Rugby: Castlebar hosted Sligo in their second game of the Under 17 Division 2 league on Sunday where they demonstrated their strong forward play coupled with textbook defensive line rugby. Sligo kicked off and turned the ball over from the ensuing ruck, quickly distributing the ball to their winger who was stopped by a crunching tackle from Castlebar wing-forward Bryan O'Malley.
O'Malley caught the lineout ball and outhalf Jamie Lydon sent the ball deep into Sligo's 22-metre zone, but failed to find touch.
Sligo quickly returned the ball back to Castlebar's five-metre zone where Castlebar were awarded a scrum from a knock on in the ruck. They failed to clear the ball but centre Shane Kiernan broke Sligo's defensive line, bringing play into the centre of the park.
Fast ball from the ruck was distributed to winger Ryan Coleman who set off at incredible pace down the line and looked unstoppable, but was brought down by Sligo's winger with a clinically executed tackle, sending Coleman into touch.
Castlebar regained control, with a try looking inevitable. Back row players O'Malley, Regan and Gibbons were creating significant problems for Sligo in the rucks and around the park. To add to this, they were relentlessly breaking with the ball and testing Sligo's defence.
However, the Castlebar back row's hunger for the ball saw them concede a penalty, Sean Finnegan giving Sligo the first points of the game after 15 minutes.
After the restart, Simon Staunton charged up the park to form a ruck and after four additional phases Bryan O'Malley picked and ran to score a well deserved try. Rory Staunton converted to make it 7-3.
In an almost identical restart, a ruck was formed and Cian Gibbons ran from 40 metres to score under the posts. Staunton made it 14-3 at half time.
Castlebar started the second half as they finished the first. They were awarded a penalty 30 metres from the posts within two minutes, Staunton again converting.
Sligo then set up camp in Castlebar's half, reaching the try line several times but failing to break the defence line.
The home side eventually cleared and were awarded a penalty from Sligo's '22, Staunton adding another three points to bring the score to 20-3.