AIL – Old Wesley 50 Dungannon 8
Old Wesley christened the fabulous new all weather pitch at Donnybrook in style with a comfortable 50 – 8 win over Dungannon. Wesley were in control from start to finish as they crossed for seven tries. The win puts Old Wesley in pole position in Division 2A.
Most of the early play took place in the Dungannon half with Old Wesley displaying early signs of some attractive rugby. Barry McLaughlin opened the scoring with a relatively easy penalty kick after seven minutes. Continuing the momentum Kieran Hurrell sliced through the opposition defence bringing play into the 22 before passing to Stephen Boyle who crossed for the first try of the match. From the kick off a clash of heads saw Wesley’s influential second row Richie Morrow having to leave the pitch, however it was “only” blood and later in the game he returned to the field of play.
Mid way through the half a yellow card against Ian Cassidy for offside allowed the visitors to open their account with a penalty goal. However despite being down to 14 players Wesley centre Johann Greyling found a gap in the midfield to touch down under the posts. McLaughlin added the points to give the hosts a 15-3 lead. Wesley’s skilful backline was now starting to show its superiority and a fine break by Rory Stynes once again brought play deep into the Dungannon 22. Ivan Campbell continued the attack and the visitors were forced to infringe in the ruck conceding their first yellow card. Wesley opted to kick for touch however Dungannon succeeded in lifting the siege and the scoreline remained unchanged until half time.
Any hopes that Dungannon had of a second half recovery were soon dispelled. From a line out on the defence 22 Morrow made good ground and looked as though he might score. The defence just about controlled him but form recycled play the ball was fed to McLaughlin on the wing who was never going to be caught scoring in the corner and to the delight of the onlooking Wesley supporters. He converted his own try with a beautifully struck conversion. Soon after the kick off McLaughlin was nearly in again as he sprinted from inside his own half. It took an off the ball tackle to prevent the try. Wesley correctly elected to kick to touch and from perfect line out play Boyle could not be stopped from scoring his second, and Old Wesley’s bonus point try. McLaughlin again converted to take a 29-3 lead.
To their credit Dungannon tried to stay in the game and mid way through the second half they crossed for a try after finding Wesley short in numbers in defence. However their recovery was short lived. A Greyling break from inside the Wesley 22 brought play to the half way line and it looked like another try was on the cards. However he elected to kick ahead and the Dungannon defence was able to thwart the attack. This was followed by another close thing as influential number 8 Mark Rowley broke from the back of a scrum and ran 30 meters only to be denied a try by some desperate Dungannon defence. But from the ensuing scrum a handling error allowed Wesley substitute Darren Horan gather a loose ball to cross for a simple try. McLaughlin slotted the relatively easy conversion.
It was now all one way traffic as Dungannon had no answer to Wesley’s tails in the air style of play. Greyling cantered in for his second try which again McLaughlin converted. Then with less than five minutes to go a deft dummy pass by Stynes totally confused the defence as he crossed for try number seven for Old Wesley and you can see the try below. McLaughlin again converted to bring up the half century.
This was a near perfect performance by Old Wesley which puts them sitting pretty on top of Division 2a
Team: Rory Stynes, Barry McLaughlin, Johann Greyling, Kieran Hurrell, Steven Harvey, Alan Large (capt), Ian Cassidy, Ken Knaggs, David Rowley, James Burton, Richie Morrow, Iain McGann, Ivan Campbell, Stephen Boyle, Mark Rowley. Subs: Andrew McCrann, Oltian Dervishi, Darren Horan, Richie Jermyn, Adam Kennedy.
Old Wesley scorers: Barry McLaughlin, try, 6 cons, pen; Stephen Boyle, 2 tries; Johann Greyling, 2 tries; Darren Horan, try; Rory Stynes, try.