Metro League – Old Wesley 42 Wanderers 3
Country Men lead Wesley Rout of Wanderers – by Alan O’Connor
A casual glance out of the window on Saturday morning might have indicated that this game would be a tight error strewn affair, and if it was left up to the Dublin contingent this may have been the case. The rural influence running through this team inspired Wesley to a 42-3 victory with 5 of their 7 tries coming from men born outside the Pale where the weather and life in general are a lot lot tougher.
Thankfully the heavy rain and wind died down before kick-off however the wet surface at Merrion Road was a far cry from the 4G pitches of Donnybrook and led to several unforced errors in the first half. Wesley had all of the ball and territory but could only convert this to one try in the first quarter with nice hands from Graham Claxton sending the lightening Andy Hancock over in the left corner. Wanderers offered little besides aimless kicking and Wesley continued to apply the pressure throughout the half. Rough around the edges winger Alan O’Connor inexplicably failing to score in the corner after good carries by David “Tom Selleck” Flower and Captain Peter Wallace saw the ball held up just before the line. The thrash talk that followed the missed opportunity was almost as bad. A series of scrums on the Wanderers line saw the ball pop out and a calamitous chain of missed clearances saw scrumhalf David Priestman fall on the ball like a homeless man on a Christmas ham and Wesley led 10-0. The two sides traded penalty kicks to leave the score at 13-3 and despite strong carries from Max Lane, the ever reluctant Joe Wheatley, as well as the petulant Sam Moore, these were the last scores before the half. A lot of work still to do for the league leaders.
A typically rousing half time team talk from Wallace and headcoach/aspiring actor Paul McClatchie followed. The second half saw the arrival of Chris Coughlan and the Fashionable Michael Glynn. The tempo of the game immediately stepped up and Coughlin was awarded a try for his counter attacking soon after the restart. Wanderers began to tire at this stage and opportunities abounded for the Wesley attackers. Thurles Tyro David Taylor completed the longest run of his life that didn’t involve the Gardai when he took the ball 30 meters and over the try line. This was followed soon after by a try from debutante Mark Fitzgibbon, who was aided by poor tackling, doing his best to avoid getting dirty with a flamboyant finish. All action baby faced Tommy Noonan capped off a fine display with the penultimate try taking a superb support line and dotting down in the left corner, despite the feminine cries for a pass from Guy Cresswell. There has been no update on Cresswell’s hurt feelings having not gotten the pass but it is hoped he won’t miss too much time.
The result of the game was no longer in doubt but there was still time for a further score when another Debutante Declan Coughlin scored. Following a surprisingly efficient carry by O’Connor, the Clare man was able to beat the last defender to round out the scoring. The undefeated Wesley side now prepare for a Friday night encounter away to St. Mary’s where the fashion on show before and after the game will likely be as good as the display on the field. Philip R Power (4th Place finisher in Mr. Enniskerry 2010) will ably report on both.