’Stones fall to Wanderers
Second-half blitz was fatal
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.