onnaught Junior League
Dunmore 0, Creggs 18.
With three rounds left to play Creggs stay top of the table thanks to this hard earned away win against Dunmore on Sunday last. Creggs have a 6 point lead over second placed Castlebar going into the final stages with Tuam a further 4 points behind.
Sunday was Creggs first Connacht League outing in 7 weeks and whilst the team were in good shape going into the game they were clearly ring rusty against a fired up Dunmore, whose opening salvos belied their lowly league position.
Creggs knew they had a battle on their hands as the big Dunmore pack imposed themselves from the outset but they failed to break the meanest defence in the league and the home side’s early dominance delivered no return.
As Dunmore tired Creggs began to exert pressure and after 25 minutes a sweeping movement, first left, then right, yielded a try for winger Luke Meehan to the right of the posts. Mark Brandon was off target with the conversion but made amends with two penalty goals to leave his side ahead 11 – nil at the interval.
Now facing into the strong breeze Creggs provided a masterclass in defensive discipline conceding just one kickable penalty and their pack began to dominate the set pieces as the game progressed. A long period of pressure, in which Shane Purcell was close to crowning his senior debut with a try on two occasions, finally delivered when the Creggs pack steamrolled their opponents over the line with prop Tom Fleming getting the touchdown and Mark Brandon added the conversion to close the scoring as the game moved into injury time.
This was a good team performance, of the pack Alan and Kevin Brandon, Mike Blighe and Brian Donoghue stood out and Maurice Buckley coming in as a half-time replacement, slotted neatly into the no. 2 position on his first outing for Creggs since transferring back from Trinity College.
In the backline, try-scorer Meehan and Elliot Jennings constantly threatened and Chris Duignan was heroic in defence as Dunmore threw everything at Creggs in the opening quarter.
With two away games and one home fixture still to be played, there will be no complacency within this squad. After a competitive break, the tough game last Sunday will also hopefully serve them well in the coming weeks.
This coming weekend Creggs play the Quarter-Final of the Connacht Junior Cup away to Corinthians RFC in Galway. The kick-off at Corinthian Park is down for 2 pm on Sunday. Training continues on Tuesday and Friday nights.
Creggs Rugby : Kevin Gavin, Luke Meehan, Elliot Jennings, Tom Callaghan (Capt.), Chris Duignan, Mark Brandon, Eoghan Coyle, Tom Fleming, Sean Og Higgins, Aidan Leech, Brian Donoghue, Ronan Cahill, James Brandon, Alan Brandon, Kevin Brandon, Mike Blighe, Shane Purcell, Maurice Buckley, Peter Lohan, and Michael Holland.