Midleton 11 Instonians 6
This week we welcomed Instonians to Midleton for a battle to ensure we did not slip further down the table. It was a blustery day and the strong rain from earlier in the morning thankfully stayed away for the match.
A much-changed Midleton team welcoming back Rob Smyth and Gary Colbert took to the field for what was to be a tough encounter. Midleton got play underway and from the kick off won a penalty that out-half Christian put over for 3 points. Midleton bring an intensity to the first half that pushes them forward winning another penalty after the restart that is kicked to the line. From the line out Midleton advance putting together some great determined play that takes them through the phases and close to the Instonians line. Quick hands from the back of the ruck sees Jade Cruickshank in in the corner for a try. Midleton 8 Instonains 0.
Instonians restart and take play to the Midleton half however play is quickly back in their half again with Midleton on the attack. A penalty then sees Instonians kick to the line but Midleton win the lineout and attack again. Play then centres around the middle of the pitch until another penalty sees Instonians have a shot and record their first points of the day.
Midleton advance again though and on the Instonians line win a penalty that Christian puts over to make the score at halftime Midleton 11 Instonians 3.
The second half is a tense affair with both sides battling hard. Midleton have opportunities for are held at the line, equally Instonians advance and look dangerous. The Midleton defence holds well though and keeps the visitors out. Eventually a penalty with about 10 minutes to go sees the gap close to just 5 points as the Instonians out-half puts it between the posts. Midleton 11 Instonians 6. From the restart Instonians mount an attack running the ball from deep inside their own half. They put together their best performance of the day, cycling the ball and holding their composure to push towards the Midleton line. A knock on though sees advantage return to Midleton and so it plays out with the final whistle sealing a much needed win for the home team.
A return to winning ways for Midleton at a crucial time in the league. Strong play in the first half gave us a lead that Instonians could not close and a win that the team deserved given how they put their hearts into the game. It was also a day we say good bye to a Midleton great as we wish John Silke the best of luck as he emigrates to Quatar in the coming days. Finally, sore heads all round on Sunday as we celebrated Christians 21st in the clubhouse Saturday night!