Cawley Cup Semi Final
Dunmore RFC 13, Creggs Rugby 33.
Holders Creggs advanced to the Cawley Cup Final following an impressive away win over Dunmore in Sunday’s Semi-Final.
Creggs dominated the early exchanges and got the opening score in the 14th minute when winger Chris Duignan rounded off a superb handling move for a high quality try.
Shane Purcell kicked a penalty to extend Creggs lead before marauding number 8 Brian Diffley burst through for a fine try after Purcell’s well timed pass gave him space in midfield.
Purcell’s conversion put Creggs ahead by 15 points but Dunmore clawed their way back into the game with two penalties by former Creggs underage player Adam Canny.
With halftime approaching, Chris Duignan got over for his second try to put Creggs 20-6 ahead.
The third quarter belonged to Dunmore with Creggs pinned back in defence and struggling to clear their lines as the pressure intensified. A break by the Dunmore out-half resulted in a try out wide which the impressive Canny converted to reduce Creggs lead to 7 points.
That lead could have been wiped out entirely but for a dropped pass with the try-line beckoning in the 63rd minute as Dunmore threw everything into attack. Thereafter, Creggs regained the initiative with two well-struck penalties by Shane Purcell, who impressed with his range of skills.
Kevin Gavin crossed for Creggs 4th try in the final minute and Purcell’s conversion gave Creggs a 20 point winning margin, which does not adequately reflect Dunmore’s contribution to a closely contested game.
Creggs play their first league game of the season at home to Sligo next Sunday in Creggs and will be looking to build on the many positives from two successive Cup wins over Tuam and Dunmore.
The performance of second-rows Tom Oates and Brian Donoghue was key to victory over Dunmore, while all-action hooker Danny Arnold and captain Brian Diffley were also to the fore for Creggs.
Andrew Callaghan and Shane Purcell combined well at halback, with Chris Duignan a threat out wide and Eoghan Coyle, James Brandon and Elliot Jennings running strongly at every opportunity.
Impact off the bench is also a prerequisite in the modern game, and Creggs were well served in this regard with the rolling substitutes being used to good effect.
Creggs will meet Castlebar RFC in the Cawley Cup Final in December, a repeat of the pairing from last season, when Creggs won. Castlebar defeated Connemara and Monivea to reach the final.
Creggs Rugby: Eoghan Coyle, Ryan Horan, Elliot Jennings, James Brandon, Chris Duignan, Shane Purcell, Andrew Callaghan, Sean Higgins, Danny Arnold, Aidan Leech, Brian Donoghue, Tom Oates, Kevin Brandon, Brian Diffley (Capt.), Peter Lohan, Maurice Buckley, Matthew Curley, Alan Brandon,Tom Callaghan, Kevin Gavin.