Leinster Senior League Division 2 Final
Old Wesley 41 Greystones 5
Played in cool but otherwise perfect conditions, Old Wesley showed up the divisional gaps between the sides from start to finish winning Division 2 of the Leinster Senior League at Donnybrook.
Right from the kick off the action was in the Greystones half and in the opening play Tommy O’Callaghan was very nearly in for a try following a deft chip ahead, only to be dragged into touch short of the line by a defender. But shortly after, from a line out, the ball was swung out the back line where Tom Kiersey exposed a weakness in the opposition defence to run in for a try under the posts. Rory Stynes converted.
It was nearly 10 minutes into the game before Greystones got any foothold in the Old Wesley half, but solid defence ensured that the scoreboard was not affected. Approaching the end of the first quarter Wesley were once again asking questions of the visitors and following some good carries and a neat offload by Darren Horan, JJ O’Dea found himself in the clear to trot in from 20 metres out for the second try. Stynes again converted.
A nasty knee injury to seasoned prop James Burton saw Padraig Cullen come on, and when play resumed Wesley were again showing their greater skills. Following some good handling Captain Paul Harte looked to be clear for a third try, only to lose control of the ball. Greystones eventually had a scoring opportunity with a penalty 35 metres out, but the kick was pushed wide. Then just short of half time Paul Derham found himself with some open space. He made good ground before passing to winger O’Callaghan who made further ground, before offloading to James O’Donovan who dotted down in the corner. Half time and Old Wesley held a comfortable 19 nil lead.
Wesley started the second half where they had left off continuing to force Greystones onto the back foot. Play was soon back up to the opposition line with another score looking imminent. Wesley were denied a try following a knock on but Stynes converted a short range penalty kick from advantage play. Right from the restart Wesley brought play back into the opposition half. A break by the elusive Josh Miller had Wesley back up to the Greystones 22. He passed to Harte who, still with some work to do, finished off the move with a try near the corner.
To be fair to Greystones they tried hard with the limited possession available, but once the home side regained possession they were lethal with strong carried from far out. A turnover near the half way line saw Charlie O’Regan make a probing run down the blind side, before passing to Conor Barry who crossed with ease to score under the posts. Any remote hopes Greystones had of a comeback were now well and truly dead. The Wicklow men did however score a consolation try following some good carries following a scrum and penalty, which they wisely opted to run, with Killian Marmion claiming the honours.
But from the restart Greystones were back in their own 22. Harry Noonan looked to be in for a try but for the final pass being forward. Now approaching full time Greystones threw caution to the wind with long passes near their own line, but an intercept by Miller allowed him to stroll in for the last score of the match.
So it was first, and hopefully not last, silverware of the season as Captain Paul Harte accepted the trophy from Leinster Branch Vice President and Old Wesley member, Robert Deacon, before the players adjourned to celebrate.
OLD WESLEY SCORERS – Tom Kiersey, try; JJ O’Dea, try; James O’Donovan, try; Paul Harte, try; Conor Barry, try; Josh Miller,try: Rory Stynes, penalties, 4 conversions
TEAM – Rory Stynes, Tommy O’Callaghan, James O’Donovan, David Poff, Paul Harte (captain), Tom Kiersey, Josh Miller, Harry Noonan., Ben Burns, James Burton, Iain McGann, JJ O’Dea, Darren Horan, Josh Pim, Paul Derham.
REPLACEMENTS Andrew McCrann, Padraig Cullen, Conor Barry, Ed Doyle, Tim Clifford, Charlie O’Regan, Lachlan Anderson..
Click here for photos by Ken Richardson. (Click backspace to return to this page)
Click here for photos by Deryck Vincent. (Click backspace to return to this page)