Metro League Div 5 – Wanderers 13 Old Wesley 32
Tries: Flower, Coghlan, Parfrey, Wood. Pens: Handcock (2). Cons: Handcock (1), Large (2)
Earlier in the week saw a few cry offs causing Coach Clatch to open his little black book and summon the services of the Spaniard, Alan ‘Pedro’ Large. Much to the delight of old man Heelo, Mark Toal-Lennon returned to action after an extended period away modelling for his mother’s pesto company.
6:45pm on a cold Winter eve, the Wesley men descended upon Lansdowne Road. There was a buzz and general excitement at getting changed in the big boy changing rooms in the Aviva. The Wesley men were a little disheartened at not getting to play on the main pitch in the stadium but instead had to make do with the astro pitch beside. Weapon Wallace put the team through a series of intricate drills to get them sharp and focused before they squared up to an experienced Wanderers side.
J3 debutant Pedro got the game underway. Wesley started at a ferocious pace and Wanderers looked nervous. Great runs down the left wing by Pedro and Eric Parfrey saw Wesley come agonisingly close to the first score only to be stopped by a blue and white wall. Big carries up the middle saw Guy Cresswell and John Wallace make some good yards. Wesley were awarded a penalty that they kicked to touch. Phil Power threw a dart that Phil Taylor would have been proud of, a quick clean line out saw the ball fed to the backs for a well rehearsed move to put the ever reliable Graham Claxton into space. Claxton used some neat footwork to draw the last defender and put David Flower over the line for an easy finish. Andrew Handcock converted the extras. 7-0 Wesley.
A Wanderers player, frustrated with Wesley’s pace and style of play, lashed out with an off the ball challenge. The referee had no other choice but to show a red card. An easy penalty in front of posts for Handcock. 10-0 Wesley. Down to 14 men, Wanderers upped the ante and set course for the Wesley half. A penalty conceded in front of posts before half time was just the spark they needed. 10-3 Wesley.
Wanderers started the second half with a long ball. A lapse in concentration saw Wesley fumble the ball several times on their own line. Growing in confidence, Wanderers found the try they were looking for. 10-10. Later, ill-discipline saw penalties coughed up on both ends of the pitch. 13-13. Wesley, finding their rhythm again with quick hands and a slick pass from outhalf Pedro, put Handcock into space but he was stopped just short of the line. Another silly penalty conceded by Wesley in the opposition 22 saw Wanderers take a quick tap only for their outhalf to needlessly kick the ball away, much to the disdain of his teammates. Luckily the ball fell right into the lap of Chris Coghlan. With a jig and a step, Coghlan was very reminiscent of Jason Robinson in his heyday. Coghlan made it look easy dancing through the Wanderers defence to touch down under the posts. Pedro converted the extras. 20-13 Wesley.
The Wesley men on fire, saw Brazilian wonder kid Clayton Vaneli break the Wanderers defence like a coconut on the Copacabana. Clayton made great yards to offload to Eric Parfrey who sprinted for the line like his youth depended on it. Pedro converted the extras. 27-13 Wesley. With Wesley applying constant pressure the game was well and truly over when quick hands put Willie Wood into space. Wood showing great pace to secure a bonus point try. 32-13 Wesley.
Wesley deserted by their Captain, who went on a jolly to Chicago for ‘some match’, had Andrew Boyle step up to the plate. Boyler led the Wesley men to a memorable victory. David ‘Asunder’ Taylor will now take over the match report duties in the next outing against CYM.