News, Seniors - Firsts

Creggs win away in top of the table clash

13

For the past number of seasons Castlebar has been a bogey team for Creggs, however on Saturday night in Castlebar and in the most dramatic circumstances Creggs finally laid that bogey to rest.

Pos

Team

Played

W

D

L

PF

PA

Diff

BP

Ded

Pts

1

Creggs

9

7

1

1

174

92

82

4

0

34

2

Castlebar

9

5

1

3

181

129

52

5

0

27

3

Tuam

9

4

2

3

194

127

67

7

0

27

4

NUIG

8

5

1

2

186

149

37

3

0

25

5

Corinthians

9

5

0

4

185

140

45

4

0

24

6

Ballinrobe

9

3

0

6

150

203

-53

4

0

16

7

Corrib

9

2

1

6

85

244

-159

0

0

10

8

Dunmore

8

1

0

7

130

201

-71

4

-1

7

In doing so they consolidated their position at the top of the table with Castlebar now 7 points behind but NUIG 2 points further back have a game in hand and are likely to supplant Castlebar in second place.

On Saturday night Castlebar began with deadly intent and Creggs were under pressure from the kick-off but they soaked up the pressure and on their first foray into the opposition 22, they secured a penalty which Mark Brandon landed to put his side 3-nil ahead.

That score came on 15 minutes and for the remainder of the first half Creggs endured a torrid time in the set pieces, particularly the scrums where they were pulverised by the home side but heroic defence kept their line intact until a most uncharacteristic defensive lapse allowed Castlebar in for a soft converted try just before half-time, Castlebar 7-3 ahead at the interval.

Almost unnoticed as the conversion was being lined up Creggs captain Tom Callaghan was sinbinned leaving his side a man down for the crucial period just before and after half time.

Yet again however Creggs battened down the hatches and the next score fell to them, flanker Alan Brandon demonstrating impressive speed to cross in the corner with Mark Brandon adding an equally impressive conversion from the sideline.

Castlebar quickly regained parity with a penalty goal but with the lineout performing well and the scrum largely holding its own, Creggs could sense the momentum swinging their way. Castlebar however also boast a pretty mean defence and scoring chances were kept to a minimum, just two missed shots at goal, one each, before Creggs struck the killer blow with 10 minutes remaining.

A Castlebar attack broke down in mid-field and Creggs scrum-half Eoghan Coyle pounced on the loose ball to show the opposition a clean pair of heels before off-loading to the supporting Tom Callaghan who touched down between the posts for a try which Mark Brandon duly converted.

The last 10 minutes were fraught with tension, Castlebar reverted to plan A and forced a series of scrums moving ominously towards the Creggs line. However with the line in sight they were penalised for an infringement and Mark Brandon’s penalty clearance was the last act in a momentous game on which every Creggs player can reflect with satisfaction and head coach Pat Cunningham and his management team deserve great credit for steadying the ship during the rocky second quarter.

Next up is Tuam on Saturday at The Green in Creggs, KO 7.30. Tuam are still in contention and the teams drew 10-10 on their previous encounter in Tuam.

Creggs Rugby: Kevin Gavin, Luke Meehan, Elliot Jennings, Tom Callaghan, Chris Duignan, Mark Brandon, Eoghan Coyle, Tom Fleming, Mike Blighe, Aidan Leech, Brian Donoghue, Kevin Brandon, Alan Brandon, Peter Lohan, James Brandon, Eoghan Farrell, Damian Nolan, Enda Tully, Ronan Cahill, Michael Holland, and Ryan Horan.

Training for all senior teams (First, Seconds, Under-20’s & Under-18.5’s) continues. New and returning players always welcome at each grade. N.B. All outstanding membership must be paid by this weekend.

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