Mullingar off to a winning start in the J1 Midland League

September 07, 2015

Saturday 5th September 18.00h

Mullingar Senior Squad begin defence of PST Sport J1 Midland League

Mullingar 42 - Roscrea 14

On a lovely sunny evening at Shay Murtagh Park, the new playing facilities looked well as Mullingar began the competitive season with a seven try to two defeat of Roscrea in defence of the PST Sports Midland League. A good squad of seasoned players and young guns put on an entertaining game with strong performances particularly from Alex Moran, Daryl Quinn, Donal Liddy and Andrew Coade.

Roscrea were unlucky to be penalised from an offside following a knock on from the kick off and Johnny Butler stepped up to kick the penalty for an early three point lead. Following an excellent break from Gantley, the ball going forward in the tackle, Roscrea pressure yielded a kickable penalty, which was missed. Good possession from Mullingar with Kavanagh notable in the lineout, was being distributed well; particularly by the experienced Walls who orchestrated the outside backs with well-timed passes. Butler released Coade, but good defence from a resilient Roscrea kept the score at 3 nil for the first quarter. Geraghty replaced Glennon.

Then on twenty minutes, Butler missed a penalty following a good lineout win by Kavanagh. Quinn fielded the 22 drop out and put Arthur Brabazon free down the right side and he darted in for a try, making it 8 nil to Mullingar. There followed good competitive fare with Mullingar taking good lines of running, particularly Alex Moran who had three searing breaks through the strong Roscrea tackles. Robbie Allen replaced Gantley. Then good hands by Hall and Allen, after great running again from Moran, put Coade in for his first try but he just couldn’t hold the pass. So 8 nil at half time. Daryl Quinn made a break and Coade was stopped just short, but again good defence from Roscrea kept Mullingar at bay, and Roscrea finished the half on the front foot.

With Smyth on for Kavanagh, O’Donoghue fir Nixon and Pyke moving into the second row and Quinn to number 8, Mullingar started the second half with more purpose. A block down led to Daryl Quinn kicking ahead and from the resulting 5 metre scrum, he picked and sent Brabazon over for his second try, converted for a 15 nil lead. Donal Liddy came on for Bagnall. Mullingar lifted the pace and the next period was all attack with a solid platform from Leahy, Smyth, Hall and Geraghty.

With ten minutes gone, good pressure and a well placed Mike Walls chip for the chasing Donal Liddy was beautifully gathered and he crashed over to make it 20 nil. Then excellent passing nearly put Coade in, a Geraghty steal at the back of a lineout, and a Liddy chip ahead, all put increased pressure on Roscrea. Quinn nearly scored from a lineout move but fumbled and then in the next phase, Walls put him through a gap and he sidestepped clear from twenty metres to make it 27 nil with the Butler conversion.

Roscrea bounced back with a period of possession and good pressure led to a well worked converted try. Smyth replaced Hall and Paddy Tormey replaced the steady Ross Tormey for the last quarter. Then on 25 minutes. Quinn caught a poor clearance kick and sent a sprinting Liddy over, so 32 – 7 was the score. Then possession from a Geraghty lineout allowed Walls to feed Quinn, with another side step he then put Coade through and the score was 37-7. Roscrea had one more attack and scored a converted try. Then Tormey was just squeezed out in the corner before Donal Liddy polished off a fine second half from him to put Coade in for his second try and a final score of 42 – 14. The Mullingar management and coaches will be delighted that the fitness levels looked good and the competition for places is clear for all to see. A particular welcome to first game performances at Mullingar for new players John Nixon, Andrew Smyth and Paddy Tormey. Next week sees a friendly against Railway Union on Saturday, then Suttonians away and the Leinster League starts on Sunday 27th September v Malahide at home. Training Tuesday and Fridays at 7.30, all new and returning players welcome!

Team: Johnny Butler, Ross Tormey, John Bagnall, Eoghan Gantley (Capt), Andrew Coade, Mike Walls, Arthur Brabazon, Conor Glennon, Cilian Kavanagh, Alex Moran, Peter Hall, Daryl Quinn, John Nixon, Richard Pyke, Aiden Leahy, Subs: Ciaran O’Donoghue, Kevin Smyth, Darrach Geraghty, Andrew Smyth, Robert Allen, Donal Liddy, Paddy Tormey. Referee: Martin McHugh.

share on entry