Sundays Well came through a tough Cork derby on Friday night to reignite their bid to bounce back out of Division 2C in the Energia All-Ireland League. They beat Midleton 24-6 at Irish Independent Park, but the game was a reminder of the quality on show in the lower levels of the AIL.
“There’s a fantastic standard of rugby across all of 2A, 2B and 2C,” according to ‘Well Coach Peter Scott. “I’ve been lucky enough to coach across those divisions and I think on a given day most teams across those divisions could have a good old cut off each other.”
Sundays Well were a Division 2A side as recently as 2016. Scott is under no illusions however about what it takes just to survive in 2C.
“There’s a lot of work that has to go in,” he said. “A lot of preparation. A lot of physical development of the players and the standard goes up every year.
“We’ve played a lot of good games against some very good teams this year with some very good players. Consequently, it’s a lot of fun.”
Their game against Midleton got off to a blistering start. Punching holes at will, Graeme Lawlor burst through to open the scoring inside the first minute. A 10-3 lead didn’t reflect their dominance at half time and they knew they’d have to kick on.
“We’ve started a lot of our games well and we haven’t capitalised on that over the last number of weeks. In fact, in all our games we’ve played in the league so far, we’ve led at half time and we’ve gone on to lose a number of them.
“So there was a bit of a steel about the players this week.”
Midleton actually got the first score of the second half but tries from Ryan Buckley and Conor O’Brien saw Sundays Well home.
“I thought [Midleton] were fantastic tonight because we actually outplayed them for large periods of that game, but they defending fantastically,” said Scott. “Really we probably should have got a bonus point with the amount of possession and number of line-breaks we had. But they scrambled brilliantly and the level of pride in these local derbies is absolutely massive.”
You can hear more from Scott and a rousing rending of ‘Bless Them All’ in the above video.