Ugly win may just be best prep for Towns Cup

January 19, 2015

January 18, 2015. Leinster League Div2A.

Mullingar 10 New Ross 5 

By Finian Coghlan

If coach Derek Maybury thought last week’s win against Railway Union wasn’t
pretty, then he will have to have a major reassessment on his game
judgement skills after this Sunday’s victory against New Ross not only fell
out of the ugly tree, hitting every branch on the way down, but it then hit
the ugly trampoline and re-hit every branch on the way back up again.
If ever there was a week to bring out their worst performance of the
season, then truly, the week before they go to Gorey to begin their cup run
is definitely the week to do it.
This was a quicksand display against a team from whom Mullingar bagged a
bonus point win on their patch in November, in that the harder you tried,
the deeper in difficulty you seemed to get.
However, the collective frustration accumulated by the entire squad on
Sunday will serve them well when brought to bear on a Wexford sward next
week, and you heard it here first – they are more than capable of turning
over their so-called superiors in this Towns Cup opener.
There were very few silver linings in this game, but if pushed, the new
found scrum supremacy discovered against New Ross most definitely goes in
the positive column.
This platform gave Mullingar all the ball they’ve loved all season, but
their useage of it almost turned Dermot Dunne soprano on the touchline. 
After an early missed penalty, it took Mullingar almost 20 minutes to
threaten the New Ross line when Sam Blair picked form the back of a scrum
in his own half, before popping to Brabby down the blind who then loosed
off Henno for a primary gallop. 
He looked odds on but couldn’t conjure a second step and was caught. 
New Ross may have breathed, but they definitely didn’t learn because just
three minutes later Mullingar pulled exactly the same move, except this
time Reilly had the only forward who’d be better looking than him – Nigel
Mills – steaming off his shoulder, and he was able to weave in for the
tension-relieving opener.
Touchline opinion was now unanimous in its tsunamic expectation, but
frustratingly, nearly every option taken by Mullingar seemed designed to
stymie this, and New Ross went to the break just the one score down.
Instead of his usual half time pixie dust, coach Maybury must have fed his
charges dirty petrol, because when they came back out they were misfiring
on nearly all cylinders, and New Ross sensed it.
Again it took nearly 20 minutes to fashion a threat, and with a numerical
advantage outside and the try line beckoning, Johnny Butler’s pass was
intercepted in their 22 for an 80-yard reverse only rescued by the pace of
Andrew Coade.
Nonetheless, New Ross piled in behind their escapee, and with Mullingar
stretched in disarray, a cross-field kick to the left corner was deftly
picked by their winger who scampered in to level the game, and give poor
Dermot apoplexy.
Embarrassed into reaction, Mullingar were able to recall last week’s
bootstrap display, and within moments had hand flashed the pill deep into
New Ross’s 22 where they were awarded a pivotal penalty.
Bravely eschewing the posts, Quinn pointed to the corner and Butler
obliged. Unable to attend to the pack supremacy New Ross conceded again,
and this time Quinn called for a scrum which was steered inexorably
lineward before Niall Hannon put the home faithful out of their misery. 
The conclusion of the game brought unnecessary squeaky bum time after
vice-captain Maxwell was sin-binned for a spear tackle, but his teammates
held fast and shook off their poorest performance of the year just in time
for hopefully their finest.
Next Sunday Mullingar travel to Gorey for the first round of the Towns Cup,
with kick-off at 2.30, while the women travel to Edenderry – the only team
to defeat them this season – for a crunch league fixture, kicking off at
Tries: Mills, Hannon.
Team: 1. Darren ‘Daz’ Brady, 2. Davy O’Reilly , 3 Ciaran O'Donoghue, 4.
Darech Geraghty, 5. Darryl Quinn , 6. Nigel Mills, 7. Conor Glennon, 8.
Samuel Blair, 9. Arthur Brabazon, 10. Matt Coade , 11. Andrew Coade , 12.
Conor Jack, 13. Eoghan Gantly, 14. Henry Reilly, 15. Johnny Butler. Subs
used: Paul Maxwell, Ryan Tighe Ritchie Pyke, Niall Hannon, Colm Dufficy.
Top try scorers 18.1.15: Andrew Coade (11),Olive Butler (10) , Matthew
Coade, Sam Blair (8), Paul Maxwell (6) Louise Kelly, Johnny Butler (5)
Stacy Boland, RyanTighe (4), Diarmuid Raleigh, Ronan Wallace, Conor Jack
(3), Adam Kerroum, Davy O’Reilly, Richie Pyke, Darren Brady, Nigel Mills,
Henry Reilly (2), Darech Geraghty, Cormac Dunne, Luke Peppard, Eoghan
Gantly, Alan Brabazon, Arthur Brabazon, Niall Hannon.
Tries for: 69, Against :21.

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