Greystones continue their winning run
Perfect record never in danger as Sligo brushed aside
THEIR 100 per cent record was never in the remotest danger, as Greystones steamrolled their way to a landslide victory over Sligo at Dr Hickey Park on Saturday afternoon.
On the back of the previous round away victory over Skerries, the home side scored five tries, one penalty try, two penalties and two conversions as they kept up the pressure on leaders Barnhall at the top of the All Ireland League Division 2B table.
Full back Andrew Kealy led the scoring charts with a total of 15 points, comprised of one try, two penalties and two conversions, and he was followed by substitute winger Ferdia Kenny who weighed in with two tries.
In addition, Greystones were awarded a penalty try, and winger Andrew Lynch and out-half Killian Marmion each crossed for one try as the Sligo defence took a fierce buffeting and particularly in the second half when the home side added 24 points to add to their first half total of 18 points.
After electing to play with the strong wind in the opening half, Greystones wasted no time in getting on the scoreboard, Kealy slotting a penalty between the posts after just one minute of play.
It took until the 12th minute before Sligo moved into the opposition half for the first time, but on 22 minutes a fine break by centre Con Callan set up Kealy for his try, Marmion being narrowly wide with the conversion.
Six minutes later, Kealy landed his second penalty, putting his side 11-0 ahead, and just on the stroke of half-time a period of sustained Greystones pressure led to an infringement by the opposition pack, and referee Peter Martin had no hesitation in awarding a penalty try.
Unfortunately for the Connacht side, the wind had died down considerably by the start of the second half, and almost immediately they suffered another blow, Lynch touching down in the right corner after an astute cross-field kick by Marmion.
Inside three minutes, Sligo found themselves 30-0 down, Kealy dummying a pass before setting up Kenny, who had just come on as a sub for Lynch, for the home side’s third try, and Kealy converting.
On 49 minutes, Callan and Marmion were involved before Kenny scored his second try, and the rout was completed on 64 minutes when Marmion got in on the try-scoring act, and Kealy added the extra points.
Understandably, Greystones coach Kevin Lewis was delighted with his side’s comprehensive victory.
“It’s always nice to win your home games and to hold the opposition to zero was particularly satisfying,” he said after the fifth round contest.
“I thought we were really good in the second half, and for most of the first half when they were really challenging we were quite patient.
“We probably played a reasonably decent game with our wider bench, and the whole squad generally showed up well today.
“The penalty try that we were awarded just before half-time was massive, as they had done very well to hold us to 11 points to be fair to them.
“We don’t score too many penalty tries – that was a great boost for the lads, and it gave them a huge amount of confidence having to face the breeze in the second half.
“I think we deserved to be that number of points up at half-time (18-0) for the amount of work that we put in the first half.
“And in the second half we were very clever the way we attacked on the blind wide sides and used our space really well and got some great tries.
“Some of the finishing by the wingers were really good. In scoring the first try in the second half, just after half-time, Andrew Lynch got a bang, and Ferdia Kenny came on and he scored an equally good try and another try shortly afterwards.
“So it just shows that the wider squad is very strong.”
Looking forward to his side’s next match, Lewis added: “It’s very satisfying to have five wins out of our five matches, but we have a very tough one next week against Belfast Harlequins.
“They have been a very good team over the years, so that’s a real challenge for us. We have to keep in touch with Barnhall who have been pulling away and they’ve played very well over the last few weeks.”
“And an additional boost for Barnhall is that in beating Sunday’s Well today they got a bonus point.”
Sligo coach Paddy Pearson, a New Zealander married to a Sligo woman, said: “We had to play against a very strong wind in the first half, and unfortunately for us the wind died down a good bit for the start of the second half.
“And it was a similar type situation with the wind in our match last week against Wanderers.
“The penalty try just before half-time really killed us and the lads switched off at the start of the second half and we conceded two soft tries.
“But at the end of the day, they (Greystones) skinned us out wide. They were very dangerous with their hands on the ball and they might have done more damage in the first half if they hadn’t kicked the ball as much as they did.” GREYSTONES: Andrew Kealy; Andrew Lynch, Con Callan, Ryan O’Loughlin, Paudie Geoghegan; Killian Marmion, Andy Roberts; Viktor Zelenka, Joel Penders. Conor Pearce, Chris Simmonds, Oisin Lennon, Eoin Marmion, Ian Cullinane, Robin O’Sullivan.Subs: Michael Douglas for Conor Pearce (half-time), Michael Doyle for Chris Simmonds (half-time), Dan Mannion for Robin O’Sullivan (half-time), Ferdia Kenny for Andrew Lynch (43 mins), Cormac O’Donoghue for Ian Cullinane (43 mins), Conor Pearce for Viktor Zalenka (43
mins), Andrew Lynch for Ryan O’Loughlin (60 mins), Robin O’Sullivan for Eoin Marmion (60 mins), Viktor Zelenka for Conor Pearce (73 mins).
SLIGO: Calum Goddard; Philip Carter, Ryan Feehily, Mata Fifita, Sean Mullin; Mark Butler, Brendan Cunningham; Kuba Wojtkowicz, Shane O’Hehir, Thomas Gormley, Ciaran Cassidy, Jason Havea, Shane Boyle, Mattie Davey, Ross Hickey.
REFEREE: Peter Martin.
Paudie Geoghegan of Greystones tries to force his way through the Sligo tacklers.
Eoin Marmion of Greystones rises highest in the line-out.
Killian Marmion of Greystones makes a challenge.