Unbeaten Sligo claim fifth win to stay top

Sligo remain top of Division 2C of the All-Ireland League following their 16-14 defeat of Midleton at the weekend.

The Yeats men are now unbeaten in six league matches ahead of the visit of Tullamore to Strandhill next Saturday.

kuba-wojtkowicz-powers-through-midleton sean-mullin-on-the-attack captain-shane-boyle-leads-from-the-front callum-goddard-clears-the-sligo-lines


Sligo RFC 16

Midleton RFC 14

Sligo maintained their position at the top of the Ulster Bank League division 2C with a hard fought 2point victory over a burly Midleton outfit at Strandhill on Saturday. Sligo have now won five and drawn one of their six League matches, and top the table with a margin of 3 points over second placed Thomond RFC.

Playing with the aid of the stiff breeze, Sligo kicked off playing towards the Knocknarea end. Midleton immediately signalled their intent bringing their big ball carrying forwards into play and using their well-worked maul to good effect, but Sligo weathered the early storm and began to make inroads when moving the ball wide.

callum-goddard-uses-his-pace-to-evade-a-tackle ryan-feehily-weaves-his-way-through-the-midleton-defence-to-score-a-try-of-the-month-contender

Sligo opened the scoring after 12 minutes with a well taken Jack Keegan penalty following a lineout infringement just outside the Midleton 22.

Sligo continued to press and looked to have picked up the opening try after 19 minutes when Kuba Wojtkowicz broke through metres out, but the touch judge intervened, and to the disbelief of the Sligo faithful, the score was disallowed, and flanker Manu Parkin was shown a red card, for an alleged off the ball incident.

Sligo were now in a battle, but to their credit continued to bring the game to their visitors. Their industry was rewarded right on the stroke of half time. A long right to left pass from Mark Butler was well collected by Keegan outside the Midleton 22. Keegan timed his release perfectly to allow Mark Rooney the chance to test the defence and the turbo charged centre raced through to dot down for the first 5 pointer of the day to give his team an 8-0 half time advantage.

Sligo turned into the breeze knowing a huge effort would be required from their seven man pack to contain the visitors. Props Wojtkowicz and Conor Mitchell were doing an excellent job at scrum time, Shane O’Hehir was linking well with Diarmuid O’Dowd-Hill at the lineout and second row Shane Boyle was carrying with intent. Boyle’s partner in the engine room, James Wilson, was having an immense outing with an exceptional work rate.

Seven minutes into the half, Sligo moved further ahead. A Midleton clearance was collected by Butler just outside the Sligo 22. The outhalf countered and made his way to the 10metre line. The move looked to have been halted but scrum half Ryan Feehily had other ideas and collected and darted down the left. The Midleton cover raced across but were no match for Feehilys outstanding footwork. The youngster weaved his way into the 22 and wrong footed the last defender before racing to the line for a breath-taking score.

Midleton fought back and picked up a try under the posts to shorten Sligo’s lead to six with 30 minutes remaining but another Keegan penalty on 55 minutes put Sligo back into a two score lead. Midleton picked up a second converted try with 15 minutes remaining to set up a tense finish.

With the clock in injury time Sligo’s fears were almost realised when the referee awarded the visitors a penalty on the Sligo 10 metre line, but to the relief of the Sligo support, the penalty kick drifted wide and the long whistle signalled the end of the encounter.

Next Saturday Sligo host Tullamore RFC. The match kicks off at Hamilton Park at 2.30.

Sligo: Jack Keegan, Callum Goddard, Mark Rooney, Sean Mullin,  Philip Carter, Mark Butler, Ryan Feehily, Kuba Wojtkowicz, Shane O’Hehir, Conor Mitchell, James Wilson, Shane Boyle, Manu Parkin, Diarmuid O’Dowd-Hill, Matthew Cosgrove. Reps Ross O’Boyle, Mark Keegan, Shane McGuinness, Matthew Davey, Niall Gray


Sligo 2nd XV      27

Ballinasloe      10

The Sligo men’s development team had a comprehensive win in the Connacht J1A league when they took on a strong Ballinasloe side at home.

The team have a week off from fixtures next week but will be back in action at 2.30pm on 19th November when they take on Galwegians at home.