Ballyhaunis 3 Creggs 11
Creggs secured a vital victory in Friday evening’s league game played at Ballyhaunis against a strong and determined home side.
Early pressure yielded a penalty for Ja Hughes to put Creggs 3-0 ahead, but thereafter Ballyhaunis began to spread the ball wide at every opportunity and displayed some impressive handling moves. However, the Creggs defence was well organised and committed in the tackle so Ballyhaunis could not achieve a breakthrough. Eventually, Creggs got downfield to set up an attacking platform inside the Ballyhaunis half, but several half chances went abegging before out half Tom Callaghan’s well-timed pass gave Emmet Collins space out wide to touch down for an important try in the 28th minutes of the first half.
Another Ja Hughes penalty just before half time gave Creggs a healthy 11-0 lead, and it looked likely that Ballyhaunis were in for a torrid second half. But it was the Ballyhaunis team that came out strongly at the start of the second half, forcing Creggs onto the back foot with some powerful running and good support play. Creggs conceded a penalty under the posts following a mix-up in defence, which almost resulted in a try for Ballyhaunis. Winger Jean Pierre Jeffreys kicked the penalty goal to reduce the deficit to 11-3 in the 46th minute.
Ballyhaunis dominated the third quarter territorially but Creggs gradually began to regain control in the forward exchanges, with the front five doing some great work in subduing their opponents.
Likewise, the back row of Hughes, Brandon and Leddy made a key contribution in a match that became increasingly forward orientated, with the backs getting very little quality ball.
Creggs camped inside the Ballyhaunis half for the closing ten minutes of the game, but despite being awarded a succession of scrums close to the tryline, they could not engineer any further scores. While both teams displayed lots of honest endeavour, there was a disappointing lack of creativity, particularly in the second half.
Creggs now face Gort in their final league in a fortnight, the outcome of which will be crucial in determining the top four from the Junior 1B league.
With Buccaneers safely on top of the table, and Gort, NUIG and Portumna also in the shake-up, Creggs need at least one point from the Gort game to guarantee a place in the top four.
Creggs: Dave Flahive, Emmet Collins, Conor Brandon, Barry Egan, Bernard Kilcommons, Tom Callaghan, Noel Flynn; Matt Corcoran, Gary McConnell, Paul McNeill, Tom Fleming, Pat Coffey, Ja Hughes, Kevin Brandon, Ruairi Leddy, John Walsh, Larry Mannion, Micheal Conway.
Creggs 9 Ballina 17
Creggs conceded two late tries to lose out to Ballina in Saturday’s Junior 2 league clash at the Green. Conditions were difficult with a strong downfield wind and driving rain making the greasy ball hard to control. Creggs played into the wind in the first half, and started very well, containing Ballina with some excellent tackling and attempting to move the ball to the wings when possible.
Both Enda O’Roarke and Joel McPhilbin were unlucky not to score during this period. Following a try from Ballina’s Conor Molloy, Robbie Kilcommons landed a penalty to reduce the margin to 7-3 at half time.
An intercept by Ballina’s Brian Langan resulted in a try, but two fine penalties by Robbie Kilcommons kept Creggs well in contention at 12-9 until another defensive error gave Ballina a third try, from which there was to be no comeback.
Creggs: John Walsh, Gerry Keegan, Joel McPhilbin, Robbie White, Conor Hughes, Sean Quinn, David Drury, Trevor Nee, Larry Mannion, Robbie Kilcommons, Kevin Raftery, Paul Mahon, Micheal Conway, Kieran Ryan, Enda O’Roarke, Mark Hester, Barry Kilcommons.
Creggs 17 Ballinrobe 17
Creggs under 17s gained revenge for their league semi final loss to Ballinrobe by turning them over in their cup tie on Saturday last in Ballinrobe, on a scoreline of 12-17.
In an enthralling and highly competitive encounter Creggs started with the strong wind at their backs, but Ballinrobe’s stronger pack kept ball in hand and monopolised possession for the first ten minutes. Fullback Derek Tully, with a combination of nice footwork and pace, got over from outside the 22 to touch down close to the posts, with out half Michael Green adding the points. After a good ruck, second phase ball was carried by Alan Scanlon, followed by captain Robert Clarke who crashed over close to the corner.
The second half saw Ballinrobe in the Creggs half for the first fifteen minutes before they finally scored a converted try. Derek Tully got his side into their 22, which was followed by a great surge by second row David Quinn, who was tackled short of the line. However scrum half Andrew Callaghan was on hand to pick up and dive over, leaving the score 7-17. For the last few minutes Ballinrobe lay siege to the Creggs line but tremendously brave tackling kept them out until they finally got over only for Callaghan to deny them by holding up the ball, which turned out to be the last act of a wonderful Creggs performance.
Creggs will be away to the winners of Buccs or Ballinasloe in the next round, which of course will be a big ask, but so was last Saturday. A special mention for halfbacks Callaghan and Green who gave the kind of performance that brought back memories of the Brandon-Dowd era and a general compliment to the team for their exemplary discipline.
Creggs: Derek Tully, Niall Connaughton, Chris Duignan, Conor Doolin, Niall Donnellan, Michael Green, Andrew Callaghan, Aaron Murphy, Gerald McDermott, Paul Scanlon, William Clinton, David Quinn, Nicholas Timothy, Robert Clarke, Enda Tully. Res Aidan Cahill.
Connacht U14 Cup
Westport 19 Creggs 10
Creggs were just edged out by Westport in a very spirited display last Sunday in beautiful spring like conditions at the foothills of Croagh Patrick. Creggs started well with good kicks from Matthew Butt and Simon Spain early on establishing good position. In the second half Creggs fought hard and good interplay by centres Robbie Daly and Connor Gore released Shane Dowd who found space on the blind side and raced over to score. Wingers Mark Ward and Diarmuid McDermott made great inroads into the Westport defence, supported by John Keegan, Michael Regan, James Walker, Conor Shanagher and Dylan Ward. In the last ten minutes Westport managed to cross for a third try, leaving the final score at 19 points to 10. Creggs now have to prepare for the plate competition in a few weeks time. Training next Wednesday at 7 pm.
Creggs: Simon Spain, R. O’Donoghue, Michael Kelly, Thomas Beattie, Andrew Clarke, Brian Collins, Brian Diffley, Matthew Butt, Brian Garvey, Shane Dowd, Connor Gore, Robbie Daly, Mark Ward, Donal Kelly, Conor Shanagher, John Keegan, Michael Regan, Diarmuid McDermott, James Walker, Dylan Ward.
Creggs 31 – Buccaneers 24
This was a great win for Creggs Under 14 team against a strong Buccaneers team under lights in Creggs last Wednesday. Creggs managed five tries on the night scored by Michael Kelly, Shane Dowd, Brian Diffley (2) and James Walker.