Sep 262017
 

The Senior IX made the long trip away to Omagh on Saturday, 23rd September.  The lengthy trip proved to take its toll on the Midleton men, who made a slow start to the game conceding early tries.  However, the team showed fantastic spirit to claw back a draw with the last play of the game.  The try was scored and converted by Stuart Lee, who added 14 points to his tally of 15 last week.  This consisted of three conversions and a penalty, all in conditions that were less than favorable for the kickers on each side, however, it was Lee who came out on top, with the Omagh kicker Scott Eliott going wide of the posts on three occasions.

From the first play of the game it was apparent that the Omagh backs had a thirst for the wide spaces on the pitch, and a knack for exploiting them excellently.  A few good runs, offloads and lucky bounced saw the home side go 10-3 up early on in the game.  Rob Smyth rallied the troops and held out until half time without conceding any further.  The wind again was playing a huge factor for both teams, with kicks and lineouts going awry throughout the game.  It blew straight across the pitch, offering no distinct advantage to either team.

The second half opened much as the first, with the home side pressing hard, looking to score more tries and get that bonus point.  Going 17-3 down made the travelers dig deep to get a five pointer.  This came through a lot of hard work from the pack, earning the hard yards driving into the home 22.  Lee unleashed the outside backs who dotted down in the corner, which was expertly converted. With the score now at 17-10 the home side dotted down again to go 22-10 up.  This was narrowed shortly after from a strong forward effort and superb carries from the big men who added another 5 points.   Now at 22-17, Omagh took their chances well, despite a questionable call from referee, Brendan Cuttriss, failing to call what both sets of fans thought was a knock-on, and scored again to go 29-17 up.

John O’Neills men rallied strong to come back with further tries, backs and forwards claiming one a piece, to earn a hard fought draw.  The next home game is this coming weekend, 30th of September, against Bangor.  Kick off is at 2:30pm, for information on the pre-match lunch please contact Niall McCarthy on 085-7273190 or Andrew McCarthy on 087-9384903.  We look forward to seeing you there.

Sep 192017
 

Stuart Lee doing the damage with his boot

Saturday, 16th of September, saw the opening round of the Ulster Bank All Ireland League played out in Towns Park.  Many saw this as a must win game for the Midleton men, having stuttered to a third from bottom (7th) finish last season, against a Seapoint team who took all points on offer.  The key here is to set the scene.  Both teams fielded were much changed from last year’s opening round, with Midleton fielding nine different faces.  The preceding matches against Cashel and Old Crescent did not tell a good tale for the home side, having gone down in both of them.  However, Midleton were now in AIL mode.  The rust was gone.  The minds were sharp and the hands were crisp.  Midleton opened their campaign with a convincing win.

From the get go the Midleton men were on-top in all areas of open play, with Seapoint struggling to get their hands on the ball, which the home side moved the width of the pitch and back with ease.  Strong carries from every member of the forwards pushed the visitors back deep into their own half where the inevitable happened and Midleton found themselves 3 points up.  The pack, assisted by a pair of strong running centres, put Stuart Lee in the driving seat again to put the home side 6 points up.  This was followed later by a further 3 points to send the home side into the break 9 points clear.

The second half started much as the first finished, with Midleton looking untouchable in defence, not letting anything through without a fight.

Scenes of victory in the dressing room

Another surge forward from a strong Midleton pack followed by a good carry from Rory Horgan, playing first centre, put Midleton in a commanding position just outside the opposition 22.  Stuart Lee gathered lightning pass from skipper, Smyth, to set up Yorkie Cronin who came in hard off his shoulder.  Breaking up the middle, thundering towards the try line went Yorkie, before he was taken down.  A quick battle for the ball ensued, Midleton winning, before Lee found himself with the ball in hand again.  He held on just long enough for the gap to open up out wide, and floated a perfectly weighted pass into the hands of young Rian Hogan who went over in the corner.  Lee missed the chance to put the gap at more than 14 points.  From here the home side set themselves back up in the opposition half to add a further 6 points, giving a 20-0 lead with ten to go.

The effort began to tell on the home side as tackles began to lose their sting and Seapoint made their way into Midleton’s half.  They dotted down twice for 2 unconverted tries to leave the score at 20-10 in favour of Midleton.

A strong display in all from a much improved Midleton side, however t John O’Neill and his men will need to be iron a few creases over the season to secure a place in the top four.

Sep 192017
 

The 2017/2018 season marks the 50th anniversary of the reconstitution of Midleton Rugby Football Club. A most important cornerstone in our anniversary celebrations was the Ecumenical Service of Remembrance & Thanksgiving which was held in our Clubhouse on Friday, September 1st at 8.30pm.

 Club Chairman Denis Kelleher welcomed the assembled players, friends and supporters to the service before introducing the celebrants. Elder Helen Barrett from the Presbyterian Congregation, V. Rev. Canon Jim Killeen P.P., Midleton and V. Rev. Alan Marley, Dean and Rector Cloyne Union led those present in prayer and contemplation in a very beautiful and touching service. Tim Brennan, one of our original 1st XV was choirmaster for the evening accompanied on keyboard by Alison Tait, grand-niece of the late Bill Tait, a past and most distinguished president of Midleton RFC.

 The service concluded with a very moving ceremony of remembrance. Candles were brought in procession from the back of the room and placed on a table at the front in memory of loved ones no longer with us. The gentle glow of the candles provided a contemplative ambiance before we all joined in song to the strains of “Amazing Grace”.

 Those present then moved into the Clubhouse Bar where light refreshments prepared by Chef Rory Graham were served. This was a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with friends old and new, reminiscing of times gone past and regaling in exploits both on and off the Townspark turf.

We would like to offer our thanks to all who came to celebrate with us as well as those who helped out on the night.

 

Sep 122017
 

A strong wind on the day made lineouts tough

Last Saturday the 9th of September, saw Midleton take on Old Crescent in Towns Park for a 2pm Kick Off.  Perhaps it was the early kick off, it is usually 2:30pm, which saw the Midleton men napping for the first 15 minutes to allow the visitors to establish a lead before finally putting points on the board.  There were a few absences on both sides as they prepare for the AIL this coming Saturday, however, both teams were still gunning for the win.  Following some strong forward play from both teams, leaving the set piece in a deadlock, the backs were given room to move the ball and exploit the wide channels.  This Old Crescent did more effectively and always seemed to find an overlap.  This was caused, in part, by the effort the forwards were putting in at set piece, as they became slower to come around the corner to support a backline that was without Captain Rob Smyth as well as the injured Dan Murray, who broke his jaw against Cashel two weeks previous, we wish him a speedy recovery.  This resulted with Old Crescent going into the break with a three tries to two lead at 20-26.  Scorers for Midleton were the returning Paul Daly, who came off the bench, who made a glorious sliding catch from a Stuart Lee cross field following a bullocking run from Rory Horgan, to dot down over the line.  Lee easily landed the conversion which added to his earlier penalty. The second home try came from new comer, Aidan Ware, who scored a neat pick and go following some strong running rugby by Michael “Yorkie” Cronin and Jon Gardiner.  The theme for Midleton Continued with the two aforementioned forwards combining with the ever present Kevin Brierley, who made the hard yards in to the opposition 22 to give Stuart Lee a chance to add a further 3 points to bring us into the break.

Stuart Lee lining up a successful conversion

 

It was the travellers who came out refreshed and started strong, adding a further four tries to the three they scored in the first half.  Disappointing to see considering how strong the Midleton men were going into half time, it was all set up for a glorious come back that just wasn’t to be.  A further try came from Yorkie but it was too little too late for the home side as the game finished up 25-45.  A few injury concerns came up for the home side with prop Tom Keavney and second row Aaron Hogan both going off injured.  It is always tough to see someone getting stretchered off but we wish Padraig Monoghan a speedy recovery, from all in Midleton RFC.

A lot of work to be done by the Midleton men before their opening game against Seapoint, who are travelling down from Dublin.  It must be noted that we succumbed to Seapoint on both occasions that we played them last year but it has to be said that the brand of rugby played on both days was open and exciting, with little to separate the sides.  We hope  it is the same this Saturday, 16th at 2:30, except with a more favourable result!

Sep 012017
 

The Munster Senior Cup initially took place on Tuesday afternoon in Cork where Midleton were drawn against a Garryowen side who out muscled their Limerick rivals Young Munster in the Charity Cup.  However, due to some unforeseen circumstances a re draw took place on Wednesday evening.  It was a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire as we have now drawn Old Cresent, former Division 2C rivals.  This game will take place on Saturday the 9th of September in Towns Park.