The Gain Line

THE GAIN LINE 09/03/20

23

ADULT RUGBY

Creggs Development Team win away to Corinthians

Connacht J1C League

Corinthians 7, Creggs 17.

Creggs maintained their challenge for the Junior 1C league title with a hard fought win over Corinthians at Corinthian Park on Saturday evening.

Creggs enjoyed the advantage of a strong downfield wind in the first half and turned around leading 17 nil at halftime, thanks to well worked tries by Luke Meehan and Michael Feeley and two conversions and a penalty by the excellent Brian Cleary.

Thereafter, it was all rearguard action as Corinthians piled on the pressure but they were constantly repelled by a tremendous defensive effort by the entire Creggs team.

Corinthians finally broke through for a converted try with just three minutes remaining,but by then it was too little too late to deny this hungry Creggs outfit.

The ball retention by the Creggs players was a major factor in this victory with huge carries by the Cahill brothers, Danny Arnold and Tommy Curley setting the tone from the start.

Cleary put Creggs 3-0 ahead with an easy penalty before Luke Meehan showed his power and pace to brush past several tackles for a fine try after 18 minutes.

Feeley’s try minutes shortly before half-time gave Creggs a significant edge, but the loss of rampaging No 8 Ronan Cahill was a major setback when he was forced to leave the field in the opening minutes of the second half.

Creggs’ strength-in-depth was put to the test when Michael Holland and Seamus Collins also departed with injuries, but their replacements performed well to keep Creggs in control of an intense, physical contest in difficult conditions.

Creggs host current table toppers Ballyhaunis next Friday night, with an 8.30pm kick-off in a game which could have a major bearing on the outcome of the competition. Please support the lads v the League leaders, as they attempt to continue their winning run and gain promotion.

Creggs Rugby: Colin Canny, Barry Egan, Luke Meehan, Enda Muldoon, Gerard Comer, Michael Holland, Brian Cleary, Tommy Curley, Danny Arnold, Eoghan Cahill, Damien Miskell, Seamus Collins, Michael Feeley, Ronan Cahill, John McDonnell, Matthew Curley, Enda Tully, Padraig Geraghty, Eugene Fleming, Fiachra Temple.

First Team welcomes Bective Rangers to Creggs

Friendly Fixture

Creggs 5, Bective Rangers 0.

Creggs played Bective Rangers in a closely contested friendly fixture at The Green on Saturday afternoon.

Bective, one of the oldest club sides in Ireland, are coached by ex-international Bernard Jackman and they played their part in a game which wasn’t helped by poor weather conditions, making handling difficult for both teams.

Defences dominated throughout, but a late try by Maurice Buckley proved decisive, the Creggs hooker first to react when outhalf Shane Purcell’s cleverly placed kick created confusion in the Dublin club’s defensive system.

Aodha Hession and Tom Farrell made highly impressive debuts on their first outings with the Creggs adult team, while Conor Rohan, Michael Farrell and Amory Duarte also featured strongly on their return for the home side.

Full-back Eoghan Coyle gave an outstanding performance, with Chris Duignan and James Brandon also prominent for Creggs.

Creggs Firsts play Sligo next Sunday away in Strandhill – ko: 2.30pm.

Creggs Rugby: Eoghan Coyle, Andrew Callaghan, Tom Callaghan, James Brandon, Chris Duignan, Shane Purcell, Aodha Hession, Aidan Leech, Maurice Buckley, Tom Fleming, Eoghan Farrell, Kevin Brandon, Tom Farrell, Conor Rohan, Brian Diffley (Capt.), Matthew Curley, Michael Farrell, Amaury Duarte,

YOUTH

Youth Team Fixtures

(Check www.CreggsRugby.ie / Creggs RFC Facebook for Fixture updates). PLEASE SUPPORT ALL OUR TEAMS THIS WEEK !

BOYS

Creggs Under-13’s Connacht Cup Quarter-Final V Castlebar is fixed for this Wednesday night (11th.) on the 4G in Creggs at 7.30pm. Please support the boys.

Well done to all the Creggs Under-13’s players and coaches on their Last 16 win v Monivea last week in Creggs, to qualify for this Quarter-Final.

Creggs Under-16’s – After their thrilling 19-19 draw recently, Creggs Under-16 Boys will play the Replay of the Connacht Under-16 Division 1 League Final next Saturday, at 12 Noon in Castlebar. Please support the boys in this important Connacht Final.

Creggs Under-18.5’s play a friendly against US touring side, St. Augustine Prep. High School in Creggs on this Thursday night at 7pm. This follows a very good workout against Tullamore RFC last Saturday night in Creggs as they prepare for their Cup Quarter Final V Corinthians later this month.

GIRLS

Creggs Under-18 Girls will play Tuam/Oughterard away in the Quarter Final of the Connacht Under-18 Girls Plate this weekend. The Day and Time TBC. Please support the girls.

ALSO COMING-UP THIS MONTH:

Creggs Under-14’s play Corinthians Black in the Connacht Under-14 Plate Quarter-Final in Creggs on Saturday week (21st.) at 1.30pm.

Creggs Under-15’s White play the winners of Corrib or Gort in the Connacht Under-15 Plate Quarter-Final in Creggs on March 28th.

Creggs Under-15’s Maroon play the winners of Buccaneers Yellow or NUIG away in the Connacht Under-15 Plate Quarter-Final on March 28th.

Creggs Under-18.5’s play the winners of Corinthians away in the Connacht Under-18.5’s Cup Quarter-Final on March 22th.

SCHOOLS

Best wishes to all from Creggs RFC to the CBS Roscommon players and coaches who play the Connacht Schools Junior Cup Final v St Muirdeachs,Ballina in the Sportsground Galway this Wednesday (11th.) at 2pm. Please support the boys.

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Conor Connelly – A Tribute
John Mulligan
Cometh the hour, cometh the man. It’s a saying that we in the media game tend to overuse when we look for a superlative to explain a moment of genius or that particular time when someone stands up and for his contribution, the team that no one gave a hope to, fights back and wins.
An unusual beginning for a tribute? Maybe. But the moment was one of the finest put together by any Creggs RFC man in my opinion. Creggs were playing Galwegians in the Connacht Under 16 Cup Semi-Final in a game that had garnered more interest than it should have. The first game between the teams in Creggs had finished in an unlikely 0-0 draw setting up a replay the following Thursday night in Glenina. U16! Yes, that age group. But that team had unearthed some amazing players and talent that went way beyond its years. One such talent we already knew was there but that night, everyone knew who this lad from the village was.
Conor Connelly was a mercurial sportsman. A Genius. Already, his prowess was known at school and even at National school we all knew who he was. The days of the Connelly Cup in Donamon had seen him rule the side pitch and as he grew older, that seemed to increase. His time in Creggs NS came to an end and at that stage the oval ball was calling. His brothers James and Robert had already tasted success in some way but this lad was lighting up grounds wherever he went. Which brings us to that moment in Glenina.
Considering this game was twenty-eight years ago, you will forgive me regarding placings but I think I am right. I was on the team that day. Picked as second row with Paul Beckett. Nigel Glennon was Number 8. Kieran Canny was scrum half and Conor was out half. It was a war. A large crowd from both clubs on the sidelines and we were not getting much regarding the 50/50 calls. The frustration was building and following a Galwegians move that broke down, thanks in no small measure to Darragh Collins, Micheal Glennon and Mike Lohan putting their heads where they shouldn’t, Creggs were still in front. One more score would seal the place in the final but we were not making any ground. As we cleared our lines there was a little conversation. I wont repeat word for word but I can remember the jist. For a lad who was known for being ultra-competitive, Conor was remarkably calm. I, on the other hand was not, the last words before going down for a scrum was “Keep it steady”. There could have been other words in it. An F here or there. It’s possible. Galwegians put in, Glennon took it against the head and with such speed it whizzed past me and Paul before we knew what was going on. Canny to Connelly and gone! And I mean gone! Galwegians were caught cold as Conor outran their backs to touch down. I got to him eventually to congratulate him and was greeted by that broad smile he had. It won us the game and we went on to win the cup with Conor again getting on the score sheet. This time from a block down.
You may wonder why I am retelling this story? I knew Conor from our days playing at underage from 14 up. And I got to know him well not only as a rugby player but as a person. And there were few finer. Playing rugby for the brief time before the call of the round ball took over and St Mel’s College, he was inspirational and when he was there you almost felt as if you were ahead before kick-off. Of course, college and work and life meant that most of us would move on. It’s amazing though that our paths would cross the odd time after that. Like when Roscommon beat Mayo in the Connacht Final in 2001. A game I covered, working for a Mayo Radio station and disgusted on the double that not only Galway were beaten by the Rossies but my adopted county as well! However, there was still that tinge of pride that the lad I played rugby with was one of the stars of that final.
Rugby is an incredible sport and where we come from is important. Conor may have lived elsewhere but his heart was always in Creggs. As a Glinsk man we learned that while we may have had our disagreements on the Gaelic field (and there were a few!), when it came to rugby, he was one man you wanted in his corner. I was asked to write this from a rugby perspective but I cannot without also mentioning the man. And he was a gentleman. To his wife Claire, his children Caragh, Rossa and Eoin. His parents Jimmy and Nora, Brothers James, Darragh and Robert and sister Sharon. My deepest sympathies.
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1 week ago  ·