Connacht Junior Cup Quarter-Final
Creggs Rugby 20, Monivea RFC 6.
Creggs advanced to the Semi-Finals of the Connacht Junior Cup without ever really being threatened by Monivea in biting conditions at The Green on Sunday.
After the opening skirmishes Creggs established a foothold in their opponents 22 and a try from Ronan Cahill following a lineout drive opened the scoring after 11 minutes. Shane Dowd brilliantly gauged the wind in adding the conversion and it was a double blow for the visitors as out-half Ger O’Connor was sin-binned for a professional foul in the build-up to the try.
The wind was making life difficult on all fronts, both passing and kicking were at its mercy and Creggs centre James Brandon capitalised on an ill-judged Monivea pass with an intercept which saw him tackled just short of the line, in the ensuing play Creggs laid siege but the Monivea defence held, Creggs having to settle for a Ronan Dowd penalty to put his side 10-nil ahead after 25 minutes.
Creggs continued to press but added no further scores and found themselves a man down going into half time when Sean Og Higgins was sin-binned with 2 minutes of the half remaining.
On the turnaround Monivea’s right-winger Coleman Maher landed two well struck penalties but these were off-set by a try from Creggs wing-forward Alan Brandon, in fine form on returning from a long injury lay-off.
Next Maher fell foul of the Ulster referee Andrew Mitchell and his yellow card for a deliberate knock-on removed Monivea’s most potent weapon at a crucial period in the second half. Creggs effectively sealed the deal with a well taken try from right-wing Tom Flynn on 27 minutes after Monivea were heaved off a defensive five metre scrum.
The game finished with Monivea pressing for a consolation score and in unseemly fashion when after a melee in front of the Creggs posts, the referee rather unfairly singled out Creggs wing-forward Michael Feeley and Monivea full-back Seamy Fahy for cards, respectively red and yellow and what had been a tough but sporting contest to that point ended on this rather sour note.
Creggs now face Castlebar RFC away in the Semi-Final this Sunday at 2pm. It is hoped that a big crowd will travel to the Mayo venue to support Creggs in this one. Tuam RFC will be at home to Connemara RFC in the other semi-final, also on Sunday.
Creggs Rugby: Ronan Dowd, Thomas Flynn, Eoghan Coyle, James Brandon, Chris Duignan, Andrew Callaghan, Shane Dowd, Tom Fleming, Maurice Buckley, Aidan Leech, Brian Donoghue, Ronan Cahill, Sean Higgins, Alan Brandon, Brian Diffley, Brian Coady, Michael Feeley, Edward Clinton, Mark Brandon and Michael Fleming.
Referee: A Mitchell, Ulster Branch.