South-East claim the Bank of Ireland Shane Horgan Cup
April 5, 2023 5:30 pm Des Berry
The Bank of Ireland Shane Horgan Cup came to a conclusion in a double-header at Energia Park on Wednesday afternoon.
Midlands 15 North-East 0
The Midlands rounded off the campaign with tries by Rory O’Brien and Callum Mulligan.
The Midlands started well with centre Peadar Glennon splitting the first line of defence and the backs moving the ball wide.
The next time they rolled forward, North East conceded a penalty which Jack Gorman nailed for the lead in the 15th minute.
They were setting the terms of engagement, prop Jack Byrne breaking a tackle, until NE centre Daniel Mallon burst from deep to give Sam Manuel a run up the left.
When that came to nothing, Midlands centre Kien Egan wrongfooted a defender to carry for 50 metres, his kick ahead almost turned into a try by Glennon.
The North East were sparked into life by the footwork of Mallon and number eight Cathal O’Connor’s speed to outflank the cover where Isaac Soden was binned for killing the attack.
Scrum-half Gorman knifed through a hole on the fringes and offloaded to Shane McGuigan only for Harry Watters to rip the ball away in the shadow of the posts to leave it 3-0 at the interval.
Not for the first time, Midlands were on the verge of the opening try as Shane McGuigan surged up the middle and the backs used their draw and pass skills for Jonathan Groenwald to go close.
A touch of class from fly-half Watters took NE over halfway where full-back Soden took the ball on without completing the final pass to Sean McQuillan.
The carrying of loose forwards McGuigan and Mulligan and ball skills of prop Byrne were influential in setting up lock O’Brien for the inevitable try converted by Gorman in the 49th minute.
An immediate impact by McGuigan allowed the backs to move sweetly, Egan and Glennon involved in sending blindside Mulligan to the right corner for 15-0 in the 51st minute.
The closest North East came to a response was when wing Sam Manuel’s fine finish was called back for a foot-in-touch.
Scorers: Midlands – R O’Brien, C Mulligan try each; J Gorman pen, con,
Midlands: 15. Michael Dooley (Birr); 14. Jonathan Groenwald (Longford) 13. Peadar Glennon (Mullingar) 12. Kien Egan (Tullamore) 11. James Flynn (Mullingar); 10. Ronan Hooper (Tullamore) 9. Jack Gorman (Edenderry); 1. Andrew Murray (Roscrea) 2. Sean Nolan (Roscrea) 3. Jack Byrne (Edenderry) 4. Ifeoluwaleke Mogaji (Mullingar) 5. Rory O’Brien (Mullingar) 6. Callum Mulligan (Mullingar) 7. Oisin O’Shea (Roscrea) 8. Shane McGuigan (Longford).
Replacements (all used) – Cillian Traynor (Mullingar), Brook Glennon (Mullingar), Sean Dunne (Tullamore), James Roe, Mark Glynn (Longford), Jake Greene (Mullingar), Senan Murphy (Longford), Lochlann O’Reilly (Mullingar).
North-East: 15. Isaac Soden (Ashbourne); 14. Sam Manuel (Skerries) 13. Fabian Tahiraji (Ashbourne) 12. Daniel Mallon (Balbriggan) 11. Sean McQuillan (Boyne); 10. Harry Watters (Ratoath) 9. Mark O’Donoghue (Dundalk); 1. Aidan McGovern (Boyne) 2. Sam Kingsworth (Skerries) 3. Thomas Kearns (Navan) 4. Ruairi O’Neill (Boyne) 5. JP McKeown (Dundalk) 6. Robin Hamill (Dundalk) 7. Dara Quinn (Balbriggan) 8. Cathal O’Connor (Skerries).
Replacements (all used) – Rhys Dixon (Navan), TJ Oramunzi, Robert Wogan (Boyne), Michael Daly (Dundalk) Paddy Yourell (Navan)
Referee: K O’Flynn, Leinster Branch.
South-East 15 North Midlands 10
The destiny of the Cup was at stake for both of these and it showed in a different level of intensity to the curtain raiser.
They came into the final round tied together at the top of the table, having won all four contests.
South East were quickly into their shape in pressing the action until they were forced to defend Ruaidhri Lawlor’s counter and Ryan Murphy’s support line, centre Brynn Nolan snuffing out the attack on the floor.
There was encouragement for NM from the lead points through out-half Oisin Hade’s penalty in the fifth minute.
It was a case of the South East hav
ing to survive the tempo and the pace of play. They couldn’t quite do it.
NM moved the ball right for wing Charlie Croke to outstrip the cover, Hade converting from the touchline in the 10th minute.
An abrasive burst by Caleb Oglesby provided go-forward and the next time he got his hands on the ball the prop put his brother Noah away for a superb try to make it 10-5 in the 19th minute.
This was the injection of confidence South East needed to come into the game without being able to trouble the scoreboard again by half-time.
The South East probed extensively, Joshua Burke making a bruising run and out-half James Curry varying his distribution to establish territory.
The rain was making positive rugby a challenge, SE captain Eoin O’Doherty instrumental in keeping the pressure on.
Openside O’Doherty’s scythed through on the right to almost connect with Noah Oglesby. The quicksilver wing just needed the right service to use his lightning speed and evasion.
At last, North Midlands were able to relieve the pressure without sustaining the territory, despite the best efforts of locks Cian and Conor Butler, no relation.
A yellow card to Christopher Larn allowed South East to set up camp inside the 22. They used a scrum to go left where Luke Chatten’s pass put Warren Hubbard over in the corner.
Curry landed the touchline conversion to take the lead for the first time in the 58th minute.
Not content to sit on the slim advantage, they came storming forward to force another penalty which Curry used to slot the insurance points.
Scorers: South-East – N Oglesby, W Hubbard try each; J Curry pen, con. North Midlands – C Croke try; O Hade pen, con.
South-East: 15. Luke Chatten (County Carlow) 14. Noah Oglesby (County Carlow) 13. Brynn Nolan (Tullow) 12. Daniel Norval (Wexford Wanderers) 11. Finn Soraine (Enniscorthy) 10. James Curry (Wicklow) 9. James Stewart (Wexford Wanderers) 1. Caleb Oglesby (County Carlow) 2. Patrick Cox (Enniscorthy) 3. Kirill Dovbijenko (Kilkenny) 4. Matthew McGowan (Enniscorthy) 5. Zach Kenny (Wicklow) 6. James Kehoe (County Carlow) 7. Eoin O’Doherty (Wexford Wanderers, Capt) 8. Joshua Burke (Arklow).
Replacements (all used) – 16. Aaron Hughes (Wicklow) 17. Luke Hearne (Wexford Wanderers) 18. Senan Keating (Tullow) 19.Tom Bolger (Wexford Wanderers) 20. Bill Blyth (Enniscorthy) 21 Kealan Fahy (Wexford Wanderers) 22. Warren Hubbard (Wicklow) 23. Jack Byrne (Tullow).
North Midlands: 15. Senan Coffey (Athy) 14. Charlie Croke (Naas) 13. Darragh Culligan (Naas) 12. Ruaidhri Lawlor (Athy) 11. Hayden Casey-Gray (Athy) 10. Oisin Hade (Portlaoise) 9. Ryan Murphy (Cill Dara) 1. Oisin Carroll (Cill Dara) 2. Finn Craig (Naas) 3. Brody Gilligan (Portlaoise) 4. Conor Butler (Naas, Capt) 5. Cian Butler (Portlaoise) 6. Conor Clarke (Cill Dara) 7. Joshua Ward (Naas) 8. Cian Crampton (Naas).
Replacements (all used) – 16. Christopher Larn (Athy) 17. Aaron Donnelly (Newbridge) 18. Reece Hickey (Clondalkin) 19. 20. Rhys Byrne (Newbridge) 20. Rory Wals (Athy) 21. Daniel Henry (Athy) 22. Theo Adams (Portlaoise) 23. Jack Julian (Athy)
Referee: W Keating, Leinster Branch.