Senior Seconds League Shield Final – NUIM Barnhall 15 Old Wesley 25
The seconds, who have been Old Wesley’s most consistent team this season, brought home the first piece of silverware of the year last Sunday after beating NUIM Barnhall in the final of the Senior Seconds League Shield. Played in cold and showery conditions Old Wesley led from start to finish however they didn’t have it all their own way particularly in the first half.
Wesley were first on the scoreboard after 8 minutes with a try by scrum half Cal Lynn after the pack rucked and mauled their way into the opposition 22. Bill Duggan missed the conversion but made amends shortly after with a penalty kick to take an 8 nil lead. As the first half continued the Kildare men’s pack started to flex its muscles, and on the half hour they scored a push over try, however they missed the conversion. Soon after, Duggan pushed out the lead again for Old Wesley with a penalty kick. But the home team finished the first half the stronger when, once again, their pack drove over following some good quality line out ball to leave just one point between the sides at half time.
The visitors started the second half the more lively as their efficient back line started to show its pace and skill. After just 5 minutes some good handling brought play into the Barnhall 22, then centre Paddy Owens displayed great footwork to cross for Wesley’s second try. This time Duggan converted. With a rampant backline and a supportive pack Old Wesley came close on a number more occasions only to be denied the points by late handling errors. Any Barnhall hopes of a comeback were put to bed shortly after when Wesley Deverell took an intercept on the half way before sprinting to the line and scoring without a hand being laid on him.
With 10 minutes to go Barnhall did score another try, but it was too late and for the closing stages the Wesley defence stood firm and never looked to be under any threat.
NUIM Barnhall may regret not having a more reliable place kicker however Old Wesley on the day showed greater all round ability and were deserved winners.
After the match the trophy was presented to Old Wesley Captain Simon Goldsmith by Paul Deering from Leinster Branch before the players adjourned for a well earned shower.
Old Wesley Team: Jimmy McNicholl, Wesley Deverell, Paddy Owens, Eoin Fitzpatrick, Mulcair O’Mara, Bill Duggan, Cal Lynn, Greg Leader, Andrew McCrann, Simon Goldsmith (capt), Jonny Carroll, Gareth Dunne, Mark Rouse, Thomas Ratahi, Colin Wallace. Subs:Kenny Knaggs, Ian Sheridan, Oltian Dervishi, Alex Browne, Ken McLaughlin, Ray Wilson.