Understrength Greystones are no match for students
RUGBY ALL-IRELAND CUP FIRST ROUND
UCC 26, Greystones 9: Travelling to Cork last Saturday to play UCC in the fist round of the All-Ireland Cup, Greystones were forced into team selection minus six of their first team regulars but for most of the firsthalf they more than held their own but the second-half saw the students play the far better rugby to deservedly win the game in the end.
UCC were awarded a penalty after three minutes but centre Scott Deasy missed from almost in front of the posts, five minutes after that, from the halfway line Greystones No. 10 James Power also missed.
UCC were playing some good rugby with out-half Ronan O’Sullivan giving his backline plenty of ball and on two occasions over the next five minutes, only stout defence from Greystones held them at bay but on fifteen minutes they finally got on the scoreboard with a well worked try.
From a maul on the Stones twenty-two on the right hand side of the ground, Stones seemed to have quelled the attack but UCC scrum-half, Ray Cronin dug out the ball and with a quick pass to his right, O’Sullivan delivered a short pass to Deasy. The Greystones cover was hopelesly absent and with a well timed pass he found fullback Seán Sanlon in acres of space to gather and touch down for his try, Deasy however was wayward with the convert.
Greystones responded well for the next five minutes with stand-in captain, second row Barry Holmes, winning some fine lineout ball from his hooker Peter Hipple.
On twenty minutes a good tackle from centre Steve Meyer saw the ball being knocked on by UCC’s Neils Keogh with it being picked up by his opposite number Neil O’Brien, who, breaking a tackle set off, however the referee brought it back, when he should have allowed the advantage, to award Greystones a penalty which Power duly slotted to narrow the gap. Stones then had their best moments in the half with Power again landing a further penalty to put them into a six points to five lead at te break.
Greystones made a couple of substitutions with Power, who had taken a couple of knocks, being replaced by Conor Cleary, and Alan Wildes place going to Rob Smith.
With two minutes on the clock college were awarded a penalty which once again Deasy narrowly missed
Five minutes later and a penalty awarded against the home team was kicked by Greystones full-back Mark Geraghty who had moved into the out-half slot.
However this was Greystones high water mark, as the students, who were faster and fitter, were outrucking the Greystones pack and their scrum was now also well in command.
The students were now almost totally camped in Greystones territory and altough Stones managed to hold them at bay, inevitably the scores came, first with a good passage of play and the Stones defence at sixes and sevens, Scalnlon got over in the left hand corner with Deasy adding the extra two, then five minute later and a sustained blind side, wing Peter Shallow squeezed in to score with Deasy once again tacking on the conversion.
With minutes to go and once again the Stones midfield to slow to react, No. 6 Don Keogh sealed the points with a try on the right with Deasy once again being on target to finish the day.
So all in all, not a result that Greystones would have liked as they prepare next week to travel north to Malone to start their AIL campaign and with Malone in blistering form in defeating Queens 69-7, Greystones must get it together next week where they will hope to have their missing players fit and ready.
Johnny Downey of Greystones and UCC’s Neils Keogh contest in the lineout.