Wesley claim late win against Highfield

All Ireland League – Highfield 19 Old Wesley 22

After their win over UCC last week, Old Wesley travelled with optimism to play Highfield, the other Cork side in the league.  For over 70 minutes it looked like Wesley would come off second best as their line out struggled and they conceded penalties.  Then, a golden last few minutes put smiles on the visitors’ faces.

Highfield drew the first blood with a penalty try after 20 minutes; following a line out and maul.  Wesley infringed in the maul which also saw a yellow card for Reuben Pim.  Despite being down a man Wesley responded immediately, not just holding out, but winning the ensuing 10-minute period.  A quick tap penalty taken by Ben Stephens caught Highfield off guard.  He passed inside to Tommy O’Callaghan who crossed for a try in the corner.  Both sides looked like they might hold firm for the remainder of the first half but on 35 minutes Highfield found Old Wesley short on the wing crossing for a try.  The conversion was missed leaving it 12-5 to the home side at half time.

Eoin Monahan kicked a penalty after 5 minutes to narrow the gap but Wesley continued to find the opposition defence difficult to break.  Then with 25 minutes of the second half gone Highfield crossed for their third try, which was converted to take a 19-8 lead, and it looked like Wesley were doomed.

Then with over 70 minutes of the match gone Wesley suddenly switched on.  Their backs were starting to run riot piercing holes in the opposition defence.  The ball went wide to Tom Larke (Wesley’s Man of the Match) who evaded a couple of tackles to score a try mid-way between the goalposts and touch-line.  Monahan converted and with just 4 points separating the sides it was game on.   Now with the bit firmly between their teeth Wesley threw everything at Highfield, who were rapidly fading.  And it was that man again, Alex Molloy, who made the key elusive break bringing play up to the opposition 22.  He passed to Will Fay who made good ground before passing to Josh O’Hare who crossed for a try near the corner.  Monahan again converted the tricky conversion to give Oild Wesley a 3-point lead.

With just 2 minutes on the clock, it was key that Wesley would gain possession from the kick off; which they did.  In a nervous few minutes, they patiently and skilfully would down the seconds.  Then a dangerous tackle by Highfield led to a penalty and a yellow card, and it was al over to the delight of the Old Wesley players and supporters.

This weekend it’s local rivals Old Belvedere at home before the mid-season break.  Old Wesley appeals to all members to attend and support in what will be a massive challenge.

Click here for Game in 5

Old Wesley Scorers: Tries: Tommy O’Callaghan, Tom Larke, Josh O’Hare; Cons: Eoin Monahan 2; Pen: Eoin Monahan

Team: Tom Larke; Nathan Randles, Alex Molloy, Fergus Jemphrey, Tommy O’Callaghan; Eoin Monahan, Ben Stephens; Harry Noonan, Stephen Smyth, Cronan Gleeson, David Motyer, Shane Crowley, Reuben Pim (capt), Josh Pim, Will Fay. Replacements: Kieran O’Shea, Sam Kenny, Josh O’Hare, Howard Noonan, Keith Kavanagh, Sam Burns.

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