Grey­stones bounce back with win against Thomond

RUGBY AIB LEAGUE DIVI­SION 2

Bray People - - Sport -

Grey­stones 20, Thomond 13: Last week Grey­stones shipped nine tries against Bal­li­nahinch; at Dr. Hickey Park on Satur­day last they won the game, scor­ing two tries when in re­al­ity they should have scored at least six, and with ten min­utes on the clock they found them­selves only four points in the lead.

It started well for Grey­stones with their back­line gain­ing good pos­ses­sion from their pack and on seven min­utes a fine at­tack up the left wing from in­side their twenty-two by Seán Car­roll saw him go through a num­ber of tack­les be­fore un­load­ing to cen­tre Ste­vie Meyer who con­tin­ued in the same vein for a fur­ther forty me­tres be­fore he was grounded on the Thomond twenty-two, the vis­i­tors went over the top and a penalty was awarded with out­half James Power get­ting the three points from the kick.

Five min­utes later the vis­i­tors were awarded a penalty on the Stones twenty-two with out-half De­clan Cu­sack get­ting the three to draw level.

Four min­utes later and an­other Car­roll in­spired run with Power in sup­port promised a score but as would be the prob­lem through­out, Stones were over ea­ger at the ruck and con­ceded a penalty to let the vis­i­tors off the hook.

With six­teen min­utes gone, once again a great run by Power and car­ried on by Meyer saw the No. 13 burst through three tack­les to score close in to the posts with Power de­liv­er­ing the ex­tra two to see Stones go into a ten points to three lead.

Ten min­utes af­ter that Grey­stones had worked them­selves into a good po­si­tion with the vis­i­tors con­ced­ing a line-out ten me­tres out, a good throw by hooker Ja­son Har­risWright and an equally fine tap down by sec­ond row, Neil Me­gan­nety saw Har­ris-Wright take the re­turn and burst through the Thomond line for his try, which from a nar­row an­gle Power duly con­verted.

Grey­stones then had two golden op­por­tu­ni­ties to score tries, firstly from Meyer who took a ball on the right wing and hav­ing done all the hard work and with a cou­ple of play­ers in sup­port, his pass went astray to Thomond full-back Alan Aitry who cleared his lines.

A cou­ple of min­utes later and again down the right hand side with men in sup­port the ball was lost in con­tact with the line beck­on­ing when cen­tre Aaron Higgs pass was too strong for wing for­ward Stu­art Ab­bott.

The sec­ond-half should have seen Grey­stones dis­pose of the op­po­si­tion, par­tic­u­larly within five min­utes of the restart when Thomond were re­duced to four­teen with cen­tre Henry O’Neill be­ing yel­low carded and two min­utes later with the in­ter­jec­tion of the touch judge, No. 6 Brian Buck­ley also saw yel­low.

How­ever, rather than press­ing home their ad­van­tage it was Thomond in that pe­riod who went on the score­sheet with a penalty from Cu­sack to nar­row the gap to eleven points.

Grey­stones had am­ple op­por­tu­ni­ties to get on the score­sheet but de­spite hav­ing the bet­ter of back play, on three fur­ther oc­ca­sions they failed to use the over­lap when it was pre­sented with too many play­ers fail­ing to de­liver the fi­nal killer pass. They were also guilty on to many oc­ca­sions at ruck time with pos­ses­sion be­ing squan­dered ei­ther by over ea­ger­ness and giv­ing away need­less penal­ties or with poor han­dling and al­low­ing the turnover.

One of their best chances came on fifty five min­utes when a great run up the mid­dle and then cut­ting right, saw full-back Mark Geraghty al­most make the line but a fine cov­er­ing tackle from wing Cian Cody put him into touch only inches short.

With time tick­ing down and Grey­stones looking a tri­fle wor­ried, Thomond de­liv­ered a mar­vel­lous solo try with Cody get­ting the ball on half­way and al­most hug­ging the line he charged through a cou­ple of poor tack­les to get a well de­served try in the cor­ner with Cu­sack de­liv­er­ing a fine con­ver­sion to now put them into only a four-point deficit.

This cer­tainly in­spired the vis­i­tors and with only a few min­utes on the clock re­main­ing, it was Thomond who al­most plun­dered a most im­prob­a­ble win, when they set up cen­tre Niall Sheri­dan with a glo­ri­ous ball and with seem­ingly no Grey­stones player in front of him he set off but in what was the mo­ment of the day, Stones out-half, James Power put in a bone crusher tackle which up­ended him on the Stones twenty-two to avert what could have been the clincher.

How­ever just on full-time, Stones sealed their win, much to the re­lief of the Grey­stones sup­port, when they were awarded a penalty on the right hand side five me­tres in from the touch­line which Power duly drew through the up­rights to end the scor­ing for the af­ter­noon.

The man of the match award went to Ste­vie Meyer and was pre­sented in the dress­ing room by for­mer All Blacks leg­end Zin­zan Brooke who was a guest of the club for the week­end. Al­though it was a win, the large at­ten­dance will have gone home some­what happy but not en­tirely sat­is­fied with the per­for­mance of their team on the day.

So with the Christ­mas pe­riod now upon them and a wel­come break, which no doubt the coach­ing staff and in­deed the play­ers must re­flect on, they must come up with some new ideas for the sec­ond-half of the sea­son.

Ja­son Har­ris-Wright scores a try for Grey­stones against Thomond.

Grey­stones cap­tain Neil Me­gan­nety shrugs off a tackle.

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