4ths Storm into Winters Cup Final – Old Wesley 34 Old Belvedere 12
The 4ths stormed into the Winters Cup Final with a comprehensive 34-12 win over Old Belvedere in the semi-final. Old Wesley will meet the winners of Blackrock and Terenure, who play next week, in the Final, which is scheduled for 23rd April. Full report below.
Old Wesley “Taylor” a win over a fancied Old Belvedere side
An earlier kick off than usual put to bed any plans for a Saturday morning lie in as Old Wesley ventured towards Anglesea Road for the Winters Cup semi-final, played in conditions that were more akin to a July summers day. A wry smile was etched across Coach Clatch’s face, as he knew the dry handling conditions would suit our well-oiled backline and allow the forwards to actually catch the ball.
Wesley began brightly with the front five really taking it to the opposition. Dominance at set piece was apparent immediately, however two handling errors handed the impetus back to Belvo to venture into our half. Through a series of powerful surges they managed to move the ball into the wider channels, this allowed there outside centre to spot a mismatch and canter over for the game’s opening score much to the shock of the Old Wesley faithful ably led by a Dapper looking Max Lane cavorting the sideline like a catwalk. Old Wesley 0 – 7 Old Belvedere
Wesley reacted in the best way possible, Dave Heelan ventured forward and after a series of uncharacteristically adventurous offloads from the forwards, Phil Power took a direct line from a well-timed Stevie Young pass that enabled him to collide with the post. Amazingly the ball was knocked backwards, Power recollected his own fumble and dotted down beneath the posts. Handcock added the extras, levelling the scores. Wesley began to play with a tempo that was more like there red hot league form, Young dictated play around the park and the front row of Moore and Boyler were unusually energetic in clearing the breakdown to allow livewire William Wood to set the backs away. Two exquisite miss passes from Young and Toaler deep in the opposition 22 left Handcock with the easiest of trots to the line. Conversion missed, unfortunately a trend that was to continue. Old Wesley 12 – 7 Old Belvedere
A loose kick from the dangerous Belvo three quarter line then afforded Chris Coghlan the chance to counter with his trademark step and speed, which he has clearly mimicked from former school mate Matt Healy. Wheatley made good ground from the ruck, which allowed Wood once again to release lumbering Number 8 Shane Deignan who sprinted to the corner. This sent the Alicadoos cavorting the sideline into rapturous applause. Wesley weren’t done yet, it was now the packs turn to make their mark. Deignan only returning from feigning injury throughout the season carried strongly from the Kick off. Toaler set off with the bearded warrior David Flower down the touchline to make almost 60 metres, good interplay between backs and forwards switched the point of attack to the right hand corner. Then Tireless workhorse Dave Taylor picked from the base of the ruck to carry the ball and the remainder of the Belvedere pack over the line with him to grab some meat. Old Wesley 22 – 7 Old Belvedere – Half Time
Once again Old Belvedere buoyed by the rollicking of a team talk rushed out of the blocks to capitalise on lax defending and scored immediately through their back three. The game again settled and a wonderful dart from Guy Cresswell, who ducked through 3 players’ legs on his run allowed Wesley to again set up camp in the Belvedere half. Handcock attempted a shot at goal once again, as did Toaler and neither bore fruit. But what was to come was a destructive maul as a direct result of Cresswell’s diminutive poaching talent. Diggs soared highest in the lineout and as soon as Sam Moore wrapped his paws around the ball, nobody else was getting it. The pack rumbled over to re-establish a 15 point gap.
Belvo kicked off deep; a powerful burst from talisman Heelo and we found ourselves back on the attack. Lightning hands found Handcock and in an attempt to atone for his goal kicking he spotted the mismatch. He rounded there prop, while stepping inside the fullback and beat the cover to finish under the posts. He converted, SHOCK. The management team unloaded the bench to finish out the game with an imperious defensive display with Galway Tyro Al O’Connor, Whatasapp Doyler and Baby-faced Noonan notably putting their bodies on the line , thus leaving us in good stead for an unprecedented league and cup double.
Final Score Old Wesley 34 – 12 Old Belveder
Man of the match was a combined effort and the brains trust of Ivan, Clatch, Poffy and Wally deliberated to find Diggs and Dave Taylor fitting of the award. A special mention must to go to Peter Wallace who welcomed a future member of Old Wesley into the world. Congratulations from all the team.