All Ireland League – Old Wesley 43 Seapoint 3
The stage was set, nearest rivals Blackrock had fallen short of a bonus point win, and Old Wesley needed a bonus point win over Seapoint for outright league victory. And sure enough Old Wesley came out of the blocks with all guns blazing and dominated from start to finish in a 43-3, seven try win.
Just four minutes were on the clock when a break by Old Wesley centre Steven Harvey brought play into the opposition 22 before delivering a well timed pass to JC Greyling who crossed for the opening try of the match. Two minutes later Wesley were back in the Seapoint 22 and this time Michael Dunleavy got in for try number two. Ian Cassidy converted to make it 12-0. Seapoint’s woes continued when their second row Brian Cunningham was shown a yellow card for a ruck infringement. Ironically this spurred on the visitors and they made their first visit to the Old Wesley half where they were rewarded with a penalty, which was kicked by James Kelly. But Seapoint’s response was short lived as with less than 20 minutes gone Greyling was on hand again to cross for Wesley’s third try, and it was all one way traffic. Old Wesley prop Kenny Knaggs was then sent to the sin bin for an off the ball tackle, but this was negated by a similar punishment for Seapoint second row, Mark McCoy. As half time approached Old Wesley were once again on the attack. Three times in as many minutes Wesley looked like they might score following penetrating runs by Greyling, Davy Henshaw and Rory Stynes. It was a case of when, rather than if, Wesley would score the bonus point try. And that honour went to Gavin Hinde who scored try number 4 just before half time. Cassidy converted to make it 26-3 at the break.
Any hopes that Seapoint had of a second half fightback were short lived. Nine minutes into the second period Greyling intercepted a pass on the opposition 22. He strolled over the line for his hattrick and it was game set and match to Old Wesley. Wesley continued to make inroads but with the onset of windy and wet conditions a number of passes failed to go to hand. However eventually the pressure told. When Wesley won a scrum against the head on the Seapoint 22 the ball was fed swiftly to Eoin Stynes on the wing who crossed in the corner. Stynes has on hand minutes later when he took a pass from Greyling and with 35 metres to go outsprinted the defence to cross and score under the posts. A chip kick by captain Alan Large from deep in his own 22 was neatly picked by Rory Stynes. Stynes made good ground before kicking ahead for Greyling to chase. Greyling looked to be impeded in the chase but despite appeals for a penalty try the referee heard none of it and eventually awarded a relieving 22.
Seapoint made a late charge for a consolation try but the Wesley defence stood firm and they were able to clear their lines after turning over possession. There were no further scores and the final whistle was greeted by jubilation from the Old Wesley players and supporters.
After the final whistle Old Wesley captain Alan Large was presented with the AIL Division 2A trophy by IRFU Senior Vice President Martin O’Sullivan. The Champagne popped and the celebrations began.
Team: Rory Stynes, Eoin Stynes, Steven Harvey, Johann Greyling, Richie Jermyn, Alan Large (capt), Ian Cassidy, Ken Knaggs, David Rowley, James Burton, Michael Dunleavy, Iain McGann, Darren Horan, Richard Morrow, Mark Rowley. Subs: Craig Telford, Davy Henshaw, Josh Hinde, Ger Finucane, Barry McLaughlin.
Old Wesley scorers: Johann Greyling, 3 tries; Michael Dunleavy, try; Josh Hinde, try; Eoin Stynes, 2 tries; Ian Cassidy, 4 cons.
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