Lansdowne just hold on after a late Wesley fight back

Metro League Div 1 – Lansdowne 2nd XV 19 v Old Wesley 2nd XV 14

The second XV started the season with an enthralling away fixture against Lansdowne.

From the kick-off the tone was set and both teams ensured that nothing would go uncontested. Lansdowne moved the ball wide very fast and displayed good attacking shape early on but Old Wesley defended well and consistently repelled the Lansdowne attack. Strong tackles by Stephen Boyle (7) and Kieran Murphy (8) ensured Lansdowne had to work for every inch they gained. With the majority of the match played between the 22’s neither side budged and it was 0-0 going into the second half.

The line out functioned very well and Old Wesley’s maul proved to great effect as the pack set a stable platform for Aaron Atkinson (9) to launch the attack from. Promising carries and work by Davy Henshaw (1) and the pack kept the battle rolling and our attack was aided by slick passing from Tim Clifford (10) and strong incisions when we went wide through James O’Donovan (12). However despite the continuous and excellent work-rate of Tom O’Callaghan (15), who tracked back to cover the try line on two fine occasions the defensive line was breached due to a missed tackle and Lansdowne got on the score sheet. Within 5 minutes, another missed tackle, and Lansdowne had crossed the line again, converting this time and it would have been easy for heads to drop. Rory O’Connor (13) sustained a head-blow in a strong carry and was removed from the field following concussion protocol.

Old Wesley then sprang into life building on each carry and were rewarded with Davy Henshaw crossing the line to the right of the posts, Tim Clifford adding the conversion to keep us in the fight. The contest continued with great intensity and a miss-kick was well fielded and ran back by Lansdowne who scored in the corner and converted. Again Wesley responded and after a man-of-the-match performance, JJ O’Dea (6) got his just reward and scored a fine try. Tim Clifford again added the conversion taking the game to 19-14. Old Wesley were again pushing hard for the win going into the last 5 minutes when a harsh call saw a penalty awarded to Lansdowne, who subsequently ran the clock down through keeping it tight and kicked the ball, relieved , into touch!

A fine effort from this team who will not meet many other teams in this league as strong as this Lansdowne side. The future bodes well for the seconds!

FT: Lost 14-19 (0-0)

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