Connacht Junior 1 League:
Creggs Rugby 9, Corinthians RFC 0
Creggs Firsts are four points clear after Round 8 of the Connacht J1 League, completing back to back victories over Corinthians RFC who now drop to third place with Castlebar RFC moving into second.
Last weekend, Creggs left Corinthian Park with maximum points but this grinding try-less win at the Green was in many ways a finer achievement.
A much changed Corinthians side came roaring into the game, throwing everything they had at the home side straight from the kick-off. Creggs however have the best defensive record in the League and once again their defence was not found wanting, absorbing wave after wave of Corinthians attack and ultimately turning the tables when Mark Brandon landed the first of his three penalty goals on Creggs first foray into the opposition 22 after 8 minutes.
With the Creggs pack in terrific form, enjoying a marked advantage in the scrums, Brandon landed a second penalty after 20 minutes. The second quarter was an absorbing ding-dong battle with the Creggs half backs Andrew Callaghan and Mark Brandon managing the game astutely, and Creggs restricting Corinthians to just one shot at goal which was narrowly missed just before halftime.
Five minutes into the second half, Mark Brandon’s third penalty left Creggs the psychological two scores ahead, and Corinthians back play was now looking increasingly edgy as they struggled to penetrate a very mean home defence.
Creggs looked to be under pressure when Peter Lohan was sin-binned for a lineout infringement just after entering the fray, but they regrouped and held their nerve for the next ten minutes. Back to full strength, they tightened their grip on the game, Corinthians best chance went abegging when fullback Kevin Gavin brought off a spectacular try-saving tackle.
Head coach Pat Cunningham will be very pleased with his side’s first league clean sheet of the season against strong and determined opponents who couldn’t find a way through a well organised and disciplined defence, conceding no penalty within kicking range during the second half.
Next up for Creggs following a well earned rest week is another top of the table clash, away to Castlebar on Saturday week. We wish Andrew Callaghan a speedy recovery from a hand injury picked up on Sunday.
Creggs : Kevin Gavin, Luke Meehan, Elliot Jennings, Tom Callaghan, Chris Duignan, Mark Brandon, Andrew Callaghan, Mike Blighe, Sean Higgins, Aidan Leech, Brian Donoghue, Tom Fleming, James Brandon, Alan Brandon, Kevin Brandon, Eoghan Farrell, Eoghan Coyle, Peter Lohan, Ronan Cahill, Ryan Horan.