Midleton 16 – Sundays Well 13
The first home game for Midleton this season; and it was certainly a tight encounter. The young Midleton side had a lot to prove on only their second competitive outing this year. It was a beautiful afternoon with the sun shining and temperatures in the high teens when the teams took to the pitch.
Sundays Well kicked off and drove hard at the Midleton defence who were well up for the challenge defending strongly and driving the ‘Well back into their own half. A penalty about 8 minutes in gives our new fly Half, Chris Walker, a chance to put Midleton 3 points ahead and he duly delivers. Midleton 3 – Sundays Well 0.
The ‘Well restart and Midelton are penalised for not releasing. This gives the ‘Well a chance to level the match but the shot is driven wide.
The error count from Midleton increases and on about 15 minutes the ‘Well are given a penalty; the resulting maul drives for the line but Midleton defend hard resulting in another scrum to Sundays Well. The Midleton scrum was under pressure from a dominant ‘Well pack and this was to be a feature of the game.
Another scrum close to the Midleton line; this time though the ‘Well are penalised for bringing the scrum down and Midleton are given a chance to clear the lines bringing play back close to ½ way. The penalty count increases against Midleton and on 20 minutes an easy shot for the ‘Well number 10 sees the teams level, 3 points apiece.
Midleton then put on a strong drive after the restart and the resulting pressure play from Midleton sees Kieran Burns in for a Try, converted by Walker. The score at this point in the match was Midleton 10 Sundays Well 3. After the restart Sundays Well put pressure back on the Midleton defence and are rewarded with another penalty from a scrum. Midleton 10 Sundays Well 6.
The second half sees a string of penalties against Midleton bringing the ‘Well close to the Midleton line. The Midleton defence; strong all day finally gives way to pressure from the ‘Well with a try within 10 min of second half. This was converted to leave the score at Midleton 10 Sundays Well 13.
Not long after that the ‘Well get yet another scrum in front of the Midleton posts and they push Midleton back – another scrum now on the 5 meter line sees Midleton under pressure – yet again the Midleton defence is unwavering and Midleton manage to regain possession and clear the lines back to ½ way. A Midleton scrum just inside the ‘Well ½ leads to a great run to the ‘Well 10m line but a turnover ball allows the ‘Well to clear to just inside their own half, and another scrum.
With Midleton down to 14 men a new urgency drives them forward. The Midleton Captain, Kevin Brierly, urges his team forward and the resulting strong play rewards Midleton with a Penalty kick out and to the left of the posts. This is a pressure kick for the new number 10 and Chris delivers. At about 10 minutes left in the game its all square Midleton 13, Sunday Well 13.
The ‘Well look to pile on the pressure to secure the win, but the Midleton defence stands tough. Both teams trade penalties and territory and the game looks to be heading to extra time. Midleton then put on one of the best passages of play in the game inside the ‘Well half. Midleton are driving forward, the ball being recycled and play going from right to left. Our new fly half hangs back, waits for the pass and takes a drop at goal. It goes over for Midleton to win the game with the last kick of the match. Final score Midleton 16 Sundays Well 13.
This Midleton team showed great resolve in their first home outing and withstood strong pressure from Sundays Well. A great result in a tough game that is a testament to their commitment. The team is gelling nicely and looking forward now to the first league encounter next Saturday away to Nenagh.
Midleton now take on Cork Constitution away on the weekend of the 19th October in the quarter finals.