Saturday the 26th of August saw the Senior Firsts take on Cashel at home in what was a hard-fought game. The South Munster Charity Cup has had a number of different formats over the past few years, including a gruelling full day blitz, which this year saw the Cup and Shield being split up from the beginning. This means that the competition starts with semi-finals, Midleton vs Cashel on one side and Sundays Well vs Clonmel on the other. Typically used as a pre-season warm up match for the All Ireland League, it is an opportunity to showcase new things learned in the previous few weeks as well as to try out new combinations and structures. As well as this it is fantastic to play rugby with the sun out, a rare enough occurrence.
The heat was on the home side from early on in the match with a rabbit in headlights style of play for the opening 15 minutes. Cashel ran in three tries in quick succession to put them in a leading position, one which they would inevitably hold for the rest of the game. Once Midleton got over the shock of the opening it was a far tighter affair. The first try for the men in red was scored by Michael “Yorkie” Cronin after a good passage of play that lead to a quick tap penalty on the Cashel 5 meter line. This put the score line at 7-21 to the visitors going into the break.
Martijn Korterik, who was pulling the strings from out half in the absence of Stuart Lee, added 3 points early in the second half to put the score 21-10 with plenty of time left on the clock. This was added to by Brian Moore who came off the bench at half time replacing new comer Dylan Purvis, who dotted down after a good passage of play. Martijn failed to add the extra points leaving the score at 21-15 with 10 minutes to go. The Cashel defence put in a strong display to keep the home side out and the game finished with a turnover in midfield which was then kicked out to put an end to it.
The next competitive match will more than likely be in the Munster Senior Cup, the draw for which is being made on Tuesday coming. AIL, however, is fast approaching with only three weeks until the opening game against Seapoint on the 16th of September at home.