Un­der­strength Grey­stones are no match for stu­dents

RUGBY ALL-IRE­LAND CUP FIRST ROUND

Bray People - - Sport -

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.

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