Creggs U-15s booked their place in the Connacht Plate final with an impressive 34-12 win over Oughterard in Galway on Sunday morning last. In overcast but dry conditions the Creggs lads were physically bigger and used their size advantaged to good effect, especially the Creggs forwards who were dominant throughout the match.
The away team started stronger and were soon rewarded when captain Aodah Hession powered over for the first score which Mark Purcell converted. Centre, Sam Sullivan, having one of his best games for Creggs, powered through for a second try and only excellent and brave defending kept the Oughterard team in the contest. Their efforts were rewarded with a breakaway converted try but the consistent Creggs number 8 Jack Keegan added another try, leaving the half-time score 17-7 in favour of the away team.
Sullivan added another converted try after the break which ended the game as a contest with Creggs eventually running out comfortable winners 34-12 and they will now play Galwegians in the final at Buccaneers RFC, Athlone on Sunday (24th). Kick-off TBC (see Creggs Facebook page for more info).
Creggs: Aaron Hannon, Leigh Doyle, Sam Sullivan, Mark Purcell, Aodah Hession, Tom Farrell, Roddie McGuinness, Jonathan Whyte, Thomas O Brien, Lorcan Maher, Jack Tucker, Jack Hanley, John McDonnell, Jack Keegan, Eric O’Doherty, Evan Comiskey-Hoare, Diarmuid Quinn, Sean Quinn, Karl Healy, Ryan O’Keeffe, Adam Downey.
Creggs 2nds: Creggs 23 Carrick-on-Shannon17.
Creggs 2nds produced an excellent display to defeat a strongly fancied Carrick 1sts side in Sunday’s Ard na Cregg quarter-final clash at The Green. With Carrick having recently qualified for the Junior 2 League Final, they were strong favourites heading into this game.
When Creggs conceded a try in the opening minute, the signs were ominous but Mark Brandon slotted a penalty to reduce the deficit to 7-3 in the 8th minute of an absorbing contest.
Carrick went further ahead when a mistake at the back of a Creggs scrum led to an easy try. However, Creggs hit back with some powerful forward play which culminated in winger David Hoare sprinting 50 metres for a superb try under the Carrick posts, leaving Mark Brandon with a simple conversion.
Carrick turned around at half-time leading 12-10 but Creggs now enjoyed the advantage of a strong downfield breeze, which Mark Brandon and Stephen Kilcommons used to good effect to pin Carrick back at every opportunity.
With Eddie Conlon and Trevor Nee carrying strongly in attack, Creggs looked to be gaining control until Carrick’s impressive out-half Will Weaver evaded several Creggs tacklers to score a superb solo try in the 58th minute to put his team 17-10 ahead.
Significantly, the conversion flew wide of the posts, leaving Creggs trailing by seven points, heading into the final quarter. Creggs applied severe pressure but with Sean McKeon, Steven Guckian, Padraig Gleeson and Weaver to the fore, it was proving difficult to breach a well-organised Carrick defence.
The breakthrough finally came in the 72nd minute when the impressive Creggs centre, Luke Meehan, powered his way through several attempted tackles for a tremendous try, which Brandon converted to the tie the scores at 17-all.
Then Carrick lost a player to the sin-bin and this gave Creggs a significant advantage in the closing stages, and Mark Brandon turned the contest firmly in the home side’s favour with two well-struck penalty goals.
Carrick fought to the finish, but Creggs held out to qualify for a home semi-final against old rivals Ballina 2nds, who defeated Westport 2nds last Sunday.
Creggs 2nds: Stephen Kilcommons, David Hoare, Rory Collins, Luke Meehan, Conor Gore, Dara Gilleran, Mark Brandon, Brian Coady, Peter Heavey, Eoghan Cahill, Declan Nee, David Naughton, James Ryan, Damien Nolan, Eddie Conlon, Paul McNeill, Steve Crehan, Trevor Nee, Dylan Keaveney.
This week’s fixtures
Creggs U-17s: Creggs will play Bucaneers in the final of the U-17 Connacht Plate this Sunday in Athlone at 12 noon.
Creggs U-15s: Creggs will play Galwegians in the final of the U-15 plate at the same venue with a 2 pm kick-off. Well done to both teams and best of luck.
The final will be this Sunday (24th of April) in the Sportsground, Galway at 12 pm should the lads be successful in their semi-final. Best of lucks lads, it’s been a great season with a depleted squad.