February 15, 2015

Mullingar Seconds progress in 8 try Cup Win

Portarlington RFC  12 Mullingar RFC  51

Mullingar seconds XV began their cup campaign with a strong performance yielding 8 tries against a Portarlington side who fought all the way.  The next round will be away to Enniscorthy on Saturday February 28th and a good cup run is definitely a possibility for Eugene Smyths men if this blend of talented youth and regular stalwarts can repeat the performance.   

On a damp and windy afternoon, Mullingar started the game with good structure and within minutes, earned a penalty which Matt Coade converted. Portarlington won possession from the kick off and had a penalty awarded, but missed a kickable opportunity. Mullingar then established good field position from a long Matt Coade clearance. From a steady scrum, where Taaffe in particular was strong all afternoon, Mills broke right to set Cian Burke away, but he was dragged into touch. Mullingar couldn’t quite string the phases together in the first quarter but were establishing good pressure from excellent line out work by Cillian Kavanagh and a solid scrum. The Portarlington Number 8 also established some authority, partly due to a couple of missed tackles.

Then with twenty minutes gone, the Coade brothers lit up the match with pure speed and awareness of space. A good Kavanagh take in the lineout and Andrew Coade set Nigel Mills up for a storming run. Taking the return support pass, he tore off across the pitch to send Daniel Purcell down the right wing for a superb try, unconverted. From the Portarlington kick off, Burke send Matt Coade away and after using Raleigh as a decoy, he dummied through the struggling defence to dot down under the posts. Fifteen nil and Mullingar were set to let loose 

A number of phases with good carries from Joel Richardson, Niall Barrett, Darrach Geraghty and Alex Moran led to a penalty which was just missed. Then a superb period of dominance led to four tries in ten minutes. First, Coade took the ball from Burke following a reset scrum to beat the first tackle and sprint past the cover defence from outhalf, converted by Matt Coade; 22 nil. Then followed a Nigel Mills break off the base of a scrum through Burke to Raleigh, who when tackled, gave quick ruck ball and Matt Coade picked a path under the posts; 29 nil. Then with the half nearly complete; Donal Liddy in his debut senior outing, first gave the scoring pass to Diarmuid Raleigh from good possession on the right for a fifth team try - then followed that up with a try of his own from a Portarlington knock on at half way when he snapped up the loose ball and took off untouched from half way; 39 nil at half time and cup tie won.  

Portarlington started the second half with great intent and were clearly up for a physical challenge, hurting from the flood of points they shipped at the end of the first half. Establishing good position, they went through multiple phases and held possession well. Their big forwards rattled the Mullingar defence close to the line. A series of penalties were run by Portarlington and massive defensive tackles held the line for fully ten minutes. Eventually the pressure told with a try despite the brave defence. The missed conversion was forgotten when Portarlington for once managed to create an overlap on the right and took it well to score a second try within a couple of minutes, this one converted to leave the match 39 – 12 and a suspicion of an unlikely comeback was tangible.

However Mullingar rallied well under pressure. The introduction at half time of Hannon, and fresh substitutes in Enda Raleigh and Alan Donoghue, helped Mullingar establish physical authority up from again. A good drive from Donoghue following a number of phases, led to Matt Coade doing a passable impression of Johnny Sexton with a well-placed kick over the cover defence for Andrew Coade to gather the bounce - and a neat switch with Diarmuid Raleigh let him weave his way to the corner for the seventh try, converted by Andrew Coade. Nigel Mills completed the scoring with a good forwards try after Alan O’Donoghue made good ground to complete the score at 51 – 12

Team: 1. Jamie Taaffe, 2. Niall Barrett, 3. Joel Richardson, 4. Darrech Geraghty, 5. Eugene Smyth (Capt), 6. Alex Moran, 7. Cilian Kavanagh, 8. Nigel Mills, 9. Cian Burke, 10. Andrew Coade, 11. Ross Tormey, 12. Matthew Coade, 13. Diarmuid Raleigh, 14. Daniel Purcell, 15. Alan O’Donoghue. Subs: Enda Raleigh (for J Richards (55)), Shane Cunningham, Alan Donoghue (for C Kavanagh (60)), Niall Hannon (for A Moran (40)), Donal Liddy (for D Purcell (35)). Coach: Barry Coade. Referee: Julian Pringle.

Tries; Daniel Purcell, Matt Coade(2), Andrew Coade, Diarmuid Raleigh(2), Donal Liddy, Nigel Mills.   

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