Top of the Prem 1 u20s league, Old Belvedere , took revenge today for the loss that their Senior XV had in the AIL League match had on Saturday, with a 10-27 victory in Energia Park on a cold and dry day.
This game unlike some of the preceding games was a very enjoyable affair with both teams evenly matched for most of the game. The visitors who are still top of Prem 1 (a very hard achievement and credit to their consistency this season) may be flattered by the result as in truth this was a far better performance by the Old Wesley u20s than the score line suggested.
Belvo enjoyed a much better 1st half than the home team scoring 3 tries, 2 of which were directly from Old Wesley mistakes, a intercept after 8 minutes and missed tackle in the middle of the field for the 2nd try 10 minutes later.
Unlike in previous weeks, and with Wesley playing with a number of injury enforced changes, most notable in their play maker Eoin Quinn, Wesley had far more territory and possession, a much improved scrum and were very unfortunate to have only 3 points by the end of the 1st half. Their Man of the Match Adam Killeen scored a penalty following a great offload from Captain Finn Tierney to release Killeen down the wing and a few phases later, a jackal by Khafu Momah to allow Killeen score from in front of the posts. With more confidence Wesley should have had more points in this half but as the game wore on they did grow in many aspects.
What separated the teams was the moments that matter and this is where the home team must improve. Following the restart and the introduction of a number of substitutions, Wesley scored the try of the game with Leo Wyer dotting down under the posts following some skillful play by the backline and forwards combined with Robbie Browne deputising at 10 for this game placed a deft chip and the play moved 50 metres up the park with Wyer finishing the move. With the conversion from Killen the score moved to 10-20. Game on. However, again simple errors allowed the visitors 10 who was playing in the centre at this point break up the pitch and score immediately after the Wesley try and the momentum moved back to 10-27.
With a long break for what looked like a serious injury to an Old Belvedere player, the game stopped for 10 minutes until the player was safely stretchered off, and we all wish this player a speedy recovery. Post this break and the 2 tries the score remained deadlocked and Wesley, who again dominated the possession and territory were not able to reduce the deficit. The game finished 10-27 with 5 points to the visitors who are 3 points clear of the Prem 1. For Old Wesley we still remain in 7th place in the league but a far better performance in many ways. Next week its Lansdowne away and an equally tough test for this young team. There were some fine performances from Killeen, Caldbeck, O’Byrne, and Linnane with great cameos from Costello, Ledwidge and Landers from the bench in the 2nd half.