Under 20 Premiership 2 – Old Wesley 32 Dublin University 7
With the league title secured this match was as much about pride for both teams as anything else and while the score line didn’t reflect the combativeness of the Trinity effort the game was a tough physical encounter. Old Wesley ran out 32-5 victory in College Park and are now one game away from an undefeated season, which would be a fantastic outcome for team and coaches alike. Next Sunday April 7th sees Old Wesley entertain Buccaneers in Donnybrook and no matter what the result of this match the League title will be presented to the home team for a very well deserved Prem 2 campaign.
Old Wesley scored 3 tries in the first half to leave the score 20-0 at half time and while they scored a further 12 points in the second half to the home teams single try, the Old Wesley team had the better of the exchanges in both halves and never looked in doubt as winners. Unfortunately however, we shipped a couple of injuries in both halves, with Andrew Egan being an early casualty and sub hooker Eoghan Copeland coming on just after 6 minutes of the match.
The score was opened after 22 minutes following a Luke Sweeney hack through in the opposition 22 and centre Bill Corrigan was on hand to collect the kick and dot down in the right hand corner for the 1st try. While the day was dry and clear there was a swirling breeze which made it hard for kicker Cameron Watson to find his range. The conversion was missed but shortly afterwards from 35 metres out he judged his direction perfectly from a penalty kick to increase the score to 8-0.
Following the introduction of Fergus Noonan for Dave Young in the back row and a break by Evan Stephenson up the left wing, Wesley were awarded a penalty. Watson took it quickly, took the home team off guard, and after several phases the fast paced winger Stephenson was on hand to touch down 13-0. Watson was again involved in the 3rd try on the stroke of half time with a clever kick through that bounced kindly for wing Luke Sweeney, who danced through a number of tackles to score the try. With the conversion added this time it was 20-0 for the visitors at half time.
Following some strong Trinity pressure on the visitors try line and Wesley shipping knocks to outhalf Fionn O’Loughlin and centre Eoin Deegan, the home team finally crossed over for their only score in the game and reduced the score to 20-5. Sub outhalf Gary Hawe, wing Andrew Vincent and centre Harry Shaw had come on for the injured Wesley duo as well as a tactical sub for Stephenson. Vincent made a telling break into the 22 and following several phases and a lovely loop play Hawe scored the bonus point try and helped move the score to 25-5, 30 minutes into the 2nd half.
Scott Burleigh replaced Shane O’Hanrahon at scrum half and started a move that resulted in a score and 2nd try for Sweeney following powerful runs by Stephen Keane, Vincent and Watson, culminating in a 5 metre scrum. From a rehearsed move to the right, Sweeney scored in the corner. Watson was successful with this conversion and the final score was 32-7 to the visitors.
While the backs scored all of the points in this game, the pack had a very hard shift in creating the platform; especially in the set piece. Credit to all 8 forwards that started and also the bench helping to ensure the victory. This matched with the strong running skills of the backs and determination of the team as a whole. We look forward to next weekend versus Buccs and then on to the Cup which starts on the 14th April, home to Old Belvedere.