Metro Div 4 – Old Wesley 4ths 30 Lansdowne 4ths 29
Newly promoted Wesley 4ths first game of the season began with a home fixture against Lansdowne 4ths. From the kick-off the tone was set with both teams looking to lay down a marker from the start. Wesley took the honours of the first score a little quicker than most people would have expected as Andy Kelly touched down within the first minute of the game. Unfortunately , Wesley were unable to convert, leaving the score at 5-0. From the restart Lansdowne took advantage of some lacklustre defence as they replied with a try of their own, which they also failed to convert (5-5). This scoring pattern continued throughout the first half with both teams falling off tackles which neither team would have been happy about. Eric Parfrey (more affectionately known as Yum Yums to his closer friends) blocked down an attempted clearance kick from the Lansdowne 9 to pounce on the ball leaving the scores at 10-05. Aco Keating added the extras (12-5 Wesley).
Lansdowne , who had a bit more weight in the pack ,were beginning to show their strength in the scrum and with a strong drive just inside the Wesley half, gave their backline a strong position to attack from which led to a try. After a failed conversion attempt the score was still in Wesley’s favour of 12-10. Ian Sheridan was next to strike for Wesley with a crash ball up through the centre which Young easily converted (17-10). Lansdowne responded with some strong carries from the kick off and were rewarded with a penalty which they opted to kick for the corner. The Wesley pack defended strongly , however the Lansdowne tighthead prop scrambled over the line with the majority of the Wesley team claiming double movement , but the referee decided otherwise (17-17).
With some strong carries from the Wesley backline and 4ths debutant Dan Cloffey, just before the halftime whistle , Yum Yums struck again to leave the score at 24-17 in Wesley’s favour.
With the second half beginning and Wesley receiving the ball there was more patience and strong carries from the Wesley pack, most notably Andy Kelly and Dave Taylor who led from the front. Wesley were rewarded for their efforts with a penalty which Young slotted with ease, 27-24 to Old Wesley.
Lansdowne, with the bigger pack on the night , attacked the Wesley line with strong carries but failed to cross the line due to a very strong Wesley defence. Unfortunately, after a number of infringements , it was Alan Doyle who was deemed the culprit and received a yellow card which meant Wesley were down to 14 men for the final 10 minutes.
Lansdowne, now with the extra man and unable to crack to Wesley defence, opted to spread the ball out to their 10, who took advantage of the extra man to score a try off a cross field kick. Crucially the conversion was missed. Lansdowne reclaimed the ball from the kick off but with some strong tackles and pressure in open play from the likes of O’Connor and Moore, Wesley were rewarded for their efforts with a penalty just outside the Lansdowne 22. Young, who had grown in confidence throughout the game, calmly slotted the ball between the uprights with the final play of the game for an excellent victory. Final score 30-29 in Old Wesley’s favour.
Next up for the 4ths is a local derby vs. Bective 2nds this Friday.
Tries: Eric Parfrey (2), Andy Kelly, Ian Sheridan
Cons: Stephen Young, Aco Keating
Pens: Stephen Young (2)