Greystones chalk up good win over Highfield
Greystones 26, Highfield 9: After the break for the Autumn Internationals it was back to business in the AllIreland League on Saturday last when Greystones welcomed Highfield to Dr. Hickey Park.
The previous encounter with the Cork team was two seasons ago when in a tight game ’Stones prevailed. The visitors were in 11th place in the league, with ’Stones just two places and points above them so both teams were hoping to gain valuable points in the run up to Christmas and in a hard-fought game it was ’Stones who came out on top in the end with the win.
The first ten minutes saw ’ Stones having to defend within their own half with out-half James Powers chip going astray only to see a ’Stones player in an offside position and a penalty awarded to the visitors which centre Nick Wakely narrowly put wide of the posts.
The kick-off by Power went straight into the arms of the visitors second row Matt McGann and again a silly penalty by ’Stones for a tackle allowed Highfield a penalty, this time they choose the lineout option.
From it they moved the ball well and a pass to prop Martin Gatley should have yielded a try but he was tackled by Greystones centre Stevie Meyer who knocked it from his grasp, however with the advantage a poor kick clearance from Power once again put ’Stones under pressure but thankfully the visitors were not able to take full advantage.
With fifteen minutes on the clock Greystones finally woke up with their pack now taking control and with scrum-half Frank Jones now getting some ball he and Power were now dictating the pace of the game with some good work which on one occasion saw a delightful belly pass from Power to Meyer setting the No. 13 off on a good run that saw him stopped just short of the visitors line.
Three minutes later and yet another Power inspired run saw him combine with second row Neil Megannety and wing Ronan Carroll again almost make the Highfield line.
The scoring opened on 22 minutes when wing forward Dan Kenny taking a pass from Carroll to charge in under the posts for a try, converted by Power.
However the visitors had reduced the lead with a penalty from Wakely within a couple of minutes
Three minutes later and the Greystones lead was increased with a penalty from Power to put the score at 10-3.
On 32 minutes Power once again increased his tally with another penalty. And the final score of the half was just on half-time when Wakely added to his three points with another penalty to leave the half-time score at 13-3 to Greystones.
The second-half saw the tempo of the game upped with the visitors being awarded two penalties in quick succession but alas for them Wakely was wide on both occasions.
Having weathered the early storm Greystones scored another penalty from Power and then a drop goal two minutes after that saw them go into a 16-6 lead. Highfield’s final score of the day came from another penalty, this time form Colin Mahoney, who had missed a couple of minutes earlier. Greystones had made a number of substitutions at this time and one of them, wing forward Johnny Downey made a fine impact with a number of devastating tackles and two great runs and was awarded the Man of The Match afterwards.
From there on in, inspired by their pack and with Power dictating the game at No. 10, it was Greystones who dominated and on 72 minutes with a marvellous piece of play which saw Power deliver, first a fine pass to Meyer, and then taking the return, he cleverly chipped to his left and towards the Highfield line.
Wing Damian Wildes, one of last seasons under-20s and full-back Mark Geraghty followed up and with the visitors right wing Maurice Power under pressure they forced him into error with Wildes getting the touchdown for the try.
From almost the touchline, Power delivered the final two points to end the scoring on the day.
Next week Greystones travel North to take on Ballinahinch, who lost their 100 per cent record at the weekend so it promises to be a lively encounter with ’Stones now only five points off the top.
Greystones full-back Mark Geraghty almost makes the goal line.