It was the Late Late show for the 4ths on Friday night
Metro League Division 5 Old Wesley 15 Greystones 13
The mood in the dressing room was one of excitement and nervousness as the 4ths gathered together for their opening game of the season last Friday 23rd Sept..
The wind was strong enough to blow off any lingering cobwebs of a boozy summer as the Wesley men faced into the gale for the opening forty minutes. As expected after another promotion there was a noticeable improvement in the standard. The dizzying highs of Metro League 5 were clear. The first half saw Greystones’ forwards carry the ball frequently and with vigour however they were met by the bravest of Wesley men who organised themselves well in defence. As ever Joe Wheatley showcased his unique combination of fearlessness and reluctance as many unfortunate members of the opposition fell victim to his right shoulder.
Unfortunately Wesley’s fringe defence let them down and Greystones passed over the whitewash for soft tries on two separate occasions. No doubt Weapon will combat this out on the paddock on Wednesday with a brutal ruck defence drill. There were flurries of superb play by the Donnybrook side in the first half, just outside Wesley’s 22 pacey second rower Max Lane was put into space courtesy of a well weighted pass from Stephen Young. Showcasing handling ability paralleled only by an international centre, the number 4 sent a long but accurate pass to a charging Handcock on the wing who ran over half the pitch before being dragged down. Wesley were unable to capitalise when in Greystones territory and the half ended 13-0 to the home side. Things were going to need to turn around quickly.
From the whistle, the second half showed much more promise. Chris Coghlan and Handcock meshed well in the backs and it wasn’t long before a well worked move saw David Flower finish in spectacular fashion in the corner. The next try came after a moment of ball watching and confusion by both sides. It was Will Wood who took advantage of the situation as no whistle had been blown. Wood trotted under the posts to secure Wesley’s second try of the night. Trailing by just one point after the conversion and with the wind at their backs Wesley could feel a win was on the cards if they pushed on. Moving into the final quarter it became apparent that Greystones’ conditioning was suffering. Ground down by the tireless work of Wesley’s defence , the Wicklow side were struggling to put together anything of considerable threat. Wesley soon regained possession and after a number of phases encroached into Greystones’ 22 where they conceded a soft penalty. Handcock had no problem splitting the uprights to put Wesley in the lead in the closing minutes.
Elated after a well-earned win the boys headed upstairs for drinks. All except for Phil Power who decided it would be more appropriate to leave with his girlfriend. Just the sort of treachery needed to earn himself match report duties for this Friday’s clash with Naas.