Sligo 16 Midleton 11
Lucky again to get a losing bonus point on the road, Midleton started slow but came good towards the end against a strong Sligo team. It was a clear winter’s day with Midleton getting play underway on our first trip to Hamilton park. Sligo gather and kick down field; Midleton knock on and it’s an early scum to Sligo just inside the Midleton half. Play continues with Sligo camping in the Midleton half and with about 5 minutes played the home team are rewarded with a penalty just inside the halfway line. Sligo have an opportunistic shot for points but the attempt is short. Midleton clear and Sligo advance again putting pressure on the Midleton defence inside our 22. Play progresses and Sligo are rewarded with another penalty this time it’s over and the score stands at Sligo 3 Midleton 0.
From the restart Midleton mount an attack and win a penalty at about halfway, Christian has a look and decides to kick for points, he has the distance but the shot is wide. An earlier knock in a heavy tackle on the out-half is going to be telling as not much later he has another chance to level the game from a penalty but that shot is also wide. Play resumes and Midleton knock on- scrum Sligo. Midleton do well today in the scrum today with both packs equally matched. Play continues with Sligo mounting an attack again edging forward in the Midleton half. Midleton are penalised for not releasing and Sligo kick for a lineout just outside the Midleton 10. On 30 minutes Midleton pick up a yellow for playing on the ground, the penalty gives Sligo an opportunity to put up another 3 points and the score is now Sligo 6 Midleton 0.
After the restart Sligo put in a great period of play; edging into the Midleton half and pushing forward within 5 minutes they are rewarded with a try; 35 minutes gone and the score is now Sligo 13 Midleton 0 and that’s how it stands at the break.
The second half gets underway with a couple of scrums for infringements the eventually results in a free to Midleton and a chance to relieve the pressure with a kick to halfway. Midleton push on and eventually win a penalty and put some points on the board about 10 minutes into the second half – Sligo 13 Midleton 3. Sligo come back on the restart and are rewarded with a scrum on the Midleton 22. Midleton defend well, gather and clear the lines however with about 22 minutes played of the second half we give a penalty and Sligo are now ahead 16 to 3.
On the restart and Midleton are on the back foot again defending hard, Sligo make a break, run for the line but knock on for a Midleton scrum in dangerous territory. A strong scrum and box kick sees a line out on about 10m to Sligo. Again the Midleton defence is good. The ball is won and then there is a great kick down field that is caught by our winger Dee; who then taken out with a high tackle and its Sligo’s turn to go down to 14 with about 10 minutes to go.
Midleton capitalise and drive forward with some great play resulting in a try for the fullback O’Sullivan in the corner. A missed conversion means that, with time running out, the fight is on for a losing bonus point. Sligo 16 Midleton 8.
Great pressure pushing forward again from Midleton results in some edgy play from the hosts and with the clock ticking down we win another Penalty. This time the shot is good and its Sligo 16 Midleton 11. Now tails are up and Midleton sense the chance of a late steal. Pushing forward again, Sligo are under pressure, however a penalty holding on turns over possession and with a kick to touch the game is ended.
Overall a disappointing trip West for the first time in Sligo, however holding the hosts to just 3 points in the second half with 11 going in for Midleton and a chance at the end to reverse fortunes shows that this is a team that embodies the spirit of “never give up” and fights to the end. All eyes now on the home derby against Sundays Well on Friday night, an encounter to be relished by both teams and one that is sure not to disappoint. Kick Off is 7:45pm 6th December.