Under 16 Leinster League Division Winners

April 22, 2024

Under 16 Leinster League Division One Final – Sunday April 21st, 2024

Mullingar 7 Tullamore 0

A balmy and sunny mid-April Sunday afternoon could only mean one thing, the rugby season is nearing an end. After a long and wet winter it’s wonderful to see so many of our underage teams competing at the business end of competitions as finals take place across all age groups. Our Under 16 boys are a great example as they made the relatively short trip to Edenderry to take on Midland neighbours Tullamore in the Leinster League Division One Final.


A tightly contested game was expected between two sides who are very familiar with each other after some great battles over the years, and that’s exactly what transpired in the summer conditions in Edenderry.


Mullingar controlled the majority of possession in the first half but were met with resolute Tullamore defence and also undone by some of their own unforced errors and concession of unnecessary penalties. Defences were on top with model tackling all over the pitch, and lineout execution at near perfection for both sides.


A narrowly missed penalty on 10 minutes by Kian Campbell and a try from Sean ‘Bob’ Byrne were the only scoring opportunities of note in the first half. But what a superb try it was from Byrne as he received a long-looped pass from his out-half and evaded several Tullamore tackles with left and right side-steps to run from the halfway line and touch down under the posts. A play made on the training ground and executed to perfection on the pitch, finished extravagantly with a swan dive by the excellent full back.


Mullingar did make it to the try line of their opponents on a few occasions but failed to get over the whitewash, as Tullamore rarely ventured inside the Mullingar ‘22’ thanks to trademark defending from David Johnston, Conor Walshe, and Ben Smith, to name just a few. Plenty of yards were gained by the strong running of Isaac O’Neill, Charlie Boyle, and Conor Casey who were once again excellent at numbers 7, 11, and 12 respectively. The half time score read Mullingar 7 Tullamore 0.


The second half played out very similar to the first with Mullingar dominating territory and rarely letting their opponents inside the Mullingar 50 metre line. The “bomb squad” were introduced at half-time in the form of Callum Quinn and Ike Adetuberu which added to their team’s play with their freshness as they both came close to extending Mullingar’s lead.


But a tense and pulsating second half ended with no further scores as Mullingar triumphed at the final whistle on a score of 7-0 sparking great scenes of celebration on both the pitch and sidelines among the Mullingar contingent. This great bunch of young men and their committed management team got their just rewards for a brilliant year and received the trophy and medals in front of the large crowd in attendance. Brian Hogan, the competition Under 16 Youth coordinator, performed the honours as he handed the Division one cup to Mullingar’s captain fantastic, Ben Smith.


But this team’s season is far from over yet as they still compete on two fronts, firstly a Midlands semi-final this coming Wednesday night against another neighbour and familiar foe, Longford. They then look forward to a Bank Holiday Monday trip to Energia Park in Donnybrook to take on holders Navan in the showpiece final, being the Leinster Cup. With this group of young men you just never know what’s possible.


TEAM: 15. Seán Byrne, 14.Ethan Heitmuller, 13.Charlie McDonnell, 12.Conor Casey, 11.Charlie Boyle, 10.Kian Campbell, 9.Ollie Murphy.

1.Matthew Murphy, 2.Ciarán Doran, 3.David Johnson, 4.Tom O'Brien, 5.Conor Walshe, 6.Darragh Vickery, 7.Isaac O'Neill, 8.Ben Smith

16.Callum Quinn, 17.Oscar Mccormack (Flood), 18.Brian O'Rourke, 19.Jamie Quinn, 20.Ike Adetuberu, 21.Darragh Bennett, 22.Jack McDermott, 23.William Scahill, 24. Sean Gannon

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