Report and Photography by Connacht Rugby Club and Community Unit
Creggs RFC had to withstand a late Ballina comeback to claim the Connacht Under 13 Cup after a dramatic Final at the Sportsground.
Creggs had led 19-0 as the game entered the final quarter but two converted tries by a valiant Ballina side brought them back into the game.
Great defence in the final play by Creggs saw them hold on for the win after a high quality ecounter.
Creggs led 7-0 after a frantic first half as flying winger Tadhg Lyons collected a superb floated pass to finish brilliantly in the left corner and scrum-half Cormac Dolan slotted the conversion for a 7-0 lead.
Another outstanding Lyons try moved Creggs further in front early in the second half as the youngster broke from inside his own 22 before chipping ahead and escaping the retreating defence for an outstanding score.
It looked like Creggs had the title in the bag when Jack Fleming showed great anticipation and speed to grab an intercept try against the run of play with Shane Walsh converting for a 19-0 lead.
Ballina fought back superbly and a try in the left corner from Kyran Jordan gave them a glimmer of hope with Fiachra Cruise adding the difficult conversion as they reduced the deficit to 12.
With their tails up, Cian Anderson scored a second Ballina five-pointer in the left corner with four minutes remaining with Cruise adding another superb conversion to give Ballina a great chance to snatch an unlikely victory.
Creggs managed to hold out after a late Ballina outslaught to claim the win however with both sides deserving great credit for playing some outstanding rugby.
Creggs: Senan Lambe; Shane Walsh, Jack Fleming, Aodhan Looby, Tadhg Lyons; Diarmuid Hession, Cormac Dolan; Lee Kilcoyne, Aindriu Oates, Tomas Tiernan; Michael McAteer, Patrick Keane; Aidan Hoare, Edimar Fimho (C), Ciaran Purcell.
Replacements used: Daniel Crehan, Sean Curley, Logan Gore, Daniel O’Shaughnessy.