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.