In snow and rain 20s dig deep to win in Templeville Road
Under 20 Premiership 2 – Old Wesley 20 St. Mary’s 10
With a 20-10 away win Old Wesley u20s are now 14 points clear at the top of Prem 2, beating their 2nd placed rivals, St Marys on their home ground on a bitterly cold afternoon in Templeville Road. This was not an afternoon to be outside with heavy rain coming down pre kick off and the match finishing with heavy snow falling, making it horrendous conditions for players and spectators alike. As the TV ad once said it was a day for boiling up the snow and ice for a nice hot drink by the time the match ended, and no one needed a further invitation to get out of the snow when the final whistle blew with a valuable away win confirmed.
The match was a fairly even affair; Wesley made better use of ball in hand up front with strong carries initially by Sam Kenny, Andrew Warner and direct running from Bill Corrigan. However, St Marys had the advantage in territory and possession for most of the 1st half, but on the wrong side of the score line following an intercept by centre Bill Corrigan, who picked up a loose pass from Mary’s in their 22 to score to the right of the posts. With Cameron Watson adding the conversion just on the stroke of half time and following an earlier Watson Penalty after 10 minutes, Old Wesley led at half time 10-3.
There was some stout defence from the visitors especially after the sin binning of one of Wesley’s star players, David Motyer, for an infringement in front of the posts. Instead of taking the points to level the score, Marys opted for a scrum and repeated this mistake on a couple of occasions, as when asked, we were able to power through the home team and clear the defensive lines. In the 2nd half Wesley’s scrum dominance really came to the fore with penalties coming with almost every scrum. Credit the defence efforts to all of the team with Cameron Madden and Eoin Deegan really hitting the home team back on the gain lines.
The 2nd half started well for the visitors and the impact of 2 subs added to the strength and power for the forwards with Calum Kavanagh and Andrew Egan coming on for Andrew Irwin and Cameron Madden. With most of the 2nd half being played within both teams 22s, it took 30 minutes until Mary’s really looked threatening of the visitor’s line, with a searing break by their substitute centre to score under the posts. With the conversion added it was going to be a very tough last ten minutes and the score at 13-10 to Old Wesley. Further substitutions were brought in for those who had really left nothing in the tanks with Scott Burleigh, John Ridgeway and Eoghan Copeland all getting on for the final 10 minutes.
However, the visitors began to close the game out and after a number of penalties and yardage made up the touchline Wesley camped on the home team’s 10 metre line, and scrum after scrum were unlucky not to get the reward for such a dominant position. However, with a flash of hands and good strength Dave Young crossed over for a great team try and moved the score out to 18-10. A magnificent touchline conversion by Cam Watson saw the game close out 20-10 to Old Wesley and seal a fine win over their close rivals.
We have now 3 weeks till our next game and a further 2 points are needed from the last 3 games to secure the Prem 2 League title, but we will focus next on the trip by Galwegians to Donnybrook on the 24th March