Creggs RFC 27 Westport RFC 7
Creggs U14’s qualified for the semi finals of the Connacht U14 Cup where they will play Corinthians RFC away after a hard fought win against Westport last Sunday in Creggs. Played in very cold and breezy conditions, it was Creggs who had the better of the first half and were in control of territory for most of the first half. Creggs Forwards were having the better of things up front early on and James Brandon, David O Gorman, Adam Finnerty, Oisin McConn, Brian Maloney and Danny Arnold were doing very well in the loose and time after time Ronan Dowd and Shane Purcell pinned their opponents back into their own 22″ with well judged Kicks.
Creggs took the lead after 12 minutes after a succession of scrums inside the Westport 22″, James Brandon picked up the ball from the back of the scrum and managed to beat the first tackle to score in the corner to give Creggs a 5-0 lead. Creggs continued to have the better of the territory and after 20 minutes stretched the lead after good work from Niall Cunniffe, Cian Gately and Jason Hoare brought Creggs into the Westport 22″ and when Creggs were awarded a scrum James Brandon again picked at the back of the scrum, this time going to the open side and touching down under the posts for a try which Ronan Dowd Converted leaving the score 12-0.
As half time approached Creggs again pressed forward and when they were awarded a penalty 30 metres out Ronan Dowd stepped up and slotted a fantastic penalty to give Creggs a decisive 15-0 half time lead.
Creggs started the second half with a similar game plan to the first and attempted to keep their opponents back in their own half but a couple of unlucky kicks and block downs allowed Westport to gain some territory and Westport started to get confidence from this and were rewarded after 8 minutes when they ran the ball from the half way line and after a few missed tackles scored under the posts to leave the score 15-7. At this stage Westport had the upper hand and Creggs defended their line well and Michael Conroy, Niall Cunniffe, Nathan Feeney and Thomas Hester were all prominent in making vital tackles when a score looked likely.
Creggs had to dig deep for this period and started to dictate things up front again and soon regained control of the territory and rewarded after 20 minutes when David O Gorman, Eoghan Coyle and Danny Arnold took the ball on up front and when James Brandon took the ball on he released Shane Purcell who beat the defender to touch down near the corner.
Creggs continued to dominate territory for the last 10 minutes and Brandon Hanmore, Michael Brandon, Ryan Mannion and Niall Hynes, did well on their introduction and gained great ground and set up Shane Purcell who ran on the blind side drew the defenders and released Nathan Feeney who touched down under the posts for the insurance score which Ronan Dowd converted leaving the final score Creggs 27 Westport 7.
Great credit must go to this U14 Squad and although affected by a number of late withdrawals before this game due to a sickness, showed the true benefit of having a good squad and showed great team spirit through the league and cup campaigns this year. Creggs will play Corinthians RFC in the semi final of the cup and will seek revenge for their league final defeat to the same opposition last month. All support would be welcome from parents and supporters as Corinthians will have a big and vocal home support for the semi final.
Creggs: Michael Conroy, Adam Finerty, Brian Maloney, Oisin McConn, David O Gorman, James Brandon, Ronan Dowd, Shane Purcell, Niall Cunniffe, Jason Hoare, Padraic Gaffey, Cian Gately, Brandon Hanmore, Michael Brandon, Danny Arnold, Thomas Hester, Nathan Feeney , Ciaran Ward, Ryan Mannion, Niall Hynes