All-Ireland Junior Cup
Ashbourne RFC 31, Creggs Rugby 22,
Creggs travelled to the home of reigning All Ireland Junior Cup champions Ashbourne and put up a heroic display in defeat against a team going for an amazing 4 in a row titles in this competition.
When Shane Dowd crossed for a superb try for Creggs with just eight minutes remaining, Ashbourne led 23 -20, before Shane Purcell’s well struck conversion left just a point between the teams.
Unfortunately, Creggs were penalised on the resumption and Gavin Kennedy’s penalty from close range gave the home team valuable breathing space before second row Andrew Whittaker’s last minute try finally sealed a hard earned win for Ashbourne.
Ashbourne led 13-8 at half-time, with two penalties and a conversion from the boot of outhalf Gavin Kennedy and a try by winger Colm Craigie in response to a penalty by Shane Purcell and a try by Eoghan Coyle for Creggs.
Coyle’s try showed Creggs at their best,with the ball swiftly transferred by Shane Dowd to Elliot Jennings who put the hard-running winger over in the corner for a super score.
The crucial ten minute spell after half-time went very much in Ashbourne’s favour with the surefooted Kennedy adding another penalty to edge the home side 16-8 ahead, before Creggs outstanding loosehead Aidan Leech was harshly sin-binned.
Ashbourne took full advantage of their numerical advantage to force a penalty try after a series of close range scrums. Creggs responded with some rousing rugby, with Maurice Buckley scoring a try from a rolling maul in the 65th minute, and Shane Purcell landing a magnificent conversion.
Then Shane Dowd sliced the Ashbourne midfield to shreds with a searing break to cross the line unopposed.Thereafter, Ashbourne showed their experience to regain control and close out the game, but no doubt they were mightily relieved to be still on track to retain the All Ireland Junior Cup.
On a day when each and every Creggs squad member stood up to the challenge presented by this formidable Ashbourne side, Creggs can take great from their contribution to this contest and the outing proves the great progress the Creggs squad continues to make
Creggs Rugby: Shane Dowd, Eoghan Coyle, Elliot Jennings, Tom Callaghan, Kevin Gavin, Shane Purcell, Andrew Callaghan, Tom Fleming, Maurice Buckley, Aidan Leech, Ian Whittington, Brian Donoghue, James Brandon, Pete Lohan, Brian Diffley, Danny Arnold, Sean Og Higgins, Brian Coady, Ronan Cahill, Ronan Dowd.
Creggs First team return to Connacht League action with a potentially difficult away game against Tuam next Saturday, followed by a home game against high flying Connemara on November 9th.