MULLINGAR WIN ON THE ROAD IN THE PST SPORT MIDLANDS AREA LEAGUE

September 05, 2019

PST Sport

Midlands Area League

Wednesday 4th September 2019

Coolavacoose, Carbury

Edenderry 14

Mullingar 44


Last Wednesday evening under lights at Edenderry, the Mullingar senior squad deservedly got their season up and running with a fine win. Division 2A of the Leinster League kicks off on Sunday 22nd away to Portlaoise, so with a team building weekend and one friendly match to go, Coach Tom Campbell hoped to see some development from his hard working squad. He was not to be disappointed in a match taking an unusual format: three periods of 25 minutes.  


Both teams tested each other out in the first ten minutes, however no scores were created. A saving tackle was required in the corner from Dave Lynam when Edenderry broke off a scrappy tussle for possession in midfield. Then Mullingar got into the Edenderry 22, but the scoring pass for Ross Tormey to score the first try was just forward. Eventually, on about 15 minutes of the first period, Daire Conway scored after concerted pressure. Immediately from the kick off, Darrech Geraghty charged forward with great effect. Darren Brady continued the break and when Campbell passed right, Ross Tormey finished the move to get the touch down for a ten point lead.  Then Daire Conway took a fine individual intercept try, which Ross Tormey converted for a seventeen point lead which is how it finished after the first period of play.


At the very start of the second period, Daire Conway was yellow carded for a high tackle. Although clearly a high tackle, it was against a smaller Edenderry player, but left the referee with no choice. It was a hard game but played with good discipline by both teams. Edenderry then upped their game and made a length of the pitch charge to make a sizeable inroad on their visitors lead with a converted try making the score 17-7. Luke Finnegan, who had done very well in line outs, was injured and replaced by Lemeki Vaipula. Lemeki brought his AIL experience to bear and his athletic strong running put the Edenderry defence under further pressure, creating space for his colleagues.


Halfway through this second period, there were three substitutions with Kevin Smith for Louglin, Dave Faulkner for Dan Gilleran, and Eoin Eivers for Ross Tormey. Excellent interplay and strong running by the newly introduced Vaipula, Ryan Brennan and Darren Brady…with two penalties conceded by a pressurised Edenderry defence…. led to Petar Mitic getting over from a lovely offload out of the tackle by Dave Lynam… making it 22 points to 7 to Mullingar. In response, Edenderry had their best period, and ended the long second period with a well worked try which was converted to leave the score at 22 points to 14. From a Mullingar perspective, this was not reflecting the possession and territorial dominance. Indeed, Edenderry who were coached by ex Lions player Eric Miller, were clearly happy with the scoreline.


The third period of play however, was to see Mullingar score four unanswered tries. Cormac Dunne replaced Brian Reidy, who had a fine senior debut and did not seem out of place with strong running and tackling throughout. Ryan Brennan created space for the outside players and Mullingar got into a tempo where there was aggressive running across the whole team. Donal McGovern barged the ball up at 12 and Daire Conway searched for good running angles throughout the game. Daryl Quinn started the third period improvement with a great take and trademark dummy and was ably supported by Geraghty, Brady, Smith and Vaipula. The first to benefit on the scoreboard was Daire Conway who went over for his third try when the Edenderry defence was stretched by strong Mullingar interplay, which he also converted to make it 29 -14.  Next to benefit was Daryl Quinn, who both started and finished a lovely team try when he again dummied but this time to beat the last defender, and his try made it 34 - 14. Then from a well won lineout, Campbell passed to the waiting Lemeki Vaipula, who managed to elude the now tiring Edenderry rearguard to score untouched, 39 -14. Following a long kick out of defence to the corner, and block down from an attempted relieving kick, Mullingar made it 44 -14.


The performances of Geraghty and Quinn reflect the work being done off the pitch and in general the squad should take away a lot of good lessons from this game, the hard work in training was evident with players looking fitter and working well together. There were solid performances from Donal McGovern in the centre, and Dan Gilleran, Kevin Smith, Sean Loughlin and Dave Faulkner up front. A special mention for some young guns stamping their authority on the field; in particular Ryan Brennan who controlled the running game very well, Peter Mitic at full back and Brian Reidy in his first senior game.

Team: Darren Brady (Captain), Sean Loughlin (Kevin Smith), Chris Fox (Johnny Moran), Daryl Quinn, Luke Finnegan (Lemeki Vaipula), Danny Gilleran (Dave Faulkner), Brian Reidy (Cormac Dunne), Darrech Geraghty, Thomas Campbell, Ryan Brennan, Dave Lynam, Donal McGovern, Daire Conway, Ross Tormey (Evan Eivers), Petar Mitic.


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