Juniors off to a winning start

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Connaught Junior League
Division 1B

Saturday 15 September 2012

Creggs – 11
Ballyhaunis – 9

Creggs took both points from their first league game of the season but it was a close run thing and a puzzling decision by Ballyhaunis as the game went into extra time may well have cost them the spoils. Played under lights in near perfect conditions Creggs suffered a double blow within minutes of the kick-off when captain Bernard Kilcommons clashed heads with right winger Peter Lohan, Kilcommons’ game ending there and then with a deep cut to his eyebrow and although Lohan returned after sideline treatment he too ultimately succumbed to his injuries and was withdrawn early in the second half. Tom Callaghan replaced Kilcommons and following Lohan’s withdrawal Eddie Mannion took over his duties on the wing.

Scores were hard to come by with Creggs missing a number of kickable penalties before full-back David Brandon crossed for the game’s only try on the half hour mark. A follow-up penalty from Noel Flynn left the home side briefly 8-0 ahead but just before half time Jean Pierre Geoffries converted a penalty chance for the visitors to leave the game very much in the balance.

Creggs brought on three substitutes at the break, props Paul McNeill and James Walsh and wing forward Trevor Nee whose influence in the game grew as the second half progressed. A second Flynn penalty restored his team’s margin of safety but it was shortlived with Geoffries responding in kind immediately from the resulting kick-off. Thus the game entered its final quarter with Ballyhaunis piling on the pressure and Creggs conceding penalty after penalty in all facets of play and although most of these were outside kickable range Ballyhaunis opted for scrums or to run those within striking distance of the posts. Creggs defended stoutly but having repelled a series of 5 metre scrums near the touchline, conceded a penalty under the posts as the game went into injury time. Remarkably Ballyhaunis now chose to take their three points which still left them two adrift and Creggs were never again seriously threatened, playing out the final two minutes comfortably camped in the opposition half.

Next up is Ballinasloe, now switched to Saturday night in Creggs, kick-off 8 pm.

Creggs : D Brandon, R Whyte, C Ryan, B Kilcommons, P Lohan, S Kilcommons, N Flynn, K Brandon, S Higgins, R Cassidy, M Tiley, S Blake, M Corcoran, L Mannion, M McAteer.

Replacements : T Callaghan, E Mannion, P McNeill, J Walsh, T Nee.

Ballyhaunis : M Waldron, D Marley, F Kelly, S Horan, C Gallagher, JP Geoffries, G Gallagher, F Crowley, P Gallagher, S McKay, L Convey, T Gleeson, D Daly, G Delaney, D Jordan.

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