Midleton 17 Richmond 11
Another crisp and sunny day at Townspark as Midleton host Richmond in the first of a three match run in the coming weeks. After a minutes silence as a mark of respect on the passing of the father of our out-half Christian Walker Midleton start the game. The opening few minutes see both teams testing each others defences and the first mistake of the day sees a knock on from Midleton for a Richmond scrum just inside their own half. A good clearance kick from Richmond sees play down to the Midleton half. The error count starts to rise and Midleton give another penalty inside their own half taking play down to the Midleton 22 with 10 minutes played.
Midleton win the line out but a penalty results, this time Richmond attempt a kick to take the points, its about 5m inside the halfway line but straight in front of the posts. The kick is wide to the left, however within two minutes Richmond again have a penalty opportunity from about the same point – this one also wide. On the restart Midleton win a penalty and a good kick from Geoff sees a lineout inside the Richmond 22. Driving maul and a good attack of the back of it sees Jim Mackassy over for a try, with the conversion its Midleton 7 Richmond 0 with about 22 minutes played. Richmond restart and another Midleton error sees a penalty. Midleton defend well and win a scrum
Play continues and up comes Midleton hooker Dave Lee with a great driving run pushing into the Richmond half, the ball is gathered and kicked and chased down field. Richmond defence is put under pressure and forced into touch with the ball. Midleton attack again and win a penalty but its wide. Richmond restart and edge towards the Midleton’s half again, winning a penalty and that they decide to kick to the line. The ball falls short and Midleton look to run the ball, a forward pass sees a scrum and an error in the scrum sees a penalty, this time Richmond replacement kicker puts it over for their first points of the afternoon – Midleton 07 Richmond 03.
On the restart the Midleton kick does not go the required distance and it’s a scrum on halfway. The Richmond scrum is proving to be very good this afternoon and Midleton are finding it hard to handle the Richmond pack. Richmond attack again, however a great turnover and a run forward by Diarmuid O’Sullivan sees play all the way inside the Richmond 22. Midleton take the ball back out and get it wide to Jeff who makes a great run and is over for the try. The score at halftime is Midleton 14 Richmond 03.
Richmond get play underway in the second half and are up quickly. A Midleton attempt at clearance is blocked down, however then Richmond knock on. Centre Jayde Cruickshank puts in a great to get play back up to half way but a forward pass sees a scrum to Richmond. Midleton hit hard and win the ball, and mount an attack. Some great play sees a penalty to Midleton and the score is now Midleton 17 Richmond 3.
The game now moves into a frustrating period for both sides with a high error count resulting in penalty’s and yellow cards. Midleton are down to 14 and Richmond try to take advantage attacking up the middle and reaching close to the Midleton line. Midleton defend hard but land a second yellow now its 13 versus 15 with Richmond close to the Midleton line, and the inevitable happens to see Richmond score their first try. The Conversion is missed so it’s Midleton 17 Richmond 8 with about 20 minutes remaining. Tense time now as Midleton defend their lead with every ounce of passion they have. Soon its Richmond’s turn to earn the disapproval of the referee and a yellow card sees them down to 14.
Midleton are defending hard however repeated infringements and penalty awards on both sides see Richmond with a chance to close the gap and its soon Midleton 17 Richmond 11.
Midleton spend a lot of the second half at a numerical disadvantage but really do defend their lines well frustrating the visitor’s attempts to score as they are camped out in the Midleton half. Richmond are pushing hard, then in the last play of the game attempt a chip over the top and the try line to and look to chase and ground the ball for a win but Midleton manage to ground it and the referee blows the whistle for full time.
The first half saw a lot of play inside the Midleton half but the Midleton defence was very strong meaning that Richmond had nothing to show for their efforts, on the other hand the few journeys that Midleton had into the Richmond half were rewarded with points on the board. The second half was all about defence and again the Midleton men showed their determination and resolve to hold on and defend their lead to grind out another win at home.
The players dedicated this win to their teammate Christian and his family following the untimely passing of his father. Our thoughts and sympathies are with him and his family at this time.