All Ireland League – Bective Rangers 40 : Old Wesley 28
With very heavy rain falling on Friday night and rain again threatening before the game, the weather cleared and the pitch dried out by the time the two teams took to the field for this important AIL Division 2 derby game at Donnybrook. The game was important for both sides with Old Wesley striving to keep in-touch with the top four and Bective wanting to get off the bottom of the table after a poor start to their campaign.
From the whistle Bective showed that they meant business as their forwards tore into the Wesley pack and they were rewarded with two early penalty goals by centre Barry Lynn to give them a 6-0 advantage. Old Wesley then settled down and began winning a good supply of possession and after some strong running by both Alan Large and David Potterton the ball came to Kieran Hurrell who went over close to the posts. Ian Cassidy duly converted to put Old Wesley into a 7-6 lead. The lead however was short lived as Bective again piled on the pressure as their forwards won a large amount of possession through their dominant scrum and their efficient lineout. As a result of this pressure Old Wesley went off-side and Lynn again obliged with an easy penalty in front of the posts to put them 9-7 up midway through the half. Lynn then missed a kickable penalty before Ian Cullinane, the Bective centre, made an excellent break before linking up with winger Rory McInerney who went over for their first try of the game. They missed the conversion. As half-time approached Old Wesley hooker Gavin Telford received a knee injury and was replaced by Darren Horan who then received a yellow card shortly after coming on. Bective raised their game and went on the attack again which resulted in out-half, Cormack O’Beirne putting in an accurate cross field kick which found winger Ferdia Kenny who went in for a fine try. The conversion was again missed to leave the score 19-7 to Bective at half -time.
Bective took up where they left off after the break and scored two further tries without reply from John Byrne and Conor Harbison, both of which were converted by Lynn to bring the score to 33 points to 7. During this period Wesley received two further yellow cards for Ian Cassidy and Barry McLaughlin. Wesley then started to win some good lineout ball and went on the attack. After a number of phases and good handling, David Potterton made an excellent line break sprinting 30 yards to score between the posts. Cassidy duly converted to narrow the gap. However, almost immediately Bective responded with a fine try by their out-half Cormac O’Beirne which was again converted by Lynn to bring the score to 40-14.
For the second week in a row Wesley finished much the stronger side and scored two further fine tries by John Carroll, who earlier in the half had replaced the injured Ivan Perrie, and Stephen Harvey which gave Wesley a 4 try bonus point. Both tries were converted by Cassidy – one an excellent effort from the touchline after he seemed to slip while making contact with the ball.
The result means that Old Wesley drop one place to seventh on 23 points, with Bective getting off the bottom of the table by moving up three places to 13th.
We wish both Gavin and Ivan a speedy recovery from their injuries.
Old Wesley scores: Kieran Hurrell, David Potterton, John Carroll, Stephen Harvey, try each: Ian Cassidy, 4 cons.
Team: – Rory Stynes, Barry McLaughlin, David Potterton, Kieran Hurrell, Stephen Harvey, Alan Large, Ian Cassidy, James Burton, Gavin Telford, David Henshaw, Ivan Perrie, Ian McGann, Richie Morrow (Capt), Stephen Boyle, Ben Horan. Subs Kenny Knaggs, Darren Horan, John Carroll, Conor Boyd, Eoin Fitzpatrick.