’Stones fall to Wan­der­ers

Sec­ond-half blitz was fa­tal

Bray People - - SPORT - CIARON NO­BLE

A Wan­der­ers F.C. four-try blitz in the sec­ond half helped them get the victory as they pulled away from Grey­stones RFC in a high-scor­ing en­counter that fin­ished 24-38.

On Satur­day af­ter­noon Dr Hickey Park played host to this Round 3 En­er­gia Com­mu­nity Se­ries fix­ture, which saw a to­tal of 10 tries scored.

’Stones came into this game with a win and a loss, with Wan­der­ers vis­it­ing with an 100 per cent win­ning record in their open­ing two games.

In a match where the game was re­ally the story of two halves, the home side started lively.

Early on num­ber 8 Mick Doyle won a penalty at the break­down earn­ing his team a shot at the sticks, the penalty at­tempt was missed. How­ever, ’Stones kept the pres­sure on in the danger zone, some good car­ries from for­wards Eoin Marmion, Cor­mac O’Donoghue and Mick Doyle helped them edge their way to the op­po­si­tion try-line be­fore the ball was swung wide, left wing Nick Quirk who with some lovely foot-work, wres­tled his way to the try-line and scored the open­ing try. It was 5-0 with eight min­utes gone.

Wan­der­ers started to get some time on the ball, how­ever, it was only met with re­ally ag­gres­sive de­fence led by Eoin Marmion who put in a big phys­i­cal ef­fort through­out.

Cor­mac O’Donoghue made a steal at the break­down near his own 22, kick start­ing a great counter at­tack, putting width on the ball they ran the length of the pitch, with some lovely calm pass­ing be­fore putting winger Fer­dia Kenny away for the try. It was 12-0 at the wa­ter-break af­ter a great con­ver­sion.

Shortly af­ter the break the visi­tors got their open­ing score. A poor box-kick at­tempt was blocked down near the ’Stones 5m line, ul­ti­mately end­ing with the op­po­si­tion tak­ing con­trol of pos­ses­sion, as their scrum-half eas­ily got in for the try. A missed con­ver­sion meant it was 12-5

Both teams traded tries be­fore the half-time in­ter­val.

The hosts got the op­por­tu­nity to at­tack, although Mick Doyle smartly just took the ball into con­tact, set­ting up for the next phase be­fore scrum-half Ja­son Cur­ran saw the open gate in the mid­dle of the ruck, break­ing his way into op­po­si­tion ter­ri­tory, he was caught as he off­loaded the ball from a sim­ple re­cy­cle at the break­down the ball was given to out-half Kil­lian Marmion who sneaked his way to the line. It was 19-5.

The Dublin club fin­ished the half with a try of their own, they had a dan­ger­ous line-out close to the try-line, Stones al­most got the steal at the maul, although the Wan­der­ers man twisted his body around scor­ing the try. It was 19-10 at the mid-way point.

Credit has to be given to the men from Mer­rion Road as they re­ally upped the tempo in the sec­ond half, start­ing with a new lease of life.

Their cen­tres be­gan hit­ting lines at speed, cre­at­ing gaps in the op­po­si­tion de­fence. This all led to their next try, their pres­sure told as they even­tu­ally pow­ered their way to the try-line un­der­neath the sticks. It was 19-17; it was firmly game on.

It seemed like the Dublin­ers were start­ing to win all the bat­tles in North Wick­low. Then for what felt like a life­time Wan­der­ers had scrum af­ter scrum just shy of the try-line be­fore they ul­ti­mately were awarded a penalty try, adding in­sult to in­jury Stones also had prop Dar­ragh Hig­gins sent to the sin bin. It was 19-24, the lead chang­ing hands for the first time.

The men in green and white looked to launch an at­tack within their own half, although a bril­liant read by the on-rush­ing Mickey Rus­sel in­ter­cept­ing the ball and scored the try. The men in dark blue, white and black would score one more try leav­ing it 19-38.

Stones fin­ished with a con­so­la­tion try, their fourth of the af­ter­noon enough to get them a los­ing bonus point. Some good play got them back into the right area of the pitch, Kil­lian Marmion put sub­sti­tute Ronan Man­nion through the gap as he went un­der the sticks for the tenth try of the con­test.

We were treated to a try-scor­ing thriller. It fin­ished 24-38. GREY­STONES RFC: Matt O’Brien, Fer­dia Kenny, Andrew Kealy, Mark Myler, Nick Quirk, Kil­lian Marmion, Ja­son Cur­ran, Ivan­hoe Takatai, Ben Pent­land, Conor Pearse, Chris Sim­monds, Eoin Marmion, Alan Dempsey, Cor­mac O’Donoghue, Mick Doyle. Subs: Michael Dou­glas, Dar­ragh Hig­gins, Ronan Man­nion, Jamie Dempsey and Rob Con­nolly.

Grey­stones head coach Kevin Lewis ad­dresses his troops af­ter the de­feat to Wan­der­ers.

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