Junior Rugby Update – weekend 24th – 26th March 2016
The 3rds kicked off the weekend in the semi-final of the O’Connell Cup but had no answer to a powerful and well drilled Lansdowne side. Old Wesley went down 11-31 with Mark Fitzgibbon scoring our only try on the night. But this team will have a chance to earn some silverware when they play Malahide this Friday (1st April) in the Metro League 4 Final and Promotion decider. Please come along and support your club. Kick off is at 8pm at Donnybrook.
The 4ths had a romp in the park scoring tries at will against a disappointing Wanderers side, winning 69-12 in Metro League 6. The result was a dead rubber for both sides and Old Wesley will go on to play in the League Final and Promotion Play-off against Naas; date to be confirmed. See report below.
The 5ths completed their campaign with an entertaining 34-22 win over BGF Ravens. But due to an outstanding match Old Wesley will have to wait until next weekend to find out if they finish 3rd or 4th in the league.
Metro League 6 – Old Wesley 69 Wanderers 12, by Willie Wood
There was a confident calmness about the iron dungeon turned team changing room as the electrical tape and other non essential medical trinkets were passed between the players. Comments of ‘strong team’ and ‘hope the weather holds’ could be heard bouncing around the room, as the brave men concluded their pre match rituals. In dribs and drabs the Donnybrook boys trickled out of the gym, towards the fabled ‘back pitch’; not so much a fortress but more the sister peasant village outside of the mighty walls.
The warm up, was quick, concise and not a single ball was dropped in the team drills. One could feel the nervous eyes of the opposition glancing over at our preparational excellence. ‘5 minutes!’ Cried the Nigel Owens-esque referee. Lead out by captain and pseudo scrum half ‘Guy Cresswell ‘ the OW men lined up to take the kick off.
Michael ‘resident seller of dummies’ Glynn launched the ball, for the first, and last time of that half. It was a concrete take by the Wanderers crowd, which was followed by strong phase play. The Old Wesley boys were shaken, but they hadn’t conceded. Upon first possession, the forwards showed good power and accuracy, clearing the ruck area with ease, and the backs displayed the penetrating power of Alan Doyle’s pungent Lynx Africa, slicing through the defensive line and putting Chris ‘scored four tries and wasn’t MOTM’ Coghlan in for 5 points. Andrew Handcock then bisected the uprights for the extras. 7-0
Chris followed up on this sterling start scoring two more tries in quick succession, and Andrew ‘this is starting to look like kicking practice’ Handcock put one away, the confidence in the squad was palpable. The next try came all thanks to the mighty pack, who whisked and bombed a large portion of the pitch before putting Shane Deignan in for the fourth, Handcock slotting the extra two with ease. 26-0. There were two more swift unconverted tries by Graham White and Dave Heelan before the half was concluded leaving the score at an impressive 36-0
The half time talk was concise and as the weather began to clear the message in our heads was to keep the pedal to the floor. The second half continued in much the same fashion as the first regardless of the wind disadvantage, with five more tries coming in from Tommy Noonan, Joe Wheatley, David Flower, Heelan (for his second) and finally Chris Coghlan (for his fourth). This left the old Wesley final tally at 69, however to the disgust of the team these points were not left unanswered. In two momentary lapses of concentration, the opposition scrum half had slipped undetected through our defensive lines, destroying the fabled ‘clean slate’ and ever so slightly tarnishing the win in the process.
Regardless, for this correspondent it was an enjoyable day, and he knows that he and his team mates look forward to greater challenges in the weeks to come.