Kealy puts on kick­ing show in Dr. Hickey

Corinthi­ans sent pack­ing

Wicklow People - - SPORT -


AN­DREW KEALY served up a place kick­ing mas­ter­class at Dr Hickey Park last Satur­day to steer Grey­stones to a de­served 33–7 points win over vis­i­tors Gal­way Corinthi­ans in the sec­ond round of the All Ire­land League.

Play­ing a cap­tain’s role, Kealy con­verted a to­tal of four penal­ties and three con­ver­sions in­clud­ing an au­da­cious 60 me­ter strike from well within his own half to pun­ish Corinthi­ans’ in­dis­cre­tions in a first half played with a strong wind be­hind a dom­i­nant Grey­stones side.

The tone was set straight from the open­ing play when Corinthi­ans were pe­nalised for play­ing the ball in an off­side po­si­tion al­low­ing Kealy an easy open­ing con­ver­sion from out­side the 22. By the ten-minute mark two fur­ther penal­ties had ex­tended the lead to nine points as Kealy struck twice more from dis­tance to ram home the mes­sage that with the wind ad­van­tage any penalty con­ces­sion will be pun­ished.

Well on top in all facets of play, Grey­stones dom­i­nated the ball us­ing the con­di­tions to keep the vis­i­tors on the back foot through­out the open­ing pas­sages of play. Only last gasp de­fend­ing and the oc­ca­sional han­dling er­ror kept the score­line to sin­gle fig­ures un­til the 25th minute when Ian Cul­li­nane crashed over for the open­ing try of the af­ter­noon.

With Corinthi­ans un­der de­fen­sive pres­sure Grey­stones opted for a series of scrums when awarded a suc­ces­sion of penal­ties that might well have re­sulted in a yel­low card. This says a lot about ‘Stones this sea­son as the ad­di­tion of Joel Pen­ders and Vik­tor Ze­lenka to the front row has added real steel to the Grey­stones pack and they had the Corinthi­ans scrum un­der se­ri­ous pres­sure all af­ter­noon. Back row Cul­li­nane picked from the back of the scrum for the de­ci­sive break to drive over close to the posts.

The lead was fur­ther ex­tended straight from the restart when Grey­stones gath­ered on their 22 with Robin O’Sul­li­van break­ing the line be­fore quick ball was fed to Paudie Geoghe­gan on the left wing at full pace. There was no stop­ping the fly­ing winger as he out­paced the scram­bling de­fence kick­ing ahead and win­ning the foot race to touch down. Kealy con­verted both tries be­fore stick­ing the knife into Corinthi­ans with his au­da­cious long range penalty.

With 35 min­utes played Corinthi­ans were pe­nalised in­side the Grey­stones half and hav­ing been pun­ished for each trans­gres­sion in­side their own half could have been for­given for think­ing they were not go­ing to be watch­ing an­other ball sail through the posts but Kealy gave the ref­eree the sig­nal and the touch judges took up po­si­tion be­hind the posts as he teed up the ball close to his 10 me­ter line. Tak­ing a short run up he struck the ball cleanly and the size­able sup­port were never in doubt as it cleared the bar with dis­tance to spare.

With half time loom­ing Corinthi­ans mounted their only real at­tack in­side the Grey­stones 22 and a mo­men­tary lapse in the home de­fence al­lowed their cen­tre slip through for a soft try in the last play of the half.

Play­ing into the wind in the sec­ond half Grey­stones sought to con­tain Corinthi­ans who failed to add any­thing fur­ther to their first half try. In­stead it was Grey­stones who con­tin­ued to take the game to the vis­i­tors and added a third try when Mikey Doyle weaved through the Corinthi­ans de­fence to touch down on 52 min­utes. The ir­re­press­ible Kealy added the con­ver­sion to bring his to­tal haul to 18 points for the af­ter­noon.

With just un­der 20 min­utes still to play Grey­stones thoughts turned to se­cur­ing the bonus point try but if any­thing were guilty of try­ing too hard on an af­ter­noon when the strong wind made ball han­dling dif­fi­cult.

The break­through al­most came in the fi­nal min­utes when Kil­lian Marmion pounced on a loose ball, fly hack­ing it down field sup­ported by Geoghe­gan and Fer­dia Kenny. While Geoghe­gan gath­ered and crossed the line the ref­eree pulled play back af­ter ad­judg­ing Geoghe­gan was ahead of the play when the ball was kicked ahead.

Head coach Kevin Lewis was nev­er­the­less very pleased with his sides per­for­mance and with an open­ing re­turn of two wins from two. Grey­stones are back in Dr Hickey Park again next Satur­day when they host Rainey Old Boys and cel­e­brate the 30th an­niver­sary of the open­ing of their fine stand.

Grey­stones: Josh Glynn, Paudie Geoghe­gan, An­drew Lynch, An­drew Kealy, Nick Quirke, Kil­lian Marmion, An­drew Kealy, Rob O’Sul­li­van, Ian Cul­li­nane, John Camp­bell, Chris Sym­monds, Eoin Marmion, Conor Pearse, Joel Pen­ders, Vik­tor Ze­lenka

Re­place­ments: Fer­dia Kenny, Jay Cur­ran, Mikey Doyle, Barry Traenor, Michael Dou­glas

An­drew Kealy launches a penalty to­wards the Corinthi­ans posts.

Robin O’Sul­li­van drives at the Corinthi­ans line.

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