Connacht Junior League

Connacht Junior League

Tuam – 17
Creggs – 24

The day began badly for Creggs with The Green deemed unplayable and the game transferred to Tuam, but it ended well and this win secures a promotion play-off against Connemara, date and venue yet to be decided.

Coming into the game Creggs were 4 points ahead of third placed Tuam who needed a winning bonus to reverse these positions, they managed only a losing bonus and the win sees Creggs 7 points ahead in the final league standings.

Tuam’s pitch has held up so well as to make it difficult to fathom why the game was taking place there in the first instance but the firm surface suited Creggs who took the lead through a Shane Dowd penalty after just 2 minutes. Creggs moved further ahead shortly after when an attempted penalty kick to touch found Creggs full-back Kevin Gavin who broke out past his own 10 metre line, feeding Dowd who split the Tuam defence with a trademark burst of acceleration, his perfect pass to Ger Heneghan was taken on by the centre who drew the full-back before putting left winger Ryan Horan sprinting through for a scintillating try which Dowd converted to leave his side 10 – nil ahead. Creggs suffered a significant loss shortly afterwards when prop Tom Fleming who was having a stormer in the loose limped off after 17 minutes. The remainder of the first half saw the heavier Tuam pack take control and the second quarter comprised essentially a siege on the Creggs line which was rebuffed by sterling defence, the highlights of which were a superb try saving tackle by Andrew Callaghan at the corner flag and a magnificent steal by Peter Lohan which interrupted the series of 5 metre scrums threatening the Creggs line. Tuam continued to press however, Creggs lost Andrew Callaghan to a yellow card and ultimately the pressure told when centre Rory Cosgrove crossed for an unconverted try just before half-time.

10-5 at the interval.

Tuam’s out-half Eoin Cosgrove struck the post with a penalty attempt in the eighth minute with Creggs suffering a second yellow card when no. 8 Kevin Brandon was sent to the bin for a transgression apparent only to the referee. Again confronted by 14 men Tuam upped the intensity but having failed to break through on the short side they let the ball out wide and this proved their undoing when Gavin again pounced on a sloppy pass, accelerating away with Dowd on his shoulder to take the pass and score between the posts, adding the conversion himself.

Within minutes Eoin Cosgrove saw a yellow, fortunate not to see red for a late tackle on Horan before Rory Cosgrove bagged his second try under the posts with the Creggs defenders neutralised by a blatant piece of obstruction missed only by the referee. Eoin Kelly added the conversion but within minutes his dreadful attempt at a defensive clearance was impressively poached by Aidan Leech who fed Kevin Brandon through Sean Og Higgins who put Gavin through for a try under the posts again converted by Dowd. Tuam grabbed a late consolation try through their open-side Brian Ruane with John Donnellan adding a splendid conversion but the game finished with Creggs encamped on the Tuam line with the final league placings no longer in doubt.

Creggs : K Gavin, S Quinn, G Heneghan, T Callaghan, R Horan, S Dowd, A Callaghan, K Brandon, P Lohan, A Brandon, T Oates, R Cassidy, A Leech, S O Higgins, T Fleming, K Ruane, B Donoghue, B Kilcommons, B Egan, P Leech.

Connacht Junior League
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