Solid Sligo on show in J1A league
Sligo RFC Development XV 24
Monivea RFC 1st XV 15
Following the nail-biting finish to last week’s game, that saw the favoured home team of Monivea beaten by 2points, this week’s return leg promised to be a cracker, and the many home fans were not disappointed. The Sligo Development XV took to the pitch in Hamilton Park and showed that they meant business, putting the visitors under pressure from the kick off. Sligo were the first to put points on the board after 12minutes. Andrew Blannin capitalised on a handling error from Monivea, and broke through the defensive line to score the first try of the game, which was then duly converted by Niall Gray. A penalty by Gray only 6minutes later brought the score to 10-0. Sligo did well to keep the ball well away from the large, experienced Monivea pack, and continued to play a very open, flowing game, but it wasn’t until the 31st minute that Christian Nielsen, in his second senior game, crossed the line to add another 5points to the home side’s tally, confidently converted by Gray. Monivea turned up the pressure, keeping the ball in the pack and eventually broke through the Sligo defence with 8minutes to go until half-time.
After a solid first half performance, the opening minute of the second half saw Sligo extend their lead to 19points, as first centre Jamie Bowes drove through the Monivea line, reminiscent of his days in the second row. Gray’s conversion proved to be the home side’s final score of the game. Monivea finished strongly, scoring another two tries, but a disciplined home side remained focussed and allowed the visitors to recycle the ball but not gain ground, eventually forcing the turnover and ending the game.
Sligo were disappointed not to get the bonus point but were happy with the flowing play from the backs and solid set plays throughout the game. The future of rugby was very much on display throughout the game, with a decisive, young referee from Blackrock at the helm, Christian Nielsen showing his worth in the second row and Niall Gray’s 100% accuracy with the boot.
The Development team’s last game of 2017 is away to Westport, next Sunday, 10th December.
Sligo RFC News
€78,000 Grant for Sligo RFC
Christmas came early for the nation’s sporting grassroots last week, as the Government unveiled details of its €56m capital grants programme. Sporting clubs in the North West will receive over €1million in Government funding, with €825,000 being allocated to twenty-nine sporting clubs in Co Sligo. Sligo RFC are the biggest beneficiaries in the county, with a grant of €78,000 for the redevelopment of the clubhouse.
The Club already has a four-phase plan in action to improve the facilities at Hamilton Park and meet the growing demands of its 18 teams and 450 playing members. Over the past 2 years, Sligo RFC developments have included the installation of a new 4G synthetic all-weather training pitch, the redevelopment of the grass training pitch, improved lighting at the grounds, as well as the re-surfacing of the car park.
Sligo Rugby Club’s Development Committee now will have to go about raising the balance of the necessary funds to complete the projects. This will be in addition to the already-secured Sports Capital Funding, IRFU loan, bank loan and the club’s own existing funds.
Connacht Senior Cup Final set for Hamilton Park
The Connacht Senior Cup has been played for a total of 102 times, with twelve different clubs having won the trophy during that period. All finals have traditionally been played in Galway, either in the then Galway Grammar School, or Galway Sportsground. However, for the first time in its 122year history, the Connacht Senior Cup will be held in Sligo. The date has been set for Saturday 16th December and Sligo is gearing itself for an historic day, vying to win the cup for the first time since 1914.
Your Club Your Country – Grand Draw 2017
Last year, over €628,000 was raised by rugby clubs across Ireland through the Your Club, Your Country Grand Draw. Sligo RFC raised a total of €6,830 in the IRFU and Ulster Bank fundraising initiative. A huge thanks to all club members who sold the 683 tickets and to the many friends of Sligo RFC who supported the draw.