Midleton 31 Navan 3
The sun was shining to make for a beautiful Saturday as Midleton hosted Navan in the AIL. A good crowd in attendance for what was a seminal game for the home side as they sought to guarantee their position in the league for next season.
Navan got play underway and were immediately rewarded with a scrum from a knock on from Midleton as early nerves were evident. Navan travelled with a large pack whose reputation preceded them. Midleton dug in and did not give ground, Navan take the ball from the back of the scrum and mount a wide attack. Another Midleton mistake and it’s a chance for Navan to open the scoring from the far side of the pitch. About 4 minutes into the game and its Midleton 0 Navan 3.
Midleton needed to respond quickly to settle the side, the go on the attack pushing hard into Navan territory. Quick ball recycled from the rucks and a hole opens in the Navan defence. A great run from the fly-half Christian Walker and it’s a great try for Midleton after about 12 minutes of the game. Midleton 5 Navan 3.
From the restart Midleton gather well and mount another attack into the Navan half. Midway through the first half and it’s the captains turn for a try as Dave Smyth is in for try. With the conversion the score is Midleton 12 Navan 3. Navan try to attack back into the Midleton half but the defensive line from the home side seems impenetrable as confidence rides high. Midleton get the ball back and its all attack again. With about 5 minutes to go it’s a drive for the line and a try for Kieran Burns. Halftime and the score is Midleton 17 Navan 3.
Straight out of the blocks in the second half and its all Midleton – Diarmuid O’Sullivan is in for a try and the bonus point is there for Midleton. With the conversion its Midleton 24 Navan 3. Navan are hurting now and attacking hard. The middle phase of the game sees some good play from both sides as they try to force mistakes that are not coming. Navan are defending well and at about 60 minutes in Midleton are down to 14 men. Seeing an opportunity the visitors try to press home their numerical advantage however the attempt is undone when, from the back of a line out a we get a pass out to Bryan Morris and he makes a great run up the middle, offloading to Christian who then goes in for a try under the posts after about 67 minutes.. Adding on the conversion and the final score is Midleton 31 Navan 3.
A bonus point win for the home side, the first try bonus point since November 2010 (Belfast Harlequins v Midleton 31 – 12) when the now injured David Lee ran in a hat trick of trys. This was a brilliant result for Midleton and the timing could not have been better. This team really showed what they can do, the game plan came together and great heart, good discipline and resolve won the day. Navan put up a good fight but were not able to stem the determination of the Midleton 15 on this occasion.
The only black mark on the day was the injury on Thursday last to player / coach David Lee. David suffered a serious break to his leg in training. All on the team and at the club send him our best wishes and hope he has a speedy recovery.