All Ireland League – Old Wesley 23 UL Bohemians 24
Old Wesley finished their AIL campaign coming up just 2 points short of a victory that would have put us into a promotion play off. To be fair the better team won, certainly based on their first half performance when UL Bohs looked more controlled, won some key turnovers and enjoyed a lower error count.
Bohs spent most of the early stage of the game in the Old Wesley half and out half rick McKenna opened the scoring with a penalty goal after five minutes. Barry McLoughlan evened matters with a penalty after 20 minutes. Then five minutes later Rory White crossed for the first try of the match, which was converted by McKenna to make it 10-3 to the visitors. This boosted their confidence and Wesley looked to be on the back foot for much of the rest of the first half. McLoughlin was wide with another penalty attempt before McKenna struck again just before half time to make it 13-3 to the Limerick side at the break.
Wesley started the second half with a little more gusto and found themselves with a line out 10 meters from the opposition line. However the line out was lost and the scoring opportunity was gone. The kickers exchanged penalty goals before Bohs prop Philip Poillet crossed for a second try for the Munster men after Old Wesley were guilty of conceding a turnover. It all seemed to be going pear shaped for Old Wesley however Ian Cassidy eventually got over for a try under the posts to give Wesley a glimmer of hope. Just one minute later a knock on by Bohs was picked up Old Wesley winger Paul Harte who sprinted from the half way to cross for a second try. Suddenly the glimmer was now a real chance with just one point separating the sides. The kickers again exchanged penalty goals and with five minutes to go the score was 24-23 to UL Bohemians. With Wesley anxious to get play into the opposition half and with the wind in their favour a massive kick by Adam Kennedy from inside his own 22 went a meter too far. The ball went dead and play was brought back. With the clock now in red Wesley’s last hope was a penalty from a scrum on the opposition 10 meter line. The penalty came ok but the referee decided to award it to Bohs. The ball was kicked to touch and Wesley’s chance was blown away by the full time whistle.
The loss was even more bitter as a win of any sort would have meant qualifying for the promotion play off as the team directly above lost their match. Nevertheless this was a campaign that Old Wesley can be proud of, finishing 5th in our first season in division 1B
Old Wesley scorers: Iain Cassidy, Try; Paul Harte Try; Barry McLoughlin 2 Cons, 3 Pens.
Old Wesley team: Rory Stynes, Paul Harte, Billy Ngawini, Ger Finucane, Barry McLoughlin, Alan Large, Ian Cassidy [Capt], Davy Henshaw, David Rowley, James Burton, Michael Dunleavy, Iain McGann, Darren Horan, Stephen Boyle, Mark Rowley,
Subs: Martin Gately, Craig Telford, Rory Kerins, Adam Kennedy, Garry O’Brien
Paul Harte Try: –