AIL – Old Wesley unable to handle Buccaneers – Old Wesley 22 Buccaneers 49
(12th Nov) The visitors from Athlone may not have been used to the All Weather pitch at Donnybrook but they still managed to win this match with ease, in the end running in 6 tries to romp home to victory.
Old Wesley had hardly touched the ball when Buccaneers winger Jordan Conroy found a two on one overlap to cross for Buccaneers with just two minutes on the clock. Out half Alan Gaughan converted with ease and just three minutes later was on target again with a penalty kick from the 10 metre line to make it 10 nil to the visitors before many of the pre match lunch guests had even got their coats on. Old Wesley eventually got into opposition territory but turned over possession, one of a number of mistakes that was to haunt them for much of the match. And again from a promising 5 metre line out position the throw was crooked allowing the opposition to clear their lines. Wesley’s woes continued when speedy Buccaneers left winger Eoghan O’Reilly seemed to stroll through a number of defenders to score their second try. Gaughan again converted and moments later converted a penalty to make it 20 nil to the visitors, and it was starting to look very bleak for the home side.
However Wesley eventually got into gear. A break by Adam Griggs brought play into the opposition 22. Michael Dunleavy made further yards before Tim Clifford eventually crossed for a try which Barry McLaughlin converted. Spurred on by this Wesley were again on the attack when McLaughlin nearly put Alan Jeffares in for a try, only for the ball to be held up. Then from a scrum and maul the Wesley pack was able to make good ground resulting in a try by Conor Maguire, again converted by McLaughlin. Just before half time Buccaneers center Mata Fafita was shown a yellow card for a high tackle on Jeffares and moments a similar punishment was give to another player for a maul infringement. McLaughlin converted the latter penalty to make it 17-20 going into the half time break.
With the opposition down to 13 players the Old Wesley supporters would be forgiven for thinking that the game was turning in their favour, but the opposite was the case as the Athlone side came out the stronger in the second half scoring a try by Shane Layden, which was converted by Gaughan, augmented by a penalty kick. Now back to full strength Buccaneers capitalised by blocking down an Adam Griggs clearance kick allowing Evan Galvin to score. Gaughan again converted and any chance of a Wesley comeback was rapidly disappearing. Rory Stynes gave the Old Wesley supporters some encouragement when he finished off a neat back line move from a line out with a try. But the home side’s hopes were short lived as Buccs responded quickly with a try by Cian Romaine, and then a few minutes later with another try, this time by Shane O’Leary. Old Wesley’s only hope now was a consolation fourth try bonus point, but it came to naught and there were no further scores.
Not the best of days for Old Wesley however with other favourable results on the day we still hold on to 3rd place in the league.
Old Wesley team: Rory Stynes, Barry McLaughlin, Isaac Leota, Ger Finucane, Alan Jeffares, Tim Clifford, Adam Griggs, Davy Henshaw, Conor Maguire, James Burton, Michael Dunleavy, Iain McGann, Darren Horan (capt), Stephen Boyle, Mark Rowley. Subs: Craig Telford, Martin Gately, Donnchadh Phelan, Adam Kennedy, Johnny O’Sullivan
Old Wesley scorers: Tim Clifford, Try; Conor Maguire, Try; Rory Stynes, Try; Barry McLaughlin, 2 Cons, Pen.