CASTLEBAR vs CREGGS – Round 2 League – Saturday October 6th

  • Nov 06,2018

Castlebar Senior Rugby team hosted Creggs in Cloondeash on Saturday evening in their second game of the Junior 1A league campaign. The game was played in ideal dry conditions and at a fast pace with both teams playing open and entertaining rugby. Creggs were first to attack and despite getting inside Castlebar's 22, the Castlebar defence held them at bay with some excellent clearances from Daniel Plaster playing at Number 10. Early in the first half Castlebar's captain Mark Staunton broke through the Creggs defensive line and made excellent ground before offloading the ball to Daniel Plaster and Conor Carter who was playing on the Wing. The ball was recycled through the phases with excellent rucking from Sean Tonra, Martin Moran and Gavin Sullivan but was eventually spilled forward to let Creggs off the hook. Creggs came to Castlebar having scored 25 points against Westport in their first game but were unable to break the Castlebar defensive line. On the other hand, Castlebar were extremely unlucky to score as they were penalised by the referee at critical times when they looked likely to score. It took the full 40 minutes of the first half for the stalemate to be broken with Creggs flyhalf Mark Brandon taking advantage of a penalty to give the visitors a 3-nil advantage. The referee also showed Castlebar's flanker Gavin Sullivan a yellow card at the end of the first half so Castlebar had to play the first 10 minutes of the second half a man down.

The second half started with Ronan Conway replacing Damien Togher at scrum half and Robert Hughes replacing Padraig Conneely in the pack. Again, Castlebar were struggling with the majority of refereeing decisions going against the home side. Creggs had an opportunity to extend their lead but their flyhalf was unable to take advantage putting the ball wide. With Creggs having the slender lead of 3 points, Castlebar went on the attack with some excellent phases of play and with a number of excellent hits and tackles put in by Daire Mulgrew, Fintan Murphy and Jack Rowland on the wing. Ruairi Hughes entered the battle replacing Sean Tonra who was forced off due to injury. Creggs played Maurice Buckley as Hooker, brother of Connacht prop Denis. While there was little to separate the teams in the second half the score remained firm for 20 minutes with Creggs taking advantage of a penalty being awarded just outside Castlebar’s 22-yard line which Mark Brandon took full advantage off to bring the score to 6 -nil. Castlebar continued to play their passing game of rugby and threatened the Creggs try line on a number of occasions only to have the momentum knocked out of their game by refereeing decisions awarded against them. Martin Moran was forced off due to injury and was replaced by Frank Walsh. With the clock ticking towards full time Castlebar were inside the Creggs 22 ad having secured their own lineout were deemed to have knocked the ball on. Creggs put the ball into their scrum and Castlebar drove them back towards their tryline only to have the referee award a penalty against the home side allowing Creggs to kick the ball out to declare the game over. Next game for Castlebar will be in two weeks’ time when they will travel to Westport.

Castlebar Team - Liam Molloy, Sean Tonra, Fintan Murphy, Padraig Conneely, Daire Mulgrew, Gavin Sullivan, Martin Moran, David Staunton, Damien Togher, Daniel Plaster, Jack Rowland, Mark Staunton (Captain), Sam Hastings, Conor Carter, Luke Staunton

Substitutions: Ruairi Hughes, Robert Hughes, Frank Walsh, Ronan Conway, Fintan Casey.

Creggs Team - Eoghan Farrell, Maurice Buckley, Brian Cody, Thomas Oates, Brian Donoghoe, Brian Diffley, Edward Clinton, Kevin Brandon, Chris Duigan, Mark Brandon, Kevin Gavin, James Brandon, Tom Callaghan, Luke Meehan, Ronan Dowd.

 Substitutions: Sean Higgins, Ronan Cahill, Matthew Brandon, Jarlagh Hughes, Michael Feely.