On Saturday Cashel RFC commenced life in Division 2A of the ALL Ireland League. After last year’s promotion from Division 2B all eyes were on this team but they traveled to Midleton in a cautious mood as Midleton are an experienced team and a tough game was expected.
And this is how it turned out. Cashel kicked off and were on the offensive early on. After 3 minutes they were awarded a penalty 10 yards inside the Midleton half and Pat O’Connor converted.
The lead was short lived however as Midleton were awarded a penalty for a late tackle and levelled the game. Three minutes later Kevin Quinlan made a great break into the Midleton 22 after some slick passing by the Cashel backs. The ball was off loaded to Sean Walsh who scored a good try.
The game at this stage was tough and hard with both forward packs giving their best. In the 19th minute Midleton levelled the score with a try.
Three minutes later Pat O’Connor put Cashel ahead with a penalty. Midleton failed to convert a penalty on the 35th minute and so at half time Cashel led 11-8.
The second half was equally even as play swung from end to end. Cashel wanted to play an expansive game and Midleton wanted to keep it tight. After half time Cashel brought on Conor Quinlan at out half. Andrew Kelleher moved from out half to scrum half replacing Michael Hickey and Cian O’Donnell replaced Danny Lambe at prop.
In the 50th minute Pat O’Connor kicked another penalty and two minutes later hit the post with a penalty. With 20 minutes to go Alan Downey replaced Michael Cross. Both teams fought tooth and nail to get the upper hand. With 10 minutes left Midleton kicked a penalty and now were within striking distance and 3 points behind.
After 75 minutes Alan O’Donnell replaced Brian Silke in the centre and still the game swung in the balance. As he has done so many times in the past, Ed Leamy won a ball in a ruck on the Midleton 22 and before anybody could react he had scored an all important try which Pat O’Connor converted. Final score Cashel 21 Midleton 11, Leamy’s try denying Midleton a losing bonus point.
It was a tough game and a good result for a relieved Cashel team. It was an unusual day for the Silke brothers as former Cashel club captain, John lined out for Midleton against his brother Brian playing for Cashel.
Cashel: H Stanley, M Kelly, D Lambe, P Ryan, S Walsh, E Leamy, M Cross, B O’Connor, M Hickey, A Kelleher, K Quinlan, B Silke, R O’Connor, K Leamy, P O’Connor. C Quinlan, C O’Donnell, A O’Donnell. Next week Cashel Play Old crescent in the league at Spafield.