All Ireland League – Old Wesley 14 Buccaneers 36
Facing league leaders and top Connacht team Buccaneers at Dubarry Park was always going to be a tough task, and it wasn’t helped missing a number of first choice players through injury.
Played in cold but dry conditions the first ten minutes saw Buccaneers dominate possession and they were rewarded after 16 minutes with a try following a line out inside the Old Wesley 22. Wesley’s cause was not helped when Iain McGann was given a yellow card for a deliberate knock on. The Athlone side were now in full swing and continued to put Wesley on the back foot for most of the rest of the first half. They scored two further tries and a penalty goal to take a 22 nil lead. Wesley captain Darren Horan eventually broke their momentum when he gathered the ball straight from a kick off and broke through a number of tackles to score a try which was converted by Tim Clifford. But unfortunately for Darren as he scored he injured a hamstring and could take no further part in the match. As half time approached the hosts continued to attack but the Wesley defence just about held out leaving the half time score 7-22
Buccs started the second half where they left off scoring two more tries and it was starting to look like they might emulate Ireland’s destruction of Italy earlier in the day. However Wesley eventually started to click and put together some fine attacks and indeed for the remaining 30 minutes of the match looked the better side, helped in no small part by the introduction of some fresh legs including Matthey Bursey, Jack Maybury and Martin Gately. They were rewarded with a fine try by McGann which started as a counter attack by Rory Stynes from inside his own 22 passing through a number of hands and phases on the way. Indeed Wesley were unlucky not to score at least one more try. A late yellow card to a Buccs player spurred on the visitors but there were no further scores and the match ended allowing both players and spectators to adjourn to the heat of the clubhouse.
Old Wesley team: Rory Stynes, William Potterton, David Poff, Adam Kennedy, Alan Jeffares, Tim Clifford, Adam Griggs, Davy Henshaw, David Rowley, James Burton, Iain McGann, Donnchadh Phelan, Darren Horan (capt), Stephen Boyle, Mark Rowley
Subs: Conor Maguire, Martin Gately, Michael Dunleavy, Matthew Bursey, Jack Maybury,
Old Wesley scorers: Darren Horan, Try; Iain McGann, Try; Tim Clifford 2 cons.