Old Cres­cent too strong for ’Stones

RUGBY AIB LEAGUE DIVI­SION 2

Bray People - - Sport -

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.

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