3rds show Wanderers the way
Metro League Division 2 – Old Wesley 38 Wanderers 7
Wesley continued to go about their business in Metro 2 as they rang in the New Year with a tricky away test against a physically imposing Wanderers side. Wesley went into this game missing some key players due to injury. However Wesley’s strength in depth allowed them to cover for every position; the arrivals back from injury of Tommy Emo and Paddy Davies to the bench were a welcome addition to the side. Perfect weather conditions only played into the hands of the Wesley men as they produced an attacking masterclass with their exciting backline and powerful pack grabbing six tries in total on Lansdowne Road.
Assistant Manager Mounty’s decision to stay up till 4am the night before watching Any Given Sunday was a wise one as he quoted out words of encouragement to the pack. As the game kicked off, Wesley wasted no time in flexing their muscle as ‘Big Red’ Telford, Ivan Campbell and Jack Byrne made strong gain line with their opening carries. A career guarding the American border could await Dan Hall and Conor Boyd the way they were manhandling men of all ages and sizes in the Wanderers pack.
It was Wes Devrell though who broke the deadlock early in the first half as he burrowed his way through a group of forwards to put the Wesley men up by 5, Tim Hawe brought a stunned silence to the loyal Wesley following as he slotted the ball between the posts to add the extra 2, 7-0 Wesley
As Wesley began to pick up a head of steam and with the wind at their back they marched down the field. Serial try scorer and self proclaimed ladies man, Sam Moore, stumbled over from one meter out to put Wesley into double figures. Tim Hawe once again providing a miracle moment as he kept up his 100% record from the tee. 14-0
Wesley continued to heap misery onto the deflated Wanderers outfit. Some good rucking in the red zone followed by big carries from the Wesley pack was finally rewarded; quick thinking from stand in 10, Boydy, to spread the ball wide to Tim Hawe, who then cut back inside to gift Braithers a well worked try. 19-0
As Wanderers sent their big runners at the Wesley defence, Excellent counter rucking from Conor Boyd and questionable tackling technique from Priesty saw Wesley wrestle back the initiative and take it to half time.
It was Wanderers turn to get going in the second half, but even from an early stage it seemed to be Wesley’s day. They capitalised on this with strong running by Lukey and the newly introduced Paddy in the centre. Boydy marshalled fast, accurate passing by the back line, which tested Wanderers out in the wide areas as they struggled to deal with the pace of the game. Wanderers made their mark on the game however when their human wrecking ball of an 8 swatted away would be tacklers to be awarded a dubious penalty try decision. 19-7. Their joy was short lived; as they continued to come forward an error in passing gifted Paddy a chance to test out his hammys. He sprinted up the touch line to leave all chasers in his dust and dot down under the post. 26-7
With the tries coming, also came a growing confidence and some excellent running rugby from Wesley. Movement of the ball was fast, rucks were won against the head, scrums were pushed back consistently against a heavier pack, along with well controlled driving mauls.
Eric Parfrey continued to be a nuisance as he evaded tackles, similar to how he evades the bouncers in District 8 most Saturday nights. As the weary Wanderers pack continued to carry forward, they met a red a brick wall and errors were forced. A loose ball was met with quick hands and next to show his wheels was Tim Hawe. A year in Chicago has developed his killer instincts as a 60m sprint was rewarded with an easy 2 point attempt which he happily added. 33-7
With 10 minutes left on the clock David Priestman was surely next to add to his impressive scoring record as he was handed a try on a plate by ‘angry gnome’ Emo, only to drop the ball going under the posts bringing shame to himself and his club; a crime that will be duly punished in the Blue Light.
Wanderers must have thought the day was over, but Paddy had other plans as from close to a standing start on the 10 he showed a great bit of footwork and power to beat the line of defence and proceeded to finish under the posts, to put the final nail in the coffin and bring the final score to 38-7.