Apr 132014
 

Midleton 10 Armagh 12

waiting-for-impactFor the last game of the season Midleton hosted City of Armagh at Townspark for the first time.  Midleton get play underway and attack hard but give an early penalty.  Armagh kick for the line but lose the line out giving Midleton a platform to attack again.  After about 15 minutes and it’s a maul over the line for a try for Midleton, Mike Sinclair getting the honours.  The next phase of play sees a lot of possession for Midleton but we are unable to convert it into scores.  Then with about 35 minutes played its another push to the line and its another forwards try for Midleton; this time Jim Mackessy getting the try.  Midleton 10 Armagh 0.  Just before half time Armagh have an opportunity and move the ball wide to their backs for a wingers try.   Midleton 10 Armagh 5.

The second half is a timid affair with neither side making much of their possession and it looks like the game will not see any more scores.  However with about 5 minutes to go Midleton put themselves under pressure giving away a succession of penalties that sees Armagh threatening the Midleton line.  It’s a scrum to Armagh on the Midleton 5 meter line in extra time.  Over 15 minutes pass with resets, yellow cards and tired bodies.  Armagh eventually get the ball to their backs, spread it wide and get a try.  With the conversion the game ends.7I7W1051

Last game of the season and certainly one the Midleton men would feel we should have won.   The team have had a roller-coaster season with highs and lows.  A big thank you to this team for their efforts this season.  We now have a platform to build on and to look forward to the next season when we will once again line out with pride for Midleton. (photos courtesy of Denis O’Flynn)

 

 

 

 

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Mar 232014
 

Thomond 36 Midleton 10

A blustery day in Limerick, with the occasional hailstorm thrown in, saw Midleton go down to a determined Thomond side that are chasing promotion and really needed the bonus point win to keep in the race.  Midleton, secure in the league for next season, might not have had the fight in them this weekend and it showed in the scoreline.

Midleton got play underway and went on the attack early. Thomond were not prepared for the early pressure and for the first 8 minutes of the game its all Midleton, eventually winning a penalty that is kicked to the line.  Midleton go for the maul and drive forward, its collapsed and the ball is passed quickly wide and but the attack comes to nothing so play is brought back and its another penalty for the visitors.  From the lineout it’s a maul to the line and the opening try is for Midleton.  A great start to the game as Dave Smyth gets the honours and Christian converts.  Thomond 0 MidtryMidleton 7.

Thomond attack straight from the restart and the Midleton defence, normally so reliable, is undone as they get quick ball out to their full back who combines with the winger and the home side are in the corner for an easy try.  The conversion is wide so it stands Thomond 5 Midleton 7.

From the restart Thomond are again piling on the pressure and attacking deep in the Midleton half, camped on the Midleton line the defence this time is good and the home side are unable to break through.  Eventually the ball is cleared back to half way.

After about 20 minutes Midleton are down to 14, and shortly after things start to come undone for the visitors after Midleton are penalised in the scrum close to their own line; it’s a tap and go and Thomond are in to secure their second try.  This is quickly followed by their third on 30 minutes.  All of a sudden the home side have opened up a gap and its Thomond 19 Midleton 7.

On the restart Midleton look to attack again, rain is coming down heavily now and we win a penalty.  Christian kicks and the score is Thomond 19 Midleton 10 at half-time.

Midleton start the second half well and bring the game to Thomond and for the opening 10 minutes the home side are under pressure on their line but we are unable to convert the pressure to into points as Thomond defend well.  Thomond clear and attack into the Midleton half – now defending we are unable to hold out; on about 64 minutes Thomond get their 4th try and the bonus point.  Thomond 26 Midleton 10. Thomond kick on and within another 10 minutes have a fifth try, and just before fulltime get their sixth.  So it ends Thomond 36 Midleton 10.

So a hard defeat in the penultimate game of the season; the last fixture is on April 12th as we host Armagh when we can be sure that a Midleton XV will be looking to restore pride and get the home win to end the AIL for 2013/14 on good note.

Mar 162014
 

Midleton 31 Navan 3

SONY DSC The sun was shining to make for a beautiful Saturday as Midleton hosted Navan in the AIL.  A good crowd in attendance for what was a seminal game for the home side as they sought to guarantee their position in the league for next season.

Navan got play underway and were immediately rewarded with a scrum from a knock on from Midleton as early nerves were evident.  Navan travelled with a large pack whose reputation preceded them.  Midleton dug in and did not give ground, Navan take the ball from the back of the scrum and mount a wide attack.  Another Midleton mistake and it’s a chance for Navan to open the scoring from the far side of the pitch.  About 4 minutes into the game and its Midleton 0 Navan 3.

Midleton needed to respond quickly to settle the side, the go on the attack pushing hard into Navan territory.  Quick ball recycled from the rucks and a hole opens in the Navan defence.  A great run from the fly-half Christian Walker and it’s a great try for Midleton after about 12 minutes of the game.  Midleton 5 Navan 3.

From the restart Midleton gather well and mount another attack into the Navan half.  Midway through the first half and it’s the captains turn for a try as Dave Smyth is in for try.  With the conversion the score is Midleton 12 Navan 3.  Navan try to attack back into the Midleton half but the defensive line from the home side seems impenetrable as confidence rides high.   Midleton get the ball back and its all attack again.  With about 5 minutes to go it’s a drive for the line and a try for Kieran Burns.  Halftime and the score is Midleton 17 Navan 3.SONY DSC

Straight out of the blocks in the second half and its all Midleton – Diarmuid O’Sullivan is in for a try and the bonus point is there for Midleton.  With the conversion its Midleton 24 Navan 3.  Navan are hurting now and attacking hard.  The middle phase of the game sees some good play from both sides as they try to force mistakes that are not coming.  Navan are defending well and at about 60 minutes in Midleton are down to 14 men.  Seeing an opportunity the visitors try to press home their numerical advantage however the attempt is undone when, from the back of a line out a we get a pass out to Bryan Morris and he makes a great run up the middle, offloading to Christian who then goes in for a try under the posts after about 67 minutes..  Adding on the conversion and the final score is Midleton 31 Navan 3.

A bonus point win for the home side, the first try bonus point since November 2010 (Belfast Harlequins v Midleton 31 – 12) when the now injured David Lee ran in a hat trick of trys.  This was a brilliant result for Midleton and the timing could not have been better.  This team really showed what they can do, the game plan came together and great heart, good discipline and resolve won the day.  Navan put up a good fight but were not able to stem the determination of the Midleton 15 on this occasion.

SONY DSCThe only black mark on the day was the injury on Thursday last to player / coach David Lee.  David suffered a serious break to his leg in training.  All on the team and at the club send him our best wishes and hope he has a speedy recovery.

Next game is away to Thomond on the 22nd March.SONY DSC

Mar 022014
 

Midleton 11 Greystones 13

No one could have predicted before the game just how tight a battle this match would be.  Greystones, second in the table and chasing promotion, arrived with an SONY DSCair of expectation of a formality in the encounter.  While Greystones did emerge victorious, Midleton were rueing what might have been as this was truly a game of two halves.

Midleton got play underway and immediately Greystones were on the offensive.  Strong defending and good discipline from Midleton sees the visitors camping in the Midleton half but unable to capitalise with a scoring opportunity.   Eventually Midleton drive forward and win a Penalty just about ½ way.  They opt for the chance to open the scoring but the attempt is short.

Greystones gather and counter attack driving Midleton back to their own half.  After a good spell defending, a Midleton mistake sees the opportunity for Greystones to open the scoring and their full back Ross Spillane duly delivers.  Its about 22 minutes in and the score is Midleton 0 Greystones 3.

On the restart and Greystones up the anti again pushing hard into the Midleton half.  A break from the out half sees Killian Marmion over for a try after 30 minutes.  Things now seem to be going the visitors way and they pile on the pressure.  Midleton defend well and counter attack, the reward a penalty at half time but Christian is unlucky again.  At halftime the score stands at Midleton 0 Greystones 10.

Midleton are not willing to give up, and come out fighting after the break.  Eager to push Greystones back and attacking strongly, Midleton cede another penalty opportunity that sees the visitors move to 13 points with about 46 minutes played.   Undaunted by the scoreline Midleton attack strongly from the restart, Greystones are not prepared for the pressure from a side determined to push through in search of a win.

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SONY DSCSome great pressure play in the next few minutes sees Ryan Lehane in for Midletons first score of the day, the result of a great team effort of sustained pressure..  The score is now Midleton 5 Greystones 13, 55 minutes into the game.  Now Midleton have their backs up and attack again.  Greystones are on the back foot and not able to contain the home team.  Some great set play sees Christian lined up for a drop at goal that he slots over easily, Now its Midleton 8 Greystones 13.

Its all Midleton for the last 20 minutes, piling on the pressure and on 71 minutes another penalty and the home team are within 2 points of the visitors.  Midleton were unlucky not to get a score to seal the win, while the visitors will count themselves lucky to hang on in the end. It was a spirited performance by the home side that everyone can be proud of.

Next up is Navan on the 15th at home – a win would guarantee our place in the league for another season.

Feb 022014
 

Skerries 13 Midleton 0

SONY DSCStorm conditions for the latest AIL outing for Midleton when we travelled to Skerries. The first half was a tense affair with neither team giving much ground. Skerries got play underway win a low kick that is gathered easily and with a cross wind for the duration of the game both teams were hesitant to put boot to ball in any sort of searching way in the opening phase of the game.

Skerries attack well and probe the Midleton defence but are unable to find a way through.  Play stays around the middle of the pitch for a lot of the half with both teams giving little away.  The weather plays havoc with any structured play and a lot of scrums and frees result.  Midleton on balance are much stronger in the scrum and at one point push for the line searching for a try but it’s judged to be held up.  So the first half ends scoreless.

Second half underway and it’s all to play for.  Skerries are in a new strip and come out with a strong attack. They are soon rewarded with a penalty and with the wind at their backs just to the right of the posts it’s an easy 3 points for the home side. Skerries 3 Midleton 0.

Play underway again and Midleton go searching with some great attacking play but under tough conditions errors start to creep in on both sides, but to eventually its to the home teams advantage as Skerries win another penalty. Now the game stands at Skerries 6 Midleton 0.SONY DSC

Midleton are still searching for that opening in the Skerries defence but the attack from the home side sees them advance towards the Midleton line. The attack starts on the left and some strong disciplined play sees the ball recycled well and it’s a try to the home side.  With the conversion its Skerries 13 Midleton 0.

The last 20 minutes of the game is all about Midleton.  The attacking is organised and structured however the conditions work against us and despite at one point being camped on the Skerries line for the best part of 10 minutes the scores were not forthcoming.

So the games ended, our first scoreless game this season; but a lot of positives are there to take from the match. The team should great resolve and discipline in adverse conditions and the scoreline does little to reflect the actual effort and commitment that was shown on the day.

Next up is Boyne away where we expect a tough home encounter. SONY DSC