Connaught Junior League
Creggs, Sunday 21 October 2012
Creggs – 18
Dunmore – 21
Having played catch-up throughout Dunmore perfectly timed their finishing run to snatch victory with the last kick of the game. This was a cruel defeat for Creggs and the losing bonus point will be small consolation as they head to Ballinrobe on Sunday next. Ultimately handling errors early on and poor decision making towards the finish cost Creggs the match but there were some positives. This game was in sharp contract to last season’s encounter between the sides when Dunmore basically blew Creggs off the park, this time the home side fronted up well and gave as good as they got in the physical exchanges unsettling Dunmore from the kick-off and Noel Flynn landed an early penalty to leave his side 3-0 ahead after 6 minutes. Creggs continued to press and should have built on this early lead but handling errors in midfield meant a number of chances went abegging before Flynn sent a long range penalty narrowly wide on 20 minutes. The resulting drop off was caught by Mark Hester who made the made the hard yards through the visitors defence before offloading to his right winger Sean Quinn who got to within inches of the try line. From the ensuing ruck the ball was flashed out wide for full back David Brandon to cross in the left corner. Flynn was just off target with the difficult conversion. 8-0 Creggs but Dunmore quickly hit back, their powerful no. 8 Brendan Burns setting off on a barnstorming run, creating the platform from which ultimately scrum half Stephen O’Toole crossed close to the posts for a try converted by his outhalf Mark Coen. 8-7 Creggs. The Creggs lead was quickly extended on the half hour mark, Quinn crossing in the right hand corner for a try well converted by Flynn. Creggs continued to press and Dunmore had a significant let off just before half time when a Creggs attack perished on the line having failed to utilise a two man overlap. Creggs 15 – 7 ahead at the interval. The opening 20 minutes of the second half was a war of attrition which yielded nothing in terms of scores for either side but the power of the Dunmore pack with 40 year old Burns especially prominent was beginning to tell and following a series of onslaughts well repelled by Creggs their second row Nigel Silke touched down at the right corner flag for a try well converted by Coen. This left Creggs sitting on a perilous 3 point lead which Flynn again extended with a long range penalty into the wind. However Creggs forays into the opposition half were now increasingly rare, a notable exception being a counter attack down the left wing from Brandon which was stopped within inches of the line. The game whilst unrelentingly hard, was played in a good spirit, however tempers flared with 10 minutes to go, both number sevens leaving the field, Creggs Tom Callaghan to yellow, Dunmore’s Ryan Cummins to red. Creggs anticipated that with the sending off the referee would reverse the penalty for the original infringement but he did not, leaving Coen with an easy three pointer to leave his side three adrift and menacingly in control as the game entered its closing stages. Back on the defensive, Creggs were then penalised for crossing and Coen slotted over the equaliser. The game was played out in the Creggs 22 but Creggs having secured possession opted for a rolling maul out of defence instead of clearing their lines and this error of judgment was savagely punished by Coen’s winning penalty at the death. This Sunday Creggs travel to Ballinrobe : kick-off 3 pm.
Creggs : D. Brandon, D Egan, C Ryan, B Kilcommons, S Quinn, N Flynn, E Gavin, K Brandon, T Callaghan, J Hughes, M Tiley, T Nee, M Corcoran, P Lohan, M Hester.
Replacements : P McNeill, R Cassidy.