Stu­dents fight back to deny Grey­stones

RUGBY ALL-IRE­LAND LEAGUE

Bray People - - Sport -

Grey­stones 23, Trin­ity 27: Af­ter last week’s nar­row win at Clon­akilty it seemed for sixty min­utes,with a 20-6 lead over the stu­dents,that Grey­stones were on the way to an­other win in this the third game of this years All-Ire­land League, but a num­ber of er­rors saw them lose at the fin­ish.

As usual the pitch at Dr. Hickey Park was in splen­did con­di­tion and de­spite a mild breeze the weather it­self was con­du­sive to good rugby.

The game started with a cracker of a try when af­ter two min­utes, when a poor clear­ance from Trin­ity full­back Tim McCoy, was fielded by Stones right wing Ro­nan Car­roll just in­side his own half, he stared a run that took him in­field and hav­ing cut throgh some poor tack­les he de­liv­ered a short pass to full­back Dave McKech­nie who then straightned the line be­fore un­load­ing to out­half James Power, who, de­spite an at­tempted tackle from Trin­ity cen­tre Paul Gil­lispie, evaded his clutches to score a fine try just left of the posts, giv­ing himelf an easy con­ver­sion to put his team into a seven point lead.

Ten min­utes later and with Trin­ity at­tack­ing just out­side the Stones twenty-two, the home team were ad­judged to have killed the ball and a penalty awarded with wing Chris Jebb step­ping up to slot the three points to re­duce the lead.

Three min­utes later and the score was can­celled out with Power scor­ing a penalty when Trin­ity of­fended at a ruck.

Trin­ity were find­ing the go­ing tough and were not helped with them forc­ing the pass, with the Stones mid­field giv­ing them no room to ma­noeu­vre and when one such pass from scrum half Bryan John­son hit the head of his wing for­ward John Byrne, it fell grate­fully into the hands of his op­po­site num­ber Dan Kenny who made good ground but was stopped just short with a good tackle from full­back McCoy.

With ten to go in the half and Grey­stones ham­mer­ing at the stu­dents line the ball came back ito mid­field on their twenty-two with Grey­stones hooker Ja­son Har­ris-Wright tak­ing a pass from Power, how­ever with his back­line stretched he elected to take a drop goal, not genar­ally the pre­serve of a for­ward, but it was bang on tar­get and put his team into a 13-6 lead which they held un­til the in­ter­val.

The sec­ond-half re­sumed with Stones hav­ing to play into the slight wind but as with the firsthalf they struck af­ter three min­utes when a ruck on Trin­ity’s ten me­tre line saw Stones No. 8 Stu­art Ab­bott come out of a maul to the be­wil­der­ment of both teams and the large at­ten­dance, he took off and with cen­tre Steve Meyer in close sup­port, he passed in­side with the No. 12 go­ing in un­der the posts for his try, he con­ver­sion from Power was true, putting them into what should have been an unas­sail­able 20-6 lead.

Trin­ity had made two sub­sti­tu­tions at this pe­riod with scrum half John­son be­ing re­placed by Ed­die Hamil­ton and sec­ond row Max Cartrell re­plac­ing Byrne and both would go on to make the dif­fer­ence, with Cartrell winning some fine li­ne­outs while Hamil­tons crisp pass­ing and gen­eral all round play gave their back­line some well de­liv­ered ball.

Within five min­utes of the Grey­stones score, Trin­ity scored a fine try with wing Colin Mur­phy on the end of a five man pass­ing move­ment which saw him touch down with Jebb adding the two to nar­row the gap to seven points.

Grey­stones were now find­ing that for long pe­ri­ods they had to de­fend and when full­back McKech­nie was robbed of a ball in a maul by Trinty open­side flanker and cap­tain Shane Young, they went down­field with some good in­ter­pass­ing which only came to a halt with a tackle from Car­roll just short of the Stones line but they failed to clear and a penalty was awarded to the vis­i­tors.

They chose the op­tion of a scrum and af­ter it col­lapsed and a fur­ther penalty was awarded they ran the ball but Stones were ad­judged to have tran­gressed with the ref­eree Trevor Collins sig­nalling for a penalty try with Jebb hav­ing no trou­ble with the con­ver­sion and so from a promis­ing 14 point lead just af­ter half-time in favour of Grey­stones, Trin­ity had drawn level.

With ten min­utes to go the stu­dents were now once again on the Grey­stones line and af­ter a num­ber of at­tempts to stop them the home team were pe­nalised, with No. 8 Stu­art Ab­bott be­ing yel­low carded.

The Trin­ity coach­ing staff screamed at the team to take the three points on of­fer but the play­ers them­selves de­cided, wisely with Stones be­ing re­duced to seven in the pack and with their own pack now dom­i­nat­ing, to take the scrum and a quick put in and take by scrum half Hamil­ton pick­ing up and eas­ily go­ing over un­der the posts for their third try of the af­ter­noon with Jebb adding the points to put them into a 27 to 23 lead, which de­spite one last at­tack from Stones, they held on for the win.

Next week and the fourth game in the league be­fore a break for a month for the au­tumn in­ter­na­tion­als, Grey­stones take the short jour­ney to Kil­te­nan to take on DLSP.

Grey­stones: D. McKech­nie, R. Car­roll, S. Meyer, C. Cleary, M. Geraghty, J. Power, F. Jones, S. Snell, J. Har­ris-Wright, K. Moes, B. Holmes, N. Me­gan­nety (Capt.), L. Man­tle, D. Kenny, S. Ab­bott. Subs: N. Hop­kins, J. Rowe, N. O’Brien, E. Toolan.

Action from the All-Ire­land League en­counter be­tween Grey­stones and Trin­ity.

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