Oct 032017
 

Midleton Senior 1st IX played against a travelling Bangor side on Saturday the 30th of September in Towns Park.  Final score read 8 – 15 to the visitors in  what was a tough game for the home side.  Telling signs from early on in the game through the set piece, which Bangor had full control of.

Buoyed by a late converted try to secure a bonus point draw last weekend away to Omagh, the Midleton men started on top with some good running rugby and soft hands from the pack, finding the soft shoulder and winning collisions for the first 10 minutes.  This early pressure led to a well taken try from Rian Hogan who dotted down in the corner, Rob Smyth claiming the assist.  This seemed to wake up the travelling side who then started to mount the come back.

With both sides playing a similar brand of attacking rugby it was difficult to see where the defensive walls would be broken.  Time and time again the respective forward packs would lock horns around the ruck and the 9/10 channel, none able to claim dominance.  It was at scrum time that a well versed Bangor pack showed the damage that they could do, with the Midleton men having to scramble to claim their own ball.  The conditions had calmed from the earlier warning of heavy rain and it was dry for the most part, however, there seemed a layer of damp on the ball at all times as the knock-ons  were consistent throughout, to the dismay of the home side.  The effort at scrum time began to tell as the visiting team found a few gaps.  Scrum half, Lewis Bret, burst through the defense to find himself one on one between the fullback and the try line.  Some foot work and power put him over the white wash by a matter of centimeters.  The visitors converted to make the score 5-7.  Respective outhalfs traded penalties to send the sides 8-10 going into the break. That was to be Midletons last score in the game.

The second half story line went much the same as the first, with Bangor unable to convert there dominance in the scrum.  A number of key substitutions made by Tom Mul before and at the break may have contributed to this, with the introduction of three new faces into the tight 5.  This gave Yorkie Cronin some extra time at the back of the scrum to  retrieve the ball, ensuring more of a contest on our own set piece.

The travelers added a further 5 points following some miss communication in the outside backs which led to a lineout on the Midleton 5 metre  line.  Bangor knocked on the door for multiple phases before fining a weakness.  The home side were not getting around the corner of the ruck quick enough, giving some of the big men a chance to run at the backs from close range.  The ensuing conversion hit the crossbar, the home side leaving out a sigh of relief.

The final stages of the game were touch and go as Bangor pushed for more points and Midleton desperately held on for the losing bonus point.  The final phase of the game came in the shape of a scrum, just outside the Midelton 22 slightly left of the posts, what would be a perfect kicking position should there be a penalty.  The call came in from the Bangor management to try and eek a penalty out of the past scrum, however, the visitors were too eager.  They got the ball back to the number 8s feet and were abut to begin their surge forward when a slip happened.  With the ball at the back of the scrum referee, Tim Townend, ordered Bret to use it.  Mercifully it was kicked to touch to end the game at 8-15, both sides managing to go away with points.

The next game is against Bective Rangers, in Donnybrook on Saturday 7th October.  This will be the last game in a block of four before a deserved two weekend break from AIL.  The next home game is against Munster rivals Thomond on the 28th of October.

Sep 262017
 

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.

Sep 192017
 

The 2017/2018 season marks the 50th anniversary of the reconstitution of Midleton Rugby Football Club. A most important cornerstone in our anniversary celebrations was the Ecumenical Service of Remembrance & Thanksgiving which was held in our Clubhouse on Friday, September 1st at 8.30pm.

 Club Chairman Denis Kelleher welcomed the assembled players, friends and supporters to the service before introducing the celebrants. Elder Helen Barrett from the Presbyterian Congregation, V. Rev. Canon Jim Killeen P.P., Midleton and V. Rev. Alan Marley, Dean and Rector Cloyne Union led those present in prayer and contemplation in a very beautiful and touching service. Tim Brennan, one of our original 1st XV was choirmaster for the evening accompanied on keyboard by Alison Tait, grand-niece of the late Bill Tait, a past and most distinguished president of Midleton RFC.

 The service concluded with a very moving ceremony of remembrance. Candles were brought in procession from the back of the room and placed on a table at the front in memory of loved ones no longer with us. The gentle glow of the candles provided a contemplative ambiance before we all joined in song to the strains of “Amazing Grace”.

 Those present then moved into the Clubhouse Bar where light refreshments prepared by Chef Rory Graham were served. This was a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with friends old and new, reminiscing of times gone past and regaling in exploits both on and off the Townspark turf.

We would like to offer our thanks to all who came to celebrate with us as well as those who helped out on the night.

 

Jul 282017
 

Pre-Season is often seen as one of the most important times of the year for any sporting outfit.  The required bonding of the team as a unit every bit as important as the increased levels of fitness.  Suffering together creates the bond that is necessary in a team sport such as rugby.

The first of the sufferings came on Tuesday the 25th of July, following a grueling six week strength and conditioning program.  From now until the eventual end of the season next April, training will take place at 7pm on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s  with matches on Saturdays, of which there shall be 18 UBL matches.

Womens rugby continues to grow in Midleton with their own pre-season kicking off at 9 a.m. on Saturday the 29th of July in Towns Park.

Apr 192017
 

We’re very sorry to inform you that it has been decided to postpone the Dinner Dance & Adult Awards Night. Despite a very successful event last year, numbers for this year’s function were not quite up to those levels. A major factor in this was Munster’s progression to the Champions Cup Semi-Final on Saturday, 22nd. We deeply regret the inconvenience caused to all those who have changed work rosters, purchased new outfits and made other arrangements in order to attend the event.