Students fight back to deny Greystones
RUGBY ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE
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.