Winning Starts in Junior Cup Competitions
The 4ths and 5ths kicked off their respective cup campaigns on Saturday with both teams recording wins. The 4ths, for the third time this season, met Guinness where they were comfortable but scrappy winners 27-10 in the Winters Cup. In the O’Connor Cup the 5ths also won but in a tighter affair beating Dublin University 28-25. The latter match was a repeat of last year’s final of the same competition when the students won with the last kick of the match. Coincidentally the score in last year’ match was a virtual mirror image at 28-26
Both teams will meet Stillorgan in the next round. See reports below
Winters Cup – Old Wesley 27 Guinness 10
Wheatley’s stout defence seals win over Guinness, by player reporter David Priestman
Following last week’s entertaining match report, with Alan Doyle proving that he is in fact able to read and write, the 4s looked to get their cup run off to a positive start and make it a hat-trick of victories over Guinness this season. Tough conditions surrounded St. James Gate, with wind strong enough to blow Toaler’s hair out of place.
Guinness were the first to score, knocking over a penalty, but a swift reply came from Wesley, with Stevie Young selling the opposition a peach of a dummy, going through their D, like a Mountie on a night out. The ever reliable boot of Handcock added the extras. Peter Wallace was keen to get on the scoresheet with a try ending his drought, but not as much as the man of the West, Al O’Connor’s, scoring drought in Coppers, his frustration appearing to be vented on Guy Cresswell’s nose two nights previous. Shane ‘Diggs’ Deignan paid a visit to the VHI clinic, going off with an ankle injury just before the half, but thankfully no break. Another blow was suffered as Wes saw yellow. Evidently inspired by McGregor’s latest victory over Aldo, Mark ‘Slug’ McDonald had a moment of madness and went to the bin for 10. The opposition capitalised and mauled over for a try, making it a five point game by half time.
However, Dave Flower proved to be a man on a mission, getting two scores to his name in the 2nd half. Definitely deserves a beer or two to celebrate that feat (or a protein shake, my mistake!). Toaler and Trevor Roe put in two big hits in the final quarter to deny the opposition any consolation score. Joe Wheatley was a ball carrying animal throughout, picking up the MOTM accolade for his efforts. Certainly a scrappy encounter, the game finished 27-10, with the 4s moving on into Round 2.
Celebrations continued post-match as Andrew Boyle announced his engagement to Cliona. So a big congratulations to them; my gift to Boyler being next week’s report against Belvo.
O’Connor Cup – Old Wesley 28 Dublin University 25
Old Wesley 5th XV welcomed Trinity to Donnybrook in the first round of the O’Connor cup on bright pleasant day ideal for cup rugby and there was only one word needed to motivate this team, revenge. Old Wesley had cruelly lost to Trinity in the final of the cup last season with a last minute penalty being the difference. Indeed it was heard that assistant coach Love hadn’t slept properly since that day in Merrion Road. Wesley had already beaten Trinity well in the league earlier in the season but the Students tend to be able to turn it on for the cup.
The coaching staff had decided to drop a number of the older players who had come to the rescue the previous week against Gorey; Burse, Kinners, Pat, Gresh & Graham all getting the chop. Tom’s reason when asked “it would be cruel to ask them to miss bingo two Saturdays running”. But bingo aside that didn’t stop the guys supporting their team and in fact Tom himself was absent supposedly in Stradbrook videoing the 1st XV in the AIL.
Old Wesley started the match the brighter and should have taken the lead with a number of good attacks, but the odd poor pass cost them. Trinity then scored two quick tries in as many minutes and it looked like it could be a long afternoon for the 5s. But when Cameroon Wood intercepted a pass and sprinted nearly the length of the pitch to score under the posts the guys were back in the match. The Wesley pack were working hard with Ken Hanning carrying very strongly and John Love winning a number of turnovers that his father would have been proud of. Old Wesley soon scored their second try of the half when Iain Pollock barged his way over in the corner.
There were some stern words by Richmond and Love at half time; a coaching team that had been reunited for the first time since their success in the O’Connell cup final in 2010. Trinity started the half with a try to extend their lead to eight points and it looked like they might be starting to pull away. But some fine attacking play in midfield ended up with Michael Kearney scoring in the corner. The conversion just shaded the post. Indeed the match looked like it might have to be abandoned as the Dodder had taken its toll on match balls. However Des Johnson saved the day by retrieving a ball from the bridge at Ballsbridge.
Trinity continued to attack but a huge hit from replacement winger Conor Ford soon stopped them in their tracks. In fact rumour had it that you could hear the hit in Stradbrook. Wesley would have to play the reminder of the tie with 14 players as Eric Parfery was deemed to have made a dangerous tackle and was yellow carded. It looked like Wesley were running out of time and would once again fall to Trinity when they were awarded a penalty which was calmly slotted by Luke to bring the teams level. Two minutes later Wesley were awarded another penalty when a Trinity player came in from the side which Luke nailed. There was still time for one more attack for the students but more strong defending lead to a knock on and the final whistle was blown. This was a fine win for a team which included a number of guys who had played in last year’s final, and as they say, revenge is sweet.
The teams meet again next week in the league were a victory for the team will put them back in contention for a play-off place in the league and another close encounter is expected. Bursey then admitted that he was heading home to let Tom out of his garden shed quoting “I’ve never been dropped in 30 years playing with this club”