The Gain Line

THE GAIN LINE 27/01/20

39

ADULT RUGBY

Creggs Development make it six wins in-a-row

Connacht Junior J1C League.

Creggs RFC 16, Ballinasloe RFC 15.

The Creggs Development team defeated Ballinasloe by the narrowest of margins in Saturday’s thrilling J1C league game on the 4G in Creggs.

Ballinasloe led by 15-9, until Ronan Cahill burst through for a tremendous try for Creggs in the last minute of normal time to leave the outcome of the contest hanging on the difficult conversion.

Mark Brandon called on all of his experience to drill a superb kick between the posts for a dramatic victory which puts Creggs joint-top of the table with four games remaining in a tight competition, that has five teams still in contention for the top spot. Ballinasloe, Tuam and Carrick-on-Shannon are all hot in pursuit of Ballyhaunis and Creggs, with only five points separating all five sides.

Creggs led by 6 points after 15 minutes thanks to two well struck penalties by Mark Brandon. The home side then conceded a try by Paddy Grehan, who found a gap in the home team’s defensive line.

Michael Holland was late tackled in the final play of the opening half and Brandon kicked the ensuing penalty to give Creggs a narrow 9-5 advantage facing into a stiffening breeze in the second half.

Ballinasloe piled on the pressure from the restart and scored after 48 minutes when centre Jamie Curley sailed through unopposed from 30 metres for a soft try.

When Ballinasloe’s scrumhalf Cormac Finn added a third try in the 54th minute, it did not look good for the home team. However, fortunately for Creggs, place-kicking proved to be a problem for Ballinasloe all evening as they failed to convert any of their tries in admittedly tricky conditions.

Ballinasloe continued to enjoy long periods of dominance throughout the final quarter but Creggs defended superbly and hit back with some enterprising rugby, asking serious questions of the tiring Ballinasloe team.

The introduction of fresh legs had a major impact on the result, with Creggs gaining momentum from an excellent bench, with all the players introduced contributing significantly. Finally, Ronan Cahill made the decisive breakthrough with the game heading into added time, before Mark Brandon stepped up to seal a magnificent victory for Creggs.

Creggs next game is a potentially difficult away trip to a rapidly improving Carrick on Shannon team, victors over Tuam by 30 points on last weekend.

Creggs Rugby: Ryan Horan, Barry Egan, Enda Muldoon, Luke Meehan, James McNally, Michael Holland, Mark Brandon, Brian Coady, Enda Tully, Eoghan Cahill, Damien Nolan, Damien Miskell, John Martin, Eugene Fleming, Ronan Cahill, Tommy Curley, Martin Quinn, Seamus Collins, Enda Naughton, Matthew Curley, John Mc Donnell, Fiachra Temple

Creggs loose out to Monivea in League

Connacht Junior J1A League.

Monivea RFC 19, Creggs RFC 13.

A rejuvenated Monivea team defeated Creggs in Sunday’s Junior 1A League game at Castle Grounds, Monivea after surviving a ten minute onslaught in which the home team’s tryline was bombarded by their opponents.

If Creggs had converted some earlier opportunities, the outcome could have been very different but on the day Monivea were much more efficient in taking their chances.

Creggs started impressively and got through for a fine try by Maurice Buckley in the 12th minute which out-half Shane Purcell converted.

Monivea’s powerful pack of forwards began to dominate up front and forced Creggs to concede two penalties which scrum-half Ger O’Connor kicked to leave his team trailing just 7-6 at the interval, with Creggs having failed to capitalise on some great moves in that first half.

A fine penalty by Purcell gave Creggs a temporary respite before Monivea swept upfield to score an excellent try with out-half Coleman Maher getting the touchdown,and O’Connor landing the difficult conversion to edge the home side ahead by 3 points.

Creggs were on the backfoot at this stage, and two additional penalties by the surefooted O’Connor gave Monivea a 9 point lead heading into the final quarter.

Shane Purcell kicked a long-range penalty for Creggs in the 68th minute and from then to the finish, the game was played almost entirely inside the Monivea half. Time after time Creggs were held up just short of the line, with Monivea content to concede a high number of penalties in a desperate effort to hold on to their lead.

The referee finally blew for full-time much to the relief of the home supporters who witnessed a superb defensive effort as Creggs threw everything into attack but could not get through for the late try. Creggs remain eight points clear of third place Tuam.

Creggs Rugby: Shane Dowd, Martin Quinn, Eoghan Coyle, Tom Callaghan, Kevin Gavin, Shane Purcell, Andrew Callaghan, Eoghan Farrell, Maurice Buckley, Aidan Leech, Brian Donohoe, Kevin Brandon, Peter Lohan, James Brandon, Brian Diffley (Captain), Eoghan Cahill, Matthew Curley, Ronan Cahill, Luke Meehan, Mark Brandon.

ADULT TEAM TRAINING

This weekend, the Creggs Under-20’s and Development squads train at 8.15 pm on Friday evening on the 4G Pitch. The First team have a rest weekend and will play a friendly against AIL side Tullamore RFC on next Tuesday evening.

YOUTH RUGBY

Great win for Creggs Under-14 Boys over Corinthians

Connacht Under-14 League

Corinthians RFC 26, Creggs RFC 31.

Creggs Under-14s played Corinthians in their final group stages league match on Saturday last.

It was a very competitive match with two very evenly matched teams. Corinthians got off to a flyer with an unconverted try in the second minute. A

Creggs hit back with a Josh Mc Cormack try to lead 7-5 after 10 minutes. McCormack was in again in the fourteenth minute after a great break from Conor Morris and John McGuinness to leave the score 14-5.

Corinthians got in for a converted try soon after but Mark Fallon touched down under the posts after some great forward work to leave the score 21-12 at half time.

Corinthians started the second half very strong getting in for a converted try after two minutes leaving the narrowest of margins 21-19.

Creggs soaked up massive pressure over the next ten minutes with Jarlath Quinn, Roan Trundle, Mark Fallon and Oisin Mullen all shining for Creggs during this period. Then in a period of dominance saw Leo O’Connor bundling over for a great forwards try leaving Creggs 26-19 in front.

Corinthian levelled with six minutes remaining with the game on a knife edge. Both teams tested the line but the Creggs defence stood strong with try saving tackles from John O’Brien James Molloy and Conor Morris.

Creggs pressed and pressed in the closing minutes and a well worked move saw Sean Allen getting over in the corner in the last minute. A great win.

Next up is the Connacht Under-14 League Semi-Final
This team now travel to play Loughrea RFC in the Connacht League Semi-Final on Saturday next. The last time the side met, it was a close encounter and the Creggs boys have improved a team since then. We wish them the very best of luck.

Creggs Rugby: Aaron McAteer, Joshua Reddington, John McGuinness, Roan Trundle, Cian Escosio, Oisin Mullen, Sean Allen, Jamie Betts, Joshua McCormack, James Molloy, Jarlath Quinn, Lochlann Mulry, Conor Morris, Leo O’Connor, John Quinn, John O’ Brien, Mark Fallon, Jack Feeley

Very impressive away Cup win for Under-14 Girls

Connacht Under-16 Girls Cup

Buccaneers RFC 12, Creggs 60.

The Creggs Under-16 Girls got their Connacht Cup campaign off to an impressive start, scoring 12 tries against the Corrib Girls in Headford.

Creggs Under-16 Girls.

Impressive Creggs Under-13’s big win v Castlebar

Connacht Under-13 League

Castlebar RFC 0, Creggs RFC 73.

A fantastic all round performance led to the team biggest win of the year for the Creggs Under-13 Boys last weekend.

Creggs played a stylish brand of rugby with many flowing moves culminating in 11 tries, 9 of which were converted.

Next up is a challenge game against Corinthians on Saturday next (Feb. 1st.) at 12 Noon in Creggs.

Creggs Rugby: Mason, Dara Fahy, James Bligh, Matthew Beirne, Ciaran Mulry, Cian Farrell, Adam Beckett, Luca Cormican, Cian McLoughlin, Cathal Maloney, Bryan Murray, Jamie Lohan, Leo Flynn, Luke Kilcommons, Martin Connaughton, Gerard Healy, Cillian Hussey, Brian Geraghty

Creggs Under-15 Boys v Clontarf in friendly game

Creggs Under-15’s enjoyed a great trip to Clontarf RFC for a challange match last weekend. The home team won by the odd score in a high scoring encounter.
The Creggs lads scored some great tries and our thanks to all at Clontarf RFC for their hospitality.

YOUTH TEAMS – FIXTURES

(Check www.CreggsRugby.ie and Creggs RFC Facebook for Fixture detail updates!)

CONNACHT YOUTH CUPS DRAW
The Connacht Youth Cup Draw took place last week. Below are the details of which sides all the Creggs Youth Teams (Boys and Girls) were drawn against.

                                                v Opponents Home Or Away

BOYS:
Creggs Under-13’s Last 16, v Monivea on 22/02/’20 (Away).

Creggs Under-14’s Last 16, v Buccaneers on 29/02/2020 (Away).

Creggs Under-15’s Prelim. v (Maroon Team) v NUIG on 08/02/’20 (Home).
Prelim. v (White Team) v Buccaneers on 08/02/’20 (Away).

Creggs Under-16’s Last 16 v Corrib on 29/02/’20 (Away).

Creggs Under-17’s Last 16 v Carrick-On-Shannon on 23/02.’20. (Home)

Creggs Under-18.5’s (BYE Last 16). QF v Corinthians on 22/03/’20 (?)

GIRLS:

Creggs Under-14’s (BYE in Last 16.) QF v Corrib or Ballina on 08/02/’20 (?)

Creggs Under-16’s Last 16 v Corrib on 25/01/’20? – TBC (Away).

Creggs Under-18’s Last 16 v Sligo on 25/01/’20? – TBC (Away)

NB Check with the respective coaches to confirm dates and if home or away.

MINI RUGBY

BLITZ this Saturday in Creggs for All MINI Squads
This Saturday (Feb. 1st.), all Creggs MINI squads will host Tuam Rugby Club Minis in all age grades in Creggs. Matches will start from 10.30am. All coaches are asked to please be ready by 10.15am.

New MINI Rugby Players Always Welcome
Creggs MINI Rugby always welcomes new players. We will have boys and girls teams from Under-7 (six year-olds) through each year up to Under-12’s. Come along and try it out on Saturday mornings. Parents are also very welcome to help with coaching (full training provided) or to help support the great efforts at Creggs MINI Rugby coaching team.

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4 days ago  ·  

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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5 days ago  ·