Grey­stones keep pro­mo­tion hopes on track af­ter win over High­field

Bray People - - SPORT -

STONES WERE on the road again last week­end as they headed south to Cork for their fifth back to back match in the Ul­ster Bank League this week against High­field. Stones trav­elled full of con­fi­dence on the back of their re­cent run of very im­pres­sive wins but also con­scious that High­field would not be an easy task at home and a win would be very im­por­tant in the quest for pro­mo­tion to Divi­sion 2.

High­field won the toss and elected to play against the wind in the first half and also tak­ing into ac­count the slop­ing na­ture of the pitch be­lieved this would give them a good plat­form for the match par­tic­u­larly in the sec­ond half. It was in­deed to prove to be a game of two halves with Stones scor­ing four tries in the first half and not re­ally threat­en­ing the try line in the sec­ond half dur­ing which time High­field ran in four tries in re­sponse to make for a very tense fin­ish to the match.

Andrew Kealy opened the scor­ing for Grey­stones in the first ten min­utes when he con­tin­ued the ex­cel­lent run of kick­ing form to slot over a penalty for three points. Kealy was to fea­ture again five min­utes later when Aaron Higgs broke from the cen­tre and re­leased the ball to Kealy to score in the cor­ner and go on to con­vert for a 10-0 lead for Stones. Ro­nan Car­roll was to strike next af­ter run­ning through the phases Ro­nan dis- pensed with the last re­main­ing High­field de­fence to touch down in the right hand cor­ner. High­field were not out of it by any means and put to­gether some strong at­tack­ing phases to be re­warded with a con­verted try in the last 15 min­utes of the first half.

Stones upped the pace of the game and put to­gether their best per­for­mance of the match to score two more tries be­fore the break with Alan O'Toole's try con­verted by Andrew Kealy and Kealy go­ing over for his sec­ond try just at the break for half-time with Stones lead­ing by 27 points to 7. A wise man on the side­line said that look­ing at the con­di­tions Stones would need a 20 point lead at half-time and how true this was to be.

The sec­ond half as ex­pected started a high pace and Stones were un­lucky to lose Alan Dempsey through in­jury when he came off worst from a clash with the High­field pack. High­field had Stones pinned down in their half and reaped the re­wards with a con­verted try just on the hour mark.

Stones kept up the battle and man­aged to bring play into the High­field half and were awarded a penalty for a High­field in­fringe­ment in what was to prove the most im­por­tant three points kicked by Andrew Kealy. High­field moved up a gear and brought play back into Stones 22 again and crossed again to score a con­verted try with five min­utes re­main­ing.

In the dy­ing min­utes High­field kicked a Gar­ry­owen that caused some con­fu­sion in the Stones de­fence and was col­lected and touched down un­der the posts. The con­ver­sion was to be the last play as the ref­eree blow the fi­nal whis­tle to the re­lief of Stones for a fi­nal score of 28-30. This leaves Stones in a solid third in the Ul­ster Bank League with three matches re­main­ing.

Speak­ing af­ter the match Grey­ston­estTeam cap­tain Barry Holmes said ‘High­field is al­ways a dif­fi­cult place to play and with a 30-28 score to­day was no dif­fer­ent. They fought right to the end and de­servedly got two points out of it. We have three games left against even tougher op­po­si­tion so we need to up the ante if we want to suc­ceed in this league.’

Tries: Andrew Kealy (2), Ro­nan Car­roll (1), Alan O'Toole (1). Con­ver­sions: Andrew Kealy (2). Penal­ties Andrew Kealy (2). Grey­stones: 15 Ross Spil­lane, 14 Ro­nan Car­roll, 13 Si­mon Malone, 12 Aaron Higgs, 11 Andrew Kealy, 10 James Power, 9 Roddy Car­roll, 1 Ro­nan Kear­ney, 2 Dy­lan Fawsitt, 3 Bobby Clancy, 4 Barry Holmes (Capt), 5 Ben Arm­strong, 6 Dar­ragh Dug­gan, 7 Alan Dempsey, 8 Alan O'Toole. Re­place­ments: 16 Peter Hip­ple, 17 Neil O'Brien, 18 Rob Smith, 19 James Beery, 20 Em­lyn Lynch.

Ro­nan Car­roll scores for Grey­stones dur­ing their league win over High­field.

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