Old Crescent too strong for ’Stones
RUGBY AIB LEAGUE DIVISION 2
Greystones 9, Old Crescent 22: Once again, injuries deprived Greystones of three of their most influential players, in second row and captain Neil Megannety, prop Stephen Snell and wing Stu O’Connell, who were all injured on Thursday night in training.
This meant that back row Danny Kenny slotted in the second row with Snell’s place going to Kevin Moes while Frank Jones went from his customary scrumhalf slot to the wing.
This was a game that Greystones could have won but for their willingness to give the opportunities to the opposition almost from the off.
Within two minutes of kick-off, Greystones gifted Crescent with a penalty on their twenty two which outhalf Trevor Bowles had no difficulty slotting to put them into a three point lead.
Eight minutes later and a promising Greystones attack saw an inside pass from Stones No. 12 Conor Cleary picked off on halfway by Bowles and with almost no cover, he raced in under the posts to touch down and with the easiest of conversions, he had racked up ten points in as many minutes.
Greystones then stirred themselves and with some good spade work in the pack, they provided good ball for a backline that promised much but in the end delivered not a lot.
However, Stones were in territorial terms, the better of the two teams but time after time just when they had worked themselves into a good scoring position they were guilty of over playing and thus losing pos- session to a strong Crescent pack in which their captain and No. 6 Juan Pablo Ruiz and No. 8 Lemiki Viapula were outstanding as ball carriers and in general they had the upper hand in the loose.
The Crescent scrum was particularly good which meant that Stones were not able to launch any ploys from the base, this saw scrum-half Ross Mackey with bad ball but to his credit he wasn’t fazed and went on to have a good game.
On 20 minutes the home team were once again guilty at a ruck and Bowles stepped up and slotted his third kick of the day to increase their lead to 13 points. Greystones replied a minute later when a well worked line-out between Mantle and hooker Jason-Harris Wright almost saw a try but he was stopped just short of the try line. Crescent killed the ball and a well struck penalty from James Power gave Stones their first points of the afternoon.
Greystones then put in some good attacks, one which almost produced a try. From a scrum just inside the Crescent twenty-two, Mackey picked from the base and eluded his marker and with a deft inside pass he found his No. 7 Burshi Wojner who evaded Ruiz and almost made the line but a good tackle from Crescent captain Phil Glamuzina stopped him just short.
But within three minutes it was Crescent who scored another penalty with Bowles doing the needful to leave the halftime score at 16-3 to the Limerick men.
Greystones resumed with a strong wind advantage and as they did in the first minute of the game, it was Crescent who obliged with a penalty awarded against them within a minute with Power getting his second to draw within ten points of the opposition.
Further penalties were then traded between Power and Bowles to leave the score at a tantalizing 19-9 with five minutes to go. Stones should have nailed an almost certain three points, which would have given them at least a losing bonus point but on two occasions, for whatever reason, they went for line-out options, which did not produce anything.
With almost the last play of the game, Stones were punished with a final penalty from Bowles to finish his and Crescent’s tally of 22 on the day.
Next week, and once again a break for the Six Nations, and when the league resumes on March 7th, Greystones make the short journey to Merrion Road to play Wanderers in a game that both side desperately need to win as both are now perilously close to the drop zone, so the proverbial eight-pointer is up for grabs.
Action from the game between Greystones and Old Crescent.