No joy for ’Stones at Malone

GEN­ERAL SPORT RUGBY, HOCKEY, ORI­EN­TEER­ING AND GOLF

Bray People - - Sport -

Malone 16, Grey­stones 10: Grey­stones had only ever beaten Malone once be­fore last Satur­day’s game at Gib­son Park and on a rain sod­den pitch they once again came up short.

Malone had put 68 points on Queens last week­end but on this oc­ca­sion, al­though winning the game, they only won with a six points mar­gin.

The game it­self was as bad as the weather, with both side com­mit­ting car­di­nal er­rors, with poor con­ti­nu­ity, poor han­dling and turnovers aplenty.

Malone’s out­half, Gareth Fry, was given the first op­por­tu­nity to open the scor­ing on five min­utes with a rel­a­tively easy penalty kick but he pushed it wide of the posts. Five min­utes later,and once again in a good po­si­tion, he failed, with the ball go­ing once again wide of the mark.

On twenty min­utes Stones scrum-half Dave Pop­plewell fell awk­wardly while re­leas­ing the ball from a scrum and al­though he tried to shake it off he was re­placed by De­clan Grif­fen.Their prob­lems were added to ten min­utes later when tight-head prop Stephen Snell had to be re­placed by Kevin Moes.

With fif­teen min­utes to go in the half, Stones cre­ated a break from in­side their own twenty-two with full­back Dave Mc Kech­nie charg­ing out of de­fence and mak­ing thirty me­tres be­fore pass­ing out­side to wing Mark Geraghty who car­ried it on, find­ing hooker Ja­son Har­ris-Wright, who al­most made the line but was tack­led just short.

Stones then had to de­fend on their own line for a long pe­riod and were pe­nalised on three oc­ca­sions with the ref­eree then yel­low card­ing Har­ris-Wright for off­side. This time Fry made no mis­take with the kick to put them into a three-point lead.

Grey­stones then had fur­ther prob­lems when cen­tre Aaron Higgs left the field with a shoul­der in­jury be­ing re­placed by Damian Wildes with a shuf­fle in the back­line which saw Geraghty move to cen­tre.

Al­most im­me­di­ately, Geraghty in­spired a good move down the right hand side with James Power tak­ing a good ball.Ten me­tres out from the Malone line,with his men cov­ered, he tried a grub­ber kick which went off the foot of Malone’s full­back Peter Bard, how­ever the bounce was kind with wing Ro­nan Car­roll pick­ing up and run­ning in the short dis­tance for the try, which Power con­verted to put the vis­i­tors into a 10-3 lead at the break.

The sec­ond pe­riod started well for Stones, as on five min­utes, Power de­liv­ered a sweet drop goal to in­crease the lead to 10-3 but alas that was to be the end of the Stones scor­ing.

Grey­stones dis­ci­pline then let them down, con­ced­ing two silly penal­ties al­most in quick suc­ces­sion, with Fry be­ing on tar­get to nar­row the Grey­stones lead to a sin­gle point. The Stones scrum was now un­der some pres­sure and when Malone were awarded a scrum five me­tres out, it col­lapsed on two oc­ca­sions, while on the third oc­ca­sion the ref­eree awarded a penalty try which Fry con­verted to put them into a lead they held un­til the end.

How­ever the game was al­most pil­laged by the vis­i­tors at the death when the Grey­stones pack camped on the home team’s line and af­ter three or four ef­forts, it seemed that Har­ris-Wright had scored when he was driven over, but the ref­eree sig­nalled that he could not see it touched down and so awarded a scrum, how­ever the ball came out to quickly with Malone’s No 13, Johnny Burgess hack­ing it clear to his own twenty-two.

Next week and on the road again this time to Clon­akilty.

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