Dec 122017
 

For the second time in 7 days, Bruff RFC bested the senior XV, but we managed to do enough to come away with a losing bonus point on both occasions.  Last weekend (2nd December) the final scoreline in Bruff was 17-13 to the homeside, Midleton points coming from the boot of Stuart Lee and a try from Aidan Ware.  While Rob Smyth’s men fought to the end, it was not to be enough to come out with the full complement of points.  This weekend (9th December) was a similar affair, with it going right to the end, with an impressive defensive effort from the travelling Bruff contingent.

Bruff had a dream start to the game when a out of hand kick in the middle of the pitch was knocked on close to the home side’s line, giving them a good platform in a scrum that was impressive seven days earlier.  The solid platform gave the backs a chance to attack straight off the scrum, stepping inside the cover defence to go over from 10 yards out.  The ensuing chance to add on the extras drifted wide of the mark, 5 nil to the travellers with only 5 minutes played.

Midleton calmed down and started putting the phases together, giving Stuart Lee a good opportunity to launch some wide attacks, exploiting a tight defence.  This was helped by a strong set piece where young Denis Broderick shon, claiming a number of line outs against the head and frustrating many more.  However, one handling error after another gifted the ball and the majority of possession to the travelling Bruff side.

Good defense in the opposition 22 from Midleton caused a turn over, and then a penalty which Stu Lee added, after failing an earlier attempt.  However, it was to be the handling and un forced errors that were to be the story of the day, neither team with a perfect record, yet Midleton’s was considerably worse.  15 minutes in and the score is 3-5, in favour of the visitors.  Rob Smyth was using his men well, with big carries from the forwards before providing clean quick ball for Lee to exploit the gaps.  This resulted in a number of half breaks from second centre, Dan Murray, which would put Midleton in the driving seat.  However, the errors kept coming with either a knock on or an infringement at the breakdown.

A strong passage of play where forwards and backs interlinked nicely gave Lee a chance to chip over the top of the rush defence, letting Dan Murray run onto it and get to within 5 of the line after stepping two covering defenders. The ball was moved wide quick to where the space is, however, Bruff got a hand to it and put the ball into touch on their own 22.  The packs accuracy at the lineout continued, giving Lee the platform he needed to attack from.  The result was another defensive infringement for not rolling away after the tackle, and another 3 points from the boot of Lee.

It was Bruff’s turn to put the pressure on now, with a scrum that didn’t falter all day they had a good opportunity to attack from, which they did from the centre of the pitch.  Good carries from forwards coming around the corner and then the backs whipping back blind side, trying to catch the defense unawares put them into the Home side’s 22.  However, handling errors again as Midleton turned over the ball and relieved the pressure.  The tackling from the young Bruff side was immense all day and did not give the big Midleton ball carriers the chance to exploit the gaps which inevitably turn up after a number of phases.  And so finished the first half, 6-5.

Midleton got points on the board early, with a turnover from the kick off, giving Lee the chance to make it 9-5, which he took.  The story of the second went much the same as the first, with handling errors and mistakes ruling the game.  Unfortunately these handling errors were to prove very costly, as they led to two tries for the visitors.  One try came from a dropped ball in the backs off a scrum, which was hacked ahead by the Bruff defence to dive on it under the posts.  This came after some great play from both sides, putting immense pressure on each other and constantly forcing the errors.  9-14 to Bruff.

This got the visitors tails up and they started attacking with more ferocity as well as guile, finding the space where there was none.  The second try came from a penalty for a high tackle, this was kicked to the corner and then mauled forward.  The home side appeared to get the push on, however, Bruff managed to slip down the blindside and over the line.  9-19 in favour of the visitors.

A huge attacking effort from Midleton resulted in a huge defensive effort from Bruff, as the home side were camped on the 5 metre line for much of the remaining 15 minutes.  All that was to come of this was another penalty from Lee to make the scores 12-19, as they would finish.

Taking the positives from the game was the set piece, especially at lineout time where a number of wins against the head stopped Bruff’s momentum at key moments.  The backs looked menacing when the ball went to hand, and the defense looked strong  despite one or two lapses of concentration.  The next game is not until the 6th of January, away to Malahide.  With 8 games left, Midleton need to win as many as possible, and having come so close in so many (two draws and five losing bonus points) it is clear to see that we are so close to getting on top, and if the bounce of the ball had gone our way in those games we would be table toppers!

SAVE THE DATE!! 18th of March 2018 Midleton RFC are teaming up with Midleton GAA for a Lip Sync extravaganza! However, this will not be possible without volunteers, we need acts to take part! Please, if you or anyone you know is interested get in contact with John Silke on 087 798 3357

 

Nov 282017
 

Or is it Tullamore Come Close Against Senior XV?

Tom Mul’s men seem to be on top in 75 minutes of every game they play and end up losing in 5 minutes of madness.  The second draw of the season  so far was different than the 29 all affair against Omagh in Thomas Melon Park back in September in that it was Midleton who let go of a commanding lead. Having been 14-3 up five minutes into the second half to be 17-20 down with three minutes to go, it was not quite a roller coaster affair as a tiresome slugging match peppered with occasional absence of concentration.

Tullamore gathered the kickoff and set to start working their way into Midleton’s half, coming up against some stiff defense from a powerful home side pack.  The Tullamore strategy was to hit up one out from the ruck, with some big strong ball carriers, however, this as not to be enough to break the lines as Tom Keavney won an early turnover on the Midleton 10 meter line.  Lee put the home side deep into enemy territory, armed with a lineout.  Accurate dart to the middle gave the outside backs the space they needed and a powerful run from Ross O’Mahoney, who

managed to get on the outside shoulder and put in a hand off, followed by a tidy off load to centre partner Dan Murray ensured Midleton had plenty of momentum, barreling headfirst for the line.  A quick ruck 10 metres out enabled Rob Smyth to feed the on rushing forwards, just after catching up from the lineout, to go over for a try, scored by Jon “Peachy” Gardiner.  Lee added the extra 2 points, 7 – 0 home side.

From the kick off Tullamore started battering the Midleton defensive line around the A B channel, some strong carries from a big forward pack were not to prove enough and they turned over the ball.  However, showing the scrappy stop start nature of the game, Midelton knocked on the ball twice in a row.  With scrums that seemed evenly matched for the game, each winning two penalties a piece.  The hard carrying from the TUllamore pack put them into a kickable position, and with a penalty for offside the travelling side took their opportunity to get points on the board, 7 -3.

One thing that seemed to set the sides apart at times was Midleton’s inability to keep a hold of the ball, however, any time that they did they looked menacingly capable of causing real damage.  Tullamore on the other hand, were able to hold on to the ball for phase after phase without making much ground, a patience strategy which would pay in the end.

The second half opened with a Midleton try after 5 minutes.  Hard work from Dan Murray to get from his own 22 to the Tullamore 5 metre line and to then block down the attempted box kick and land exhausted on the ball over the line.  It made for an easy kick, and Stuart Lee stepped up again to add the extras, 14-3.

Tullamore must have received information from the management at half time to stop running at the strong A B channel and move the point of contact wider, towards the ten channel.  This led for softer tackles in places and gave the travellers the chance to make inroads into the Midleton half.  Quickly changing the attack plan, Tullamore found a gap close to the ruck and went through to score under the posts, 14-10.

If Rob Smyth and his men had learned anything from previous matches this season it is that patience is very much a virtue. However, Tullamore found another way back into the game with a penalty between the Midleton 10 metre and 22 metre line, 14-13.  One point gaps are not uncommon to Midleton so it was far from time to panic.  Stuart Lee began to take more control of the game, and the pack managed to retain the ball better, creating space for the backs to unleash, and that they did.  A last minute tackle on full Back Martijn Korterik saved a certain try.  This was followed by good interlinking play, from receiving a kick, gave Lee the chance to throw a perfectly weighted pass out to winger Rian Hogan who bobbed and weaved his way towards the line.  This resulted in a penalty, 30 metres out, on the 15 metre line.  Lee again stepped up to cooly add 3 points, 17-13.

With 115 to go and all to play for, Tullamore set about harrasing the Midleton defensive line time and time again.  Making their way onto the Midleton 5 metre line 3 times, and each time being rebutted by a strong and well drilled home side.  However, repeated infringements saw centre Ross O’Mahoney make his way to the side line for a 10 minute rest.

Tullamore stuck to their guns and their game plan proved effective, however, it was a lapse of concentration that led to them breaking the lines again.  Following a disallowed try due to a neck roll spotted by the touch judge, Midleton cleared to just outside their own 22.  A slip of the mind at the tail of the lineout let the ball drop onto the foot of the Tullamore defense who kicked through and managed to dive on the ball over the line, adding the extras made the game 17-20 in favour of the visitors.

Learning from lessons past, Midleton knew what they had to do to eek out the points.  Tullamore gathered the kick off near their own 10 metre line and tried to hold on for dear life, picking and going and securing over and over again.  However, the Midleton defense proved too strong and pushed them back towards their own 22 before substitute prop, Darragh “Yogi” O’Keeffe, got his hands on the ball and forced the penalty.  The choice was go for the corner and aim for the try and the win, or take the kick at the posts and the draw.  Skipper,  Rob Smyth, pulled his years of experience to calm things down. knowing their is still a long season ahead and to take points when available, and chose to take the kick.  Stuart Lee stepped up to make it 20-20, and a 10 point tally for himself on the day.

The next home game is on  Saturday the 9th of December against Bruff and is the last home game of 2017 for the Senior XV.  We hope to see you all there.

 

All photo credit to Kieran “Pops” Kelleher, many thanks for the amazing images.

Nov 232017
 

The General Committee of Midleton RFC have resolved to call an EGM for 8pm on the 5th December 2017 at the Clubhouse, Townspark, for the purpose of the membership:

  1. Approving the change in status of the Club to a Limited Company;
  2. Ratifying changes to the Club Constitution to support the status of limited company in terms of Articles of Association and the requirements of the Company Registration Office.

The revised constitution will be available in the Club for review from 25/11/17 and online at the club website here: Midleton Rugby Club 071117 Draft

The primary reasons for considering a move to Limited Company status are

  • Limit the liability of the committee and members with the protection of the structure of limited company;
  • Remove the personal liability placed on Trustees;
  • Allow the committee of the club to be more effective in executing their duties;
  • Establish a structure which is more acceptable for the future receipt if State Grants taking into account current legislation and protocols being adopted by the likes of the Dept of Sport etc.
Nov 142017
 

Midleton Senior XV took on Malahide on November 11th in Towns Park in their final game in this run of three, having lost previously to Thomond and Sligo in the last moments of the game.  This was a must win for Tom Mulcahy’s men, who were sitting in 9th place in the table going into the match.  If the two previous losses, to second and first placed respectively, were anything to go by, this Midleton team has a lot of potential and fire power.

Malahide are new-comers to division 2C, having come up from the Junior ranks the year previously, despite this they have been playing well, going into the match with three wins and three losses, picking up a number of try bonus points on the way.  This may have been the cause of the slow start from Midleton, were they wary of the firepower Malahide clearly possessed?  That said, the first points of the game came from the ever improving Stuart Lee, who added 16 points in total for the day.

However, Malahide found themselves comfortably on top after 25 minutes, leading 3-17.  Their two tries coming from a strong running combination involving backs and forwards.  A Malahide scrum on Midleton’s 5 meter line put them in the driving seat and following a few pick and gos they went over the whitewash to add their first five pointer of the day.  With conditions good, but still wet and heavy underfoot from the previous days rain, there was a strong kicking element to the game form both sides, where on a number of occasions a series of kick tennis ensued.  One wayward kick from the home sides 22 found its way into the hands of the Malahide full back, John O’Brien took advantage of the slow kick chase to sythe his way through the defense from 40 metres out.  He offloaded to his support runner who made a long floating pass into the hands of the waiting winger who went over for a second five pointer of the day.  All of this was in the first 25 minutes, with the home side failing to make a foot hold in the oppositions 22. 

It was at this point that Tom Mul saw he had to make a few changes, and brought on a few of the more experienced players to offer a lift to the team.  The results were instantaneous as Stuart Lee found time to take another penalty kick.  The Midleton pack seemed rejuvenated having discovered a new burst of energy and started to assert their dominance at set piece time.  Malahide ceased to challenge in the air, in order to attempt to stem the surge of the maul, Midleton began finding holes and weaknesses.  Good carries again drawing in the defence ensured that the outside backs would have some room to maneuver, and that is just what they did.  Kieran Moynihan received a wide pass from Lee on the opposition ten meter line and pinned the ears back, dodging and weaving his way over the line, a number of defenders left red faced in his wake.  Lee failed to make the conversion, going into the half time break with the scores at 8-17, Malahide were not to score for the remainder of the game.

The second half started at lightning pace, with Malahide failing to deal with the kick off, Midleton found themselves on the front foot.  Following some good running from Kevin Brierly and Aidan Ware, Stuart Lee was confronted with a hard up defence, a deft kick over the top left the Malahide back three scrambling, but too late as Lee got to the ball first and dotted down, before converting his own try, 15-17.

Tom Mul used his bench wisely throughout the game, resting players at vital times to bring them back with minutes to go.  This ensured that Midleton were able to close out a game, something they had failed to do in the previous two outings.  The game seemed to be won by Malahide having been 3-17 up but as Midleton have proved already this season, they are willing to fight until the end.  Having pulled back to 15-17 with 10 minutes to go cool heads prevailed.  Patience was the theme of the day as Rob Smyth marshalled his troops for another excursion into the Malahide half, were they conceded a penalty for going off their feet on their own 10 metre line.  Some on the sideline were calling for a kick to the corner, which based on the set piece dominance would have been a logical choice, however, Smyth made the call to go for the posts, which Lee easily kicked to put the home side one point up.

Patience again prevailed as Michael “Yorkie” Cronin led fro the front to put the home side again into kicking range of the posts.  Another penalty, this one for offside.  The final five minutes held echoes of the previous week were Lee missed a kick at goal at the death to win the game.  Having found his confidence again, Lee stepped up to split the posts, 21-17 to Midleton, three minutes to go.

It was now that the previous two games showed their worth to Midleton, having lost at the death twice in a row, they were not going to let it happen again.  The experience earned on those occasions ensured yet again that patience was the theme of the day, the referee informed Smyth that it was all over, and Stuart Lee blasted the ball too touch.  21 – 17 to Midleton.

 

 

Nov 022017
 

Thomond traveled down from Limerick City on Saturday the 28th to play against the hosts.  The last time these sides faced off in Liam Fitzgerald Park Thomond bested us by 36 points to 10.  While that game was not so close on the score board, it was still an exhilarating game of rugby.  This latest fixture proved just as exciting, with seven tries in total, and two come backs from behind.  

The match opened with the home side making strong inroads to the opposition 22, threatening the line more than once only to be denied at the last.  The strong defensive effort from the visitors paid off when a turnover between their own 22 and 10 meter line, ended up scoring in the corner.  The next score of the game came from a Thomond High tackle against Daniel Murray, kicked by Stuart Lee.  With the kick off secured the Home side continued to move down pitch, keeping Thomond barricaded in their own 22.  A knock on led to a kick down the pitch, which Midleton turned over on their own 10 meter line following a good kick chase.

Some fine displays of attacking rugby from both sides saw an exciting ebb and flow to the game which left fans on their feet. The visitors ended up on top again  with their star winger, Darragh O’Neill scored a break away try after gathering a wayward offload.

After the visitors gathered the restart they made some yard into Midleton’s half of the pitch.  Some heavy tackling lead to a turnover on the home sides 10 meter line.  This was moved to the wing using good hands and a decent offload from Aaron Hogan.  Young Charlie Murphy found himself with the ball in his hands on the half way line, he made a break down the wing, evading one tackle and handing off one other would be defender before pulling his hamstring in the opposition 22.  The attempted offload didn’t go to hand, giving Thomond the chance to clear their lines once again.  A Midleton turnover in the middle of the pitch gave Lee the chance to add 3 more points to make the scores 6-12 in favor of the travelers.

It was the that the game should have changed in favor of the home side.  Loose head prop for Thomond, Eoin O’Neill received a straight red card, sentencing the travelers to finish the game with only 14 men.  This should have given Midleton the boost they needed, however, two penalties in the home 22 gifted Thomond another 6 points.

With Thomond knowing their backs were against the wall they began playing the territory game, keeping the ball in the Midleton half as much as they could.  With 4 minutes left before the half Midleton received a yellow card to put the teams even on 14 men apiece for ten minutes, until Thomond number 12 suffered the same fate.   Respective Captains were told to report too their teams to spread the word about poor discipline.

After an action packed beginning to the second half of the match, Thomond found themselves with a penalty just outside Midletons 22.  A quick tap and two long passes saw them dot down in the corner for another try.  A commanding lead and a grim outlook for the Home Side.

The rally began with the forwards and backs combining to make yards into Thomond’s half, a quick passed few phases ended with Midleton going over in the corner.  This was added to moments later after the Midleton back line showed their pace and skill, pushing back Thomond’s defensive line and using powerful offloads to go over the line yet again.

Scintillating attacking rugby from the home side ensued, however, the need to bridge the gap may have proved too much and lack of patience may have gotten the better of Rob Smyth’s men.  Being held up over the line twice did not make life easier for the home side, with the scores at 16-21 and less than ten to go.  The work paid off, the scrum following being held up on the second occasion led to space being available out wide, with Stuart Lee making use of the extra men, the scores became 23-21 in favor of the home side.  Asking the referee, Glenn Sheridan, on the way back to take the kickoff the home side were told there was 5 minutes left to play.  With only a 2 point gap 5 minutes can seem like an eternity to have to wait for the final whistle, and it turned out so.  Thomond winger, O’Neill, found himself again with the ball in hands and made the 20 meter burst to the line to finish under the posts.  Final score 21-28 to Thomond.