NUIG – 15
Creggs – 14
Over the years Dangan hasn’t exactly been a happy hunting ground for Creggs but on Sunday two tries in the closing minutes secured a winning bonus point for the second week in succession. Creggs began impressively, forcing the students on the defensive from the kick-off with NUIG losing two men to injury in the first five minutes. Nevertheless they defended stoutly, repelling everything Creggs could throw at them until James Brandon broke the deadline with a well taken try after ten minutes. A couple of minutes later his back row colleague Alan Brandon was sinbinned and NUIG levelled the scoring with an unconverted try. While still a man down, Creggs regained the lead through left winger Chris Duignan from a well executed kick and chase. Two minutes before half time NUIG added a penalty and the half ended controversially with the referee disallowing what looked to be a perfectly good try, a fabulous solo effort from right wing Luke Meehan just before half time. Creggs continued to press throughout the second half but both possession and territory were more evenly matched, with former Creggs second row Tom Oates untouchable on his own line-out ball, Creggs however nullified the students height advantage with some judicious throwing, split between Brian Donoghue and James Brandon and the line-outs broke even as did the set scrums. That applied also to the scoreline for half an hour into the second period with neither side able to puncture the opposing defence. On the half hour mark however, disaster struck for Creggs, with a number of backs having left the line to join a maul on the students try line, when the ball emerged Creggs were largely marked absent in the back division and an attempt to play the ball wide was intercepted by the NUIG full-back who sprinted unopposed the length of the field for a try between the posts. The conversion left Creggs five points behind as the game entered its closing stages. Creggs re-grouped and with five minutes left Mark Brandon crossed in the corner and added a magnificent touch-line conversion to restore his side’s lead 17-15. Everything was still to play for but a fourth try from prop Aidan Leetch converted by Brandon left with the students looking at a losing bonus point, best case scenario. That however required a score of any kind and none was forthcoming as Creggs pulled up the drawbridge in the closing minutes.
Creggs : K Gavin, L Meehan, E Jennings, T Callaghan, C Duignan, M
Brandon, A Callaghan, E Fleming, S O Higgins, A Leech, M Blighe, B
Donoghue, J Brandon, A Brandon, K Brandon.
Replacements : E Farrell, R Cahill, M Farrell, M Holland.
This weekend Creggs take a well earned break from competitive rugby, they are sitting joint second with Castlebar in the League, on 16 points from five matches, Corinthians topping the table with 23 points.