5ths achieve successive double with O’Connor Cup win over UCD
(Sat 28th April 2018) O’Connor Cup Final – Old Wesley 34 UCD 23
Since its foundation in 1891 Old Wesley has previously won 61 cup and league trophies. 5 teams have achieved league and cup doubles. A new record was achieved yesterday when the 5ths won successive doubles after duplicating the double they won last season. We’re not quite sure if there is an official name for this, maybe a double double; however this is a brilliant achievement and congratulations to all players and management involved.
Played in perfect spring conditions Old Wesley had the perfect start, when after 2 minutes and in the first play of the game, Stephen Keane got possession out wide and used his pace to run half the pitch to score a try in the corner. Conor Summerville nailed the difficult conversion. UCD responded and had the advantage for the next 10 minutes eventually resulting in a try after outstretching the Wesley defence. The conversion was missed. Wesley’s response was positive resulting in a 15 minute purple patch where they scored 3 tries. First, Simon Campion bundled over after some good carries by his fellow forwards. Next Keane, who was starting to make his presence felt everywhere on the pitch, broke through a couple of tacklers. He passed to Peter Quigley who crossed the line untouched to score under the posts. Quigley was on hand again soon after taking a pass by Dave Keelty to once again score out wide. Just when it was starting to look like a one sided affair, the Students responded with a try by their winger followed by a penalty goal from under the posts to leave the score at 22-13 at half time.
College started the second half the livelier and had the Wesley defence working overtime. A penalty goal narrowed the gap to 6 points. Now playing with the greater confidence they were rewarded with a try after 16 minutes, which was converted, and for the first time in the match they took the lead by one point. There was a major turning point in the game when a UCD penalty on half way was reversed by the referee for retaliation. Then somewhat against the run of play a break down the left wing saw Cameron Wood diving over in the corner to regain the lead for Old Wesley. Had UCD lost their chance? Yes, a break in midfield by Zak Bursey brought play into the UCD half. He passed to Keelty who sprinted in untouched for a try under the posts. Stephen Keane converted. Now with an 11 point lead there was no way back for College and with no further scores Old Wesley took the honours 34-23.
There were some familiar names in this side, sons of well known Old Wesley families. Stephen Keane, son of Declan; Michael Kearney, son of Noel; Simon Campion, son of Angus and grandson of Ernie Bodell; Andrew Boyle, son of Herbie; Zak Bursey, son of Dave; and of course Graham Richmond, a senior citizen on the pitch in his own right and son of Tom.
Team: Gavin Morrison, Robert Fitzgerald, Peter Quigley, Stephen Keane, James Smith, David Keelty, Cameron Wood, Sam Pollock, Iain Pollock, Michael Kearney, Chris Donaldson, Conor Summerville, Zak Bursey, Christian McKeever, Simon Campion. Substitutes, Andrew Boyle, Crawford Kidd, Brian Leveau, Graham Richmond, Adam Vines.
Old Wesley scorers – Simon Campion, try; Peter Quigley, 2 tries; David Keelty, try; Stephen Keane, try, con; Cameron Wood, try; Conor Summerville, con.