Wesley beat UCC to make it 3 from 3 in 2024


AIL – UCC 10 Old Wesley 35

Old Wesley made the journey to Cork this weekend for the final game of this block of 3 fixtures, against UCC in the Mardyke. Wesley were hoping to build on the past two outings against Belvedere and Highfield which saw them earn 9 points out of a possible 10 as they looked to climb the 1B table.

UCC started the brighter with an early penalty for hands in the ruck, opting for posts immediately, Wesley were let off the hook as out half Cian Whooley hit the post and the away side could clear. Sam Burns and UCC’s back three got into a game of kicking tennis until eventually Old Wesley were again penalised for offside. A scrum penalty then once again gave UCC the opportunity to go for posts, Whooley this time making no error to put the home side ahead – 3-0.

The game struggled to find flow for the next 15 minutes, with missed throws at the lineout from both sides as well as problems with discipline.  Fergus Jemphrey made a 30 meter carry down the wing to get Wesley in behind UCC, Eoin Monahan put it through the hands, the ball eventually ending with Cronan Gleeson who drew 2 men and offloaded to Eoin Deegan, who went in for the first try of the game. Eoin Monahan added the extras and Wesley were ahead – 3-7.  Wesley nearly made an immediate second march down the pitch when Alex Molloy made a break down the left side, but his pass to Cathal Kelly was deemed forward and UCC exited from the scrum.

Wesley’s momentum coming into the end of the half was there for all to see as Billy Corrigan, Will Fay and Harry Noonan all made big carries to turn the screw. A quick tap penalty from Ben Stephens 10 metres out led to an offload to Cronan Gleeson who crashed over for Wesley’s 2nd. Monahan again adding the extras to put Wesley 11 up into the break. 3-14.

Wesley kicked off the 2nd half.  UCC’s discipline saw the away side get even more of a stronghold in the game and Wesley were able to convert when Ben Stephens received an offload from Sam Burns to put Wesley 3 tries up; again Monahan adding the conversion. 3-21.  The home side responded immediately with strong carries and were able to get even more momentum when Wesley 2nd row David Motyer was yellowed for an off the ball tackle. With Wesley now short in the pack, UCC looked to physically dominate, and Sean Edogbo powered his way over from close range. Whooley converting to make the score 10-21.

Ian Cassidy and Stephen Smyth were now introduced to the match by Old Wesley as well as Shane Cawley to bring some size to the pack. UCC looked to build off their score, but Wesley had the answers through turnovers from Will Fay and strong tackling by captain Reuben Pim. Wesley were able to pin back UCC and force a 5-metre scrum, but a turnover by UCC held the away side out. Wesley now back to 15, with Motyer returning to the field hoped to keep the pressure on the College side. Poor discipline again though allowed the College side back into Wesley’s half until pressure was relieved by Stephen Smyth with a jackal.

A box kick from Keith Kavanagh was misjudged by the UCC backfield, and Alex Molloy was able to gather for once again another try for Old Wesley and secure the bonus point. Cassidy converted – 10-28. From the restart Wesley again forced a knock-on with their clearance kick giving them a scrum on halfway. A clever inside ball from Ian Cassidy put Nathan Randles through a gap and put through the hands to Eoin Murphy to dot down in the corner, again Cassidy converted to make the final score 10-35.

A great away win from the Donnybrook side who make it 3 wins from 3 in 2024 as they look to climb the table.  They host Buccaneers on the 10th of February next in what’s set to be another crucial game in their charge for a Division 1B play-off spot.

Some other facts.  For the second week in a row Old Wesley recorded a bonus point win in the All Ireland League.  For the second week in a row they also denied the opposition any league points.  This was Old Wesley’s 5th win from the last 6 matches.  Old Wesley has recorded home and away wins against both Cork based sides in the competition.  The combination of these factors means Old Wesley lie 6th in a very tight league and very much in the hunt for a play off position.

Scorers: Tries: Eoin Deegan, Cronan Gleeson, Ben Stephens, Alex Molloy, Eoin Murphy; Cons: Eoin Monahan 3, Ian Cassidy 2

Team: Sam Burns; Nathan Randles, Alex Molloy, Eoin Deegan, Fergus Jemphrey; Eoin Monahan, Ben Stephens; Harry Noonan, Howard Noonan, Cronan Gleeson, Billy Corrigan, David Motyer, Cathal Kelly, Reuben Pim (capt), Will Fay. Replacements: Stephen Smyth, Rory Duggan, Shane Cawley, Ian Cassidy, Keith Kavanagh, Eoin Murphy.





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