Wesley overwhelm Naas with last quarter blitz

Wesley overwhelm Naas with last quarter blitz

AIL  –  Naas 20 Old Wesley 39  – 23rd March 2024

Old Wesley has visited Naas on many previous occasions and has always faced a tough test.  For 60 minutes on Saturday this was also the case. With no more that one score between the teams and the score level on three occasions. But with 20 minutes to go the game turned on its head with Old Wesley hammering home a resounding defeat.

Old Wesley opened the scoring with an Ian Cassidy penalty goal, but it was the home side that scored the opening try after 15 minutes, converted to take a 7-3 lead.  Strong runs by Eoin Deegan and Josh Pim threatened the Naas line but no more than that. Naas extended their lead after 32 minutes with a penalty goal. Then just short of half time Wesley kicked a penalty to gain a 5-metre line out.  The line out was won cleanly and Wesley powered over for a try in the corner by Howard Noonan.  Cassidy converted to draw the sides level at half time.

Two minutes into the second half Cassidy was again on target with another penalty goal.  A kick by Nathan Randles earned Wesley a 50/22 line out. Then a penalty earned a 5-metre line out.  But despite many strong carries Naas escaped when awarded a penalty.  The home side again levelled the scores with a 30-metre penalty goal.  Then from the kick off Sam Pim, only minutes on the pitch, was shown a yellow card for a dangerous tackle.  From the ensuing penalty and line out Naas were again on the attack and after a number of strong carries, crossed for their second try converted to take a 20-13 lead.

Wesley looked to be in trouble but for some reason the game then changed dramatically.  A strong run and interplay between Eoin Murphy and Alex Molloy had play back into the opposition 22.  After some further strong carries Wesley were awarded a penalty 5-metres from the Naas line.  They opted for a tap and run which saw Cronan Gleeson power over beside the posts. Cassidy converted to again level the scores.  Virtually straight from the lick off Wesley were awarded a penalty.  Cassidy kicked long for a 15-metre line out.  After a clean take and strong runs the ball went wide to Randles who ran in unopposed to score in the corner.  Cassidy converted the difficult kick.

Straight from the restart Wesley were on the attack again.  After some skilful play the ball went wide to Eoin Deegan who fought off a couple of tacklers to score the bonus point try.  Wesley were now brimming with confidence.  Another 50/22 line out had the home side under pressure. Sure enough, after some controlled play the ball went wide, this time to the other wing where Eoin Murphy touched down.  Cassidy again converted and with 5 minutes to go and a 19 point lead the result was in no doubt.  Naas looked like they might cross for a late consolation try but they were denied by a knock on, and that was it.

The result strongly reinforces Old Wesley’s second place in the league as they seek to reach the play offs.  Next up its league leaders St. Mary’s

Click here for match highlights

Click here for photos by Ken Richardson

Click here for photos by Deryck Vincent

Old Wesley Scorers: Tries: Howard Noonan, Cronan Gleeson, Eoin Deegan, Nathan Randles, Eoin Murphy; Cons: Ian Cassidy 4; Pens: Ian Cassidy 2

Team: Nathan Randles; Eoin Murphy, Alex Molloy, Eoin Deegan, Fergus Jemphrey; Ian Cassidy, Ben Stephens; Harry Noonan, Howard Noonan, Cronan Gleeson, Reuben Pim (capt), David Motyer, Cathal Kelly, Josh Pim, Will Fay. Replacements: Kieran O’Shea, Sam Kenny, Liam O’Neill, Sam Pim, Keith Kavanagh, Bill Corrigan.

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