Creggs stay top in Connacht Junior League

Creggs 47 Sligo RFC 0

Creggs seniors roared into this game from the kick-off, launching a full-scale assault on the opposition line. A knock-on gave Sligo a brief respite but full-back Kevin Gavin opened the scoring with a try in the left-hand corner after five minutes. 

  Scrum-half Andrew Callaghan added a second after 13 minutes. And then the floodgates opened. Tries in quick succession from Sean Og Higgins, Shane Dowd, a second from Callaghan and the first of his eventual hat-trick from Ger Heneghan, left Creggs 32-0 ahead with a bonus point in the bag at the interval. 

  Shortly after the resumption Heneghan crossed again and seven  minutes later he grabbed a third before second row Neville Walker completed the scoring after 50 minutes. 

  By then with Sligo having used their only substitute and the game reduced to uncontested scrums the referee signalled his intention to call proceedings to a halt early and sounded the final whistle with 20 minutes remaining. 

  This was an impressive showing from Creggs, clearly smarting from their defeat to NUIG the previous weekend. Sligo had no answer to a high-tempo game with the backs and forwards linking effectively and the only negative was a very low yield from the boot, with just one of the nine tries converted. 

  The pack performed well as a unit with Tom Fleming, Bernard Kilcommons and Matthew Brandon looking particularly sharp, as did Brian Donoghue following his introduction, and apart from the scorers mentioned already, Philip Leech turned in another impressive performance on the left wing. 

  This Sunday Creggs will face a much sterner test, aiming to avenge their sole defeat from the opening round when they face third-placed Castlebar at the Green in Creggs, with kick-off at 2.30. Training continues on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Creggs: K Gavin, R Horan, G Heneghan, T Callaghan, P Leech, S Dowd, A Callaghan, T Fleming, S O’Higgins, A Leech, T Oates, B Kilcommons, M Brandon, P Lohan, K Brandon. Replacements: E Conlon, N Walker, B Donoghue, B Egan, D Flahive.

Seconds: Creggs seconds also play Oughterard RFC in the Connacht League on Sunday next in Creggs at 2.30 pm. Training continues on Tuesdays and Fridays. New players always welcome.

Creggs YOUTH Rugby

Connacht U-15 League – Creggs 7 Ballina RFC 7: Creggs welcomed U-15 Connacht League table toppers Ballina RFC to the village for what turned out to be a very hard-fought encounter.

  Creggs, very much the underdogs, looked the better team in the opening encounters with their big forwards, ably led by ‘pack leader’ Jack Tucker, making the hard yards. 

  However a scrum taken against the head saw Ballina attack deep into the Creggs 22 but their winger Michael Gillespie was bundled into touch 10 metres out. Then despite winning the lineout Creggs were charged down by Ballina’s hooker Mark Walker who outpaced the Creggs defence to touch down for a converted try and a 7-0 lead.  

  Ballina were now in the ascendancy and only for resolute defence from Creggs centres Sam Sullivan and Ciaran Neil-Smith that kept the Mayo men out as half-time approached.

  The Creggs front row of Tom Farrell, Evan Comiskey-Hoare on for the injured McGuinness and Thomas O’Beirne were getting to terms with their opponents and some hard yards from Lorcan Maher and Jack Keegan had Creggs fighting hard for a score before half-time but it wasn’t to come and Ballina were just about value for their lead.

  The home team captain Aodha Hession, having one of his best games in the maroon jersey, was now dictating the pace of the game from scrum-half and his partner at 10 Mark Purcell was kicking majestically, belying his young years.

  Creggs were now on top but couldn’t find the final pass to score. At the breakdown Jack Hanley and John McDonnell were immense and the turnover count was heavily in favour of the home team.

  On 45 minutes Creggs were attacking deep in the Ballina half and were awarded a penalty for an infringement at the ruck. Hession took the quick option and put Jack Keegan in on the blind side, still with three defenders to beat, Keegan classically handed off the Ballina number 8 and powered over for a Creggs try. Purcell added the extras with a difficult conversion.

  The home team upped the pace again as they went after the victory going wide on several occasions looking to get wingers Leigh Doyle and Ryan O’Keeffe in for the decisive score but a resolute Ballina defense kept the Creggs lads from crossing the line again.

  The introduction off the bench of Eric O’Doherty, Karl Healy and Diarmuid Quinn strengthened the home team with fresh legs and they threw everything they had at Ballina but were held up just short on several occasions.

  Indeed against the run of play Ballina almost made the decisive play taking a quick penalty in their own half and going the length of the pitch but the ever-dependable Creggs full-back Aaron Hannon was not found wanting and the match finished in a draw with both teams earning plaudits from the sizeable crowd for the excellent standard of rugby played. Well done indeed for a great team effort!

Creggs: Aaron Hannon, Ryan O’Keeffe, Ciaran Neil-Smyth, Sam Sullivan, Leigh Doyle, Mark Purcell, Aodah Hession, Tom Farrell, Roddie McGuinness, Thomas O’Beirne, Lorcan Maher, Jack Tucker, Jack Hanley, John McDonnell, Jack Keegan, Sean Quinn, Eric O’Doherty, Evan Comiskey-Hoare, Diarmuid Quinn, Karl Healy.

Connacht U-16 League – Castlebar RFC 18 Creggs 12: Following the recent weather disruption, Creggs U-16s travelled for their first game of the New Year to play a very strong Castlebar team last Sunday in the U-16 League.

  Castlebar fielded a very strong and powerful front 8 and the Creggs forwards were certainly facing a battle prior to kick-off but they stood up very well to the test and were very unlucky not to come away with victory.

  Creggs were minus a few regulars and the new recruits in Amuray Duarte, Kyle Walsh and Sam Connolly put in very good performances for their first day out with the club.

  Castlebar got an early boost when they took an early lead through a drop goal after five minutes but Creggs responded well and after a prolonged period of attack a long kick downfield by Castlebar was gathered by Kyle Walsh who beat a few defenders by running back infield and passed to Juan de la Campa who raced in to score a try which Tim Lambe converted.

  The lead was short-lived however as Castlebar gathered their kick off and got their big forwards picking and driving which the smaller Creggs pack were finding hard to stop and they powered over the line on the stroke of half-time to take an 8-7 lead.

  Creggs had the better of territory in the second half and Michael Kelly, Killian Higgins, Matthew Curley were making good hard yards up front and out wide Cathal Crehan and Dylan Horan were moving the ball at every opportunity and on a couple of occasions they were only one pass away from beating the defence. It was Castlebar who extended their lead when they gathered the ball in their own 22” and again got their big forwards carrying and after about 10 phases found themselves in the Creggs 22” and once again powered over to extend their lead to 18-7.

  Creggs never gave up and eventually Mairtin Quinn beat the defence to score a try after good work from Albert Looby, Sam Connolly and Amuray Duarte to leave the final score 18-12.

Creggs: Anthony Stewart, Killian Higgins, Mathew Curley, Sam Connolly, Michael Kelly, Albert Looby, Martin Quinn, Amuray Duarte, Tim Lambe, Hubert Cadiou, Dylan Horan, Juan De La Campa, Cian Dolan, Kyle Walsh, Cathal Crehan, Conor Downey.

Creggs Youth Team fixtures: Creggs U-14s will train next Friday night at 7 pm. Creggs will play Galwegians in their last Connacht League game next weekend in Creggs.

  Creggs U-15s will train next Friday at 7 pm. Creggs U-15s are due to play Galwegians RFC away next weekend. Time to be confirmed.

  Creggs U-16s are then due to travel to play Ballinrobe RFC next Sunday. Time to be confirmed. Creggs U-18s will play Ballina away at 1 pm on Sunday next.

Creggs MINI Rugby

Next Saturday, Tuam RFC will visit Creggs for a Blitz, with games at U-12s, U-10s and U-9s. The other teams will train in Creggs as normal. Kick-off will be at 10.45 am.