All Ireland League- Old Wesley 10 – Seapoint 15
There is no better spur for a team to put in a big performance than the R word. And that was the case on Saturday as Seapoint displayed the greater hunger and resilience in their quest to avoid relegation. Playing with the wind, and it is always windy at Kilboggit Park Old Wesley had the first scoring opportunity with a long range penalty by Barry McLaughlin but it feel short. However they did succeed in taking the first blood with a try by Ian Cassidy in the corner after he intercepted a pass and sprinted in unopposed from the 10 meter line. McLaughlin made up for his early miss with a well struck conversion for a 7 nil lead. But as the game developed it was the hosts who started to dictate play bringing play into the Wesley half. On virtually their first visit to the Wesley 22 and following some sustained forward pressure they crossed to narrow the score to 7-5. But the hosts were guilty of conceding penalties and a perfectly taken penalty kick by McLaughlin from inside his own half but aided by the strong wind extended the Wesley lead to 10-5. Seapoint were further penalised just before half time when their hooker Cian O’Higgins was shown a yellow card for a dangerous line out infringement. But it was clear to the large contingent of Old Wesley supporters that the lead would probably not be enough facing into the wind for the second half.
From a Seapoint scrum a great drive by the Wesley pack looked like they had wheeled the scrum and reversed possession however even the Seapoint players and supporters were baffled when the referee decided to award a penalty against Old Wesley. Seapoint’s Brian Keegan kicked the points to narrow the gap to two points. Then ten minutes into the half some loose Wesley defence saw Seapoint winger Conor Byrne cross for a try under the posts, which was easily converted for a 15-10 lead. The hosts were dealt a second yellow card, this time to their number 8 Patrick Crown for a dangerous tackle. And, down to 14 men, they were forced to absorb considerable pressure in the ensuing period. However to their credit their defence held out and they were able to weather the storm. Then it was Wesley’s turn to absorb pressure. Seapoint looked to be over again however some brave tackling prevented the grounding and the siege was lifted. As the game approached full time Seapoint were unsuccessful with a tricky penalty kick and despite a late surge from Wesley the score line remained unchanged.
Team: Rory Stynes, Barry McLaughlin, David Potterton, Kieran Hurrell, Conor Lavell, Alan Large (capt), Ian Cassidy, Kenny Knaggs, Craig Telford, Kevin Becker, Paul McCarroll, Iain McGann, Daren Horan, Thomas Ratahi, Ivan Campbell. Subs: James Burton, Dave Henshaw, Ian Slattery, Steven Boyle, Brian Hastings
Old Wesley scorers: Ian Cassidy, try. Barry McLaughlin 1 con,1 pen