Creggs Rugby 17, Corinthians 10. Connacht Division 1 League Final
Creggs Under-18.5’s won the Connacht Division 1 League title last Sunday with a 17-10 victory of Corinthians RFC at Dubarry Park in Athlone. Played in beautiful conditions and in front of a large and vocal crowd, Creggs came out on top in a tight and exciting encounter.
Corinthians began the better and in the opening 10 minutes kept Creggs pinned back in their own 22″ and had a series of scrums before taking a 5-0 lead after 8 minutes.
Creggs then began to take a foothold in the game and up front Rian Biesty, Dan Butt, Ronan Cahill and Danny Arnold were now getting over the gain line. And in the set pieces Brian Maloney and David O Gorman were securing ball for the Creggs backs to work with.
However, it took right up to 34 minutes before the Creggs boys eventually broke through the excellent Corinthians defence when Melvin Conteh broke a tackle and made a 20 metre run before eventually being hauled down just short of the line and Eoghan Coyle moved the ball quickly out to Shane Purcell at 10 and the ball moved swiftly through all the backs for Tim Lambe to score in the corner. Purcell converted from near the touch line to give Creggs a 7-5 half-time lead.
Creggs continued to have the upper hand in the early parts of the second half but it was Corinthians who regained the lead after 12 minutes from a block down kick, they kept the ball alive to score in the corner. Again, they failed to land the conversion, so it was 10-7 and advantage Corinthians.
Having lost to the same opposition in the Undere-17 League Final last year it would have been understandable if the Creggs boys thought it was going to be one of those days but they did not.
Creggs continued to their game plan and got their reward and drew level from a penalty through Shane Purcell after 20 minutes, following Corinthians being caught offside at the ruck.
Creggs continued to attack and just when it looked like a draw was the likely result Creggs were awarded a penalty with 2 minutes remaining, Ronan Dowd stepped up and kicked the very difficult penalty which just dropped short but the follow up from Mairtin Quinn proved decisive when he pounced brilliantly on the loose ball and touched down under the post. Ronan Dowd converted to give Creggs a 17-10 lead with only a minute remaining and Creggs regained possession and with time-up, kicked the ball out securing the Connacht Under-18.5 Division 1 League title.
CREGGS Rugby: Melvin Conteh, Danny Arnold, Dan Butt, Oisin Keenan, Amuray Duarte, Aaron Glennon, Ian Conlon, Mathew Curley, Diarmuid Collins, Cian Gately, David O’Gorman, Brian Maloney, Rian Biesty, Ronan Cahill, Edward Clinton, Eoghan Coyle (Capt.), Shane Purcell, Jason Hoare, Dara Beirne, Mairtin Quinn, Tim Lambe, Ronan Dowd.