs who spurned a number of kickable chances in search of a try which never came. When it did come, it was to Connemara, taking advantage of a dropped clearance to send McDornan scampering up the left wing for his second try of the evening. Creggs regrouped but time was running out and when Shane Dowd touched down for a try which he then converted it was purely a consolation score with Connemara’s Division 1A status secured for next season.
Creggs : K Gavin, B Egan, G Heneghan, T Callaghan, P Leech, S Dowd, A Callaghan, K Brandon, P Lohan, A Brandon, T Oates, R Cassidy, A Leech, S O Higgins, T Fleming, K Rushe, M Buckley, B Kilcommons, B Donoghue, L