Metro League Division 6 Final – Old Wesley 21 Terenure 20
Trailing 20 nil after thirty minutes Old Wesley 5ths looked to be down and out against Terenure. But the Wesley spirit saw one of the seasons most dramatic endings.
On the 5th of March history was repeated for the Wesley stalwarts with a victory in the metro 6 league. A league won by some in 2019 and by a special few in 2002. Having finished top of the league the Wesley men came into the final playoff with a mixed bag of confidence and trepidation. Terenure booked themselves as our opponents and with both teams claiming wins away from home this game was to be too close to call. The Wesley men eyes on the target focused by strong words of encouragement from Brian Moore and 5ths wonder boy Mattew “WOO” Cherry. The firsts were kind enough to warm up the pitch and line-out the balcony and side-lines with eager support.
The warm-up was short and sharp with Colin Wallace cutting lines in tip egging his team on. Graham “Gresh” Richmond combating the issue of losing his starting hooker and 5ths veteran Ian Pollock to injury. David Burse offering his four decades of Wesley rugby knowledge and experience.
5pm Terenure kick off and send the ball deep into the Wesley half. An early carry turned over Terenure’s quick play led to a soft early try. Wesley restart goes out on the full and once again Terenure come knocking. Like men against boys Terenure shocked the Wesley men with their strong carries and quick ball. More tries and even a penalty meant that 25 minutes into the game Welsey trail 20 points to 0. Another strong attack from Terenure lead to a break with what seemed a clear try scoring opportunity, but one Wesley man had had enough of being under his own posts. With a hammer blow of a tackle James Eagan provided the momentum swing and sparked the belief into his teammates. Terenure’s white-line fever was to be they’re out doing, their 7 believing he was destined to continuously break the line was met by the wall that is Alasdair “never played hooker before” Rennie. The seven, having felt the full force of a man hungry for silverware was forced off the pitch.
A series of penalties brought Wesley into the opposition’s half, one of which came from Terenure recreating a Dirty Dancing scene with Andrew “more ham then man” O’Sullivan. Momentum building with strong carries from veterans Neal Richmond and Jonathon Willis lead to Terenure’s fringe defence crumbling Jack Dolan going over only to be held up by a questionable jujitsu style tackle. Wesley having crossed the line but denied the points became rampant. Caolan Smith feral in defence showing the white of eyes hit rucks like a man possessed. Forwards rampaging the newbie Sharpie spotted no pillar and dotted the ball under the posts just before half-time. 20-7. Belief building.
The coaching staff at half time light fires within the Wesley men, who knew too well their lack lustre performance was not the reflection of the season just gone. The entered the second half facing their cherished clubhouse. Connor Copeland setting his stall out early ripping the ball away in the tackle and turning our defensive efforts into a much-needed attack. Our Brexit import of a 9 tapping away more than an ADHD kid with an iPad lead to the dismissal of a Terenure player for repeated offside.
Terenure quick with niggles and jabs, reminders of the score were met with Wesley’s determination. Now Andrew Godsil and Mark Barret running lines as hard as their Blarney stone put us on the go forward. Scrum down right-hand side deep in opposition 22. Terenure over folding in defence led to Andrew Scanlon spotting his chance to switch play back. Godsil threading the needle to find Cameron Wood on the inside, he tore through a hole and scored under the posts. 20-14.
Terenure vigour renewed could see their game like sand griped too firm slip between their fingers. They threw everything and created a two on one overlap. Jack “I love being buffaloed” Corrigan hurdled himself at his opposition and if not for his divine intervention Terenure surely would have scored. We cleared our lines and build territory up the pitch. Burse muscled his way through tackles followed by Gareth Geoghan who was stopped tantalisingly close. James Sharpe whipped it out to Alasdair who bust over the line. 20-19 with a difficult kick to come. The Wesley men regrouped on the halfway, cries of five minutes of work left to do, crossed both fingers and toes as Scanno stud up to take his kick. Some saw the glisten in his eye when he placed the tee down. He looked over his shoulder to his teammates knowing all they had given to get us there, nodded, turned, and with gasps of delight slotted the kick for his team. Wesley 21 Terenure 20, where we rightfully should be.
Terenure rolled the dice once again, made breaks and worked their way into the Wesley half. Rob Fitzgerald barked orders in defence help arrange the line. Penalty to Terenure just out of range lead to a quick tap, Paul “BK” Bosco’s athleticism and power in defence scrambled to save the day. Terenure knock it on. Wesley despite exhaustion hold firm and kick it out. Full time Wesley 21 Terenure 20. Another great win for the club and a great night of drinking and singing was had.