22 Jan 2018
AIL Div 2C - Tullamore 32 Sligo 17
Under pressure Tullamore produced the performance of the season when they hammered Sligo at a buzzing Spollanstown last Saturday. The home side entered the game as massive underdogs. Struggling at the foot of the table and staring relegation in the face the visit of the league leaders did not offer much hope to Tullamore. But what an answer we got. The home support though outnumbered 3 to 1 enjoyed a dream result on a bitterly cold day.
From the kick off the home side bristled with intent. From 1 to 15 the tackling was unreal. The huge Sligo pack were hit hard from start to finish. The Tullamore scrum and lineout dominated their vaunted opponents. Centre Brian Geraghty had a fantastic game, scoring 4 tries but credit must go to the entire team for their efforts. The first 10 minutes saw Sligo camped in the Tullamore half but the hard graft of the entire home side frustrated Sligo. Then on their first visit to the Sligo half Tullamore took the lead. Good passing from Cathal Feighery and Brian Geraghty put Karl Dunne away and the full back crossed in the left corner for a 5-0 lead. Sligo dominated the next 15 minutes and after a series of mauls close to the home line their pack drove over for a converted try and a 7-5 lead.. The Sligo support were in full voice now as the game seemed to be on a predictable curve. But how wrong we were. Tullamore piled on the pressure and two splendid tries followed. Captain Tom Gilligan took an inside pass and ran 30 metres for a great score. Minutes later Kevin Browne made a break from half way and his pass sent Brian Geraghty storming through to touch down under the posts . The conversion by Karl Dunne left the score at 17-7 to Tullamore and there it stayed until half time.
All the conversation at the break was still fretful from a Tullamore perspective . Could the home side keep up the manic pace and kamikaze defence. Sligo started the second half very well and after 10 minutes kicked a penalty to reduce the margin to 17-10. Then the game took a surreal turn as in the space of 20 minutes Tullamore scored 3 tries, all by big centre Brian Geraghty. As Sligo tried to attack from their own half a ball went to ground and Geraghty kicked it through twice and won the race for the touchdown in the right corner for a 22-10 lead and the precious bonus point. The home side now smelled blood and 2 minutes came the score of the day Out half Aidan Wynne made a lovely break 40 metres out and his outside pass saw Brian Geraghty show great pace and strength to crash over at the corner flag 27-10. Back came Tullamore and when another Sligo attack broke down in midfield prop Eamonn Bracken kicked through to the 22 and Brian Geraghty again was on hand to hack it on and win the race for the touchdown.Sligo to their credit kept battling and scored a converted try in injury time whena weary home side were down a few players to yellow cards. Final score Tullamore 32 Sligo 17.
Well done to coaches John Burns and recently returned John Moylan for the way they prepared their team. Next Saturday Tullamore are at home to Midleton and it would be great to see a crowd there to support the lads.
Squad v Sligo: Eamonn Bracken, Cathal Feighery, Ger Molloy, Ivor Deverell, Sean Rigney, Barry Bracken, Lemacki, Kevin Browne, Sam Burns, Aidan Wynne, Tom Gilligan, Dylan Kelso, Brian Geraghty, Sean McCabe, Karl Dunne, Matthew Murphy, Dan Cronin, Mick Tormey, Ciaran Ennis, Derek Farrell.