April 09, 2019

Leinster Rugby Culliton Cup


Saturday 6th April 2019

Ashbourne RFC

Mullingar RFC 32

Navan RFC 22



Mullingar faced Navan in a Culliton Cup Semi Final in Ashbourne last Saturday morning. Navan won the toss and opted to play with a strong breeze on their backs in the first. Their game plan was soon obvious as they attempted to establish field position by kicking in behind the Mullingar defence. But the Mullingar fullback Rory O’Sullivan Sexton was in fine form and tided up the kicks into the backfield, this gave Mullingar plenty of possession in their own half and the forwards worked to maintain it,taking the ball through large numbers of phases. The game settled into this pattern for 10 minutes or so until some fine play released Conor Gibney who still had a lot to do but he showed strength,balance and pace to outstrip the Navan defence and cross in the line in the corner and he showed the presence of mind to make his way under the posts before dotting down. Fionn O’Hara added the points.

More good play forced Navan to concede a penalty about 30 metres from their try line and with the strong breeze blowing it looked outside of range but

Fionn O’Hara showed plenty of confidence to take on the kick and it sailed between the uprights to make it 10-0 to Mullingar. Navan responded shortly afterwards with a penalty of their own to make it 10-3. A combination of some handling errors by Mullingar and some indiscipline gave Navan a beach head in the Mullingar half and they drove a lineout maul 20 metres before Mullingar pulled it down and a penalty was awarded to Navan. They kicked to the corner and attempted to repeat the trick but Mullingar repelled the maul and forced Navan to try and play which they did, after several phase they worked the ball back into the same corner as their initial lineout to score an unconverted try. It was now 10-8.

From the kick off Mullingar established territory in the Navan 22 and Navan conceded a penalty, the ever livewire scrum half, Adam Treanor took a quick tap and several passes later Dylan Daly crossed the try line to score an unconverted try. There was one more period of pressure from Navan before half time which resulted in them being held up over the line. 

The half time score stood at 15-8 to Mullingar and it looked like they had done all the hard work in the first half but Navan weren’t playing to the same script and they crossed first in the second half to make the score 15-15. Fionn O’Hara scored a fine long range penalty to nudge Mullingar back in front again but more strong running from the Navan side saw them take the lead for the first time in the match with a converted try.

Mullingar remained calm though and used the conditions to good effect to pin Navan back in their own half and eventually Rory O’Sullivan ran a beautiful line to get in behind the Navan defence and Lee Ryan was on his shoulder to take the pass and score the try. Fionn O’Hara added the two points to make the score 25-22. Mullingar were not content to sit back and defend though and another nice move put the impressive Evan Molloy over for another try and O’Hara added the conversion to make the final score 32-22.

This was a fine team performance which sees this squad reach a Leinster Cup final for the third year in a row and a premier Leinster final for the fifth year in a row. The final will be a repeat of last year’s U16 final against Tullow which went to a replay and was only won by Mullingar with the last play of the game. The final will be in Carlow on 27th April and it promises to be a great game.

The squad would like to offer their condolences to the Cooney and Cronin family on the passing of Paddy Cooney. Paddy was a past captain and president of the rugby club and he was also a trustee of the club at the time of his passing, his grandson Sean is part of the U17 squad. Paddy was a great servant to the rugby club and he will be sadly missed.
Team: Oisin Burke, Evan Molloy, Liam Shaw, Fintan Larkin, Gerry Duffy McAndrew, Dylan Daly, Sean Cronin, Hugh O’Neill, Adam Treanor, Fionn O’Hara, Jamie Daly, Mark Flynn, Conor Gibney (Captain), Lee Ryan, RoryO ’Sullivan Sexton, Michael Conlon, Adam Bauer, Cian Farrell, Rian Conroy

Final Details:

Mullingar v Tullow

Saturday 27th April

Carlow RFC

Kick Off 12:00 - (TBC)

share on entry