For their fourth AIL outing Old Wesley travelled to Belfast for a meeting with old rivals Instonians at Shaw’s Bridge. Played in good weather conditions Old Wesley looked the better team from the start making a number of inroads into the opposition half, but despite their performance the visitors were unable to convert territory into points. However fifteen minutes into the game Old Wesley No 8 Richie Murphy showed great hands in blocking and holding on to an Instonians chip kick, then sprinting half the pitch to touch down for the first score. Barry McLaughlin converted the relatively easy conversion.Ten minutes later Murphy was again on hand when he found himself with the ball in the Instonians 22, and some poor defence allowed him to score his second try, again converted by McLaughlin.A series of penalty kicks then allowed the hosts to claw back to 14-9 but just on the half time mark good work saw Wesley encroach the Instonians 22. Flanker Neil Beirne again capitalised on some poor defence to cross under the posts to leave the score 21-9 at half time.The second half saw Old Wesley again showing some indiscipline as Instonians kicked two penalties to bring the score to within six points. With the game approaching the final 15 minutes a quick line out and some good hands saw the ball going to Ian Cassidy who put in a fine run to cross for the bonus point try. However Instonians weren’t going to give up and another penalty put them within eight points. As full time approached pressure from the Wesley pack brought play right up to the opposition line and prop Robert Dempsey had the honour of driving over for a fifth try. McLaughlin converted the difficult kick before the referee blew for full time.
One unusual statistic of the game is that all Old Wesley’s points were from tries and conversions and all the opposition’s were from penalty kicks.
Old Wesley will be very happy with this result which puts them in joint top of the table position with three other teams, just separated from DLSP on score difference. However they will need to work on their discipline and aim to reduce the penalty count.
Old Wesley scorers:- Tries: Richie Murphy (2), Neil Byrne, Ian Cassidy, Robert Dempsey, Cons: Barry McLaughlin (4).
Old Wesley:- Barry McLaughlin, Richard Jermyn, Steven Harvey, Nigel Kinlan, Eoin Stynes, Rory Stynes, Ian Cassidy, Ivan Campbell, Matt Crockett, Simon Goldsmith, Philip Hosie (capt), John Carroll, Neil Byrne, Conor Boyd, Richard Murphy. Replacements:- Robert Dempsey, Gavin Telford, David O’Connor, Ross Johnson, Graham Barry.