Grey­stones se­cure the sum­mit of Di­vi­sion 2B

Wicklow People - - SPORT - PADDY HICKEY at Dr Hickey Park

FERDIA KENNY and Kil­lian Marmion grabbed a brace of tries as Grey­stones made it seven wins out of seven games in this All-Ire­land League Di­vi­sion 2B con­test at Dr Hickey Park on Satur­day.

Al­to­gether, Stones crossed for a to­tal of eight tries against their Cork op­po­nents, with Ryan O’Lough­lin, Ian Cul­li­nane and subs Mick Dou­glas and Chris Sim­monds also con­tribut­ing five-point­ers.

And the re­main­ing 13 points for the home side was made up by a penalty and four con­ver­sions from An­drew Kealy and a con­ver­sion by Marmion af­ter Kealy had gone off just be­fore the end.

In ad­di­tion to pre­serv­ing their un­beaten record and boost­ing their pro­mo­tion prospects, Grey­stones coach Kevin Lewis and his play­ers re­ceived the fil­lip of dis­lodg­ing Barn­hall from the top spot In the Di­vi­sion 2B ta­ble.

This was due to the fact that while the Leixlip side pre­served their 100 per cent record in their game against Corinthi­ans, un­like Grey­stones they were un­able to add a bonus point to their tally.

‘Get­ting back on top of the ta­ble be­fore Christ­mas was a tar­get that we had set for our­selves and it’s great that we have achieved that,” en­thused Lewis af­ter his charges’ 36 point suc­cess.

‘Now, it’s up to us to de­fend our po­si­tion in our forth­com­ing games, start­ing with the away game against Dun­gan­non next Satur­day.”

Only 11 min­utes had elapsed in the con­test when right-winger Kenny recorded the first try, fol­low­ing an in­ci­sive break by left-winger Paudie Geoghe­gan, with Kealy adding the ex­tra points.

Two min­utes, Kealy landed a penalty and Grey­stones seemed to be coast­ing when out-half Marmion scored his first try to put his side 15-0 up af­ter just 12 min­utes.

But the op­po­si­tion hauled back them­selves back into con­tention by bag­ging a whop­ping 12 points in the space of just five min­utes, with hooker John Barry and pacey full-back Michael Boland con­tribut­ing a try apiece, and cen­tre Eoin Geary land­ing one con­ver­sion.

How­ever, Kevin Lewis felt that a yel­low card handed out to wing for­ward Eoin Marmion had a big bear­ing on his side be­ing put on the back foot dur­ing this pe­riod of play.

‘I thought that we got a very harsh yel­low card in Eoin Marmion’s case,’ he pointed out. ‘I thought what Eoin did was fairly in­nocu­ous, to be hon­est, and the yel­low card cer­tainly gave Sun­days Well a lift and they scored their first try al­most im­me­di­ately.

And a few min­utes later they scored an­other try.’

But three min­utes be­fore half­time, Kenny crossed for Grey­stones’ third try, fol­low­ing good work by Kil­lian Marmion and Kealy, leav­ing the home side 20-12 in front at the break.

On the restart, Grey­stones main­tained their as­cen­dancy, wing-for­ward Ian Cul­li­nane barg­ing over the ‘Well line on 49 min­utes, and Marmion fol­lowed up with his sec­ond try on 58 min­utes, with Kealy con­vert­ing.

With 13 min­utes left, sub Mick Doyle got in on the try-scor­ing act, Kealy adding the ex­tra points, to leave the score­board read­ing 39-12.

Shortly af­ter­wards, cen­tre O’Lough­lin con­trib­uted his five-pointer, Kealy con­vert­ing, and al­most im­me­di­ately the Cork side hit back with a try from cen­tre Eoin Geary.

Fit­tingly, how­ever, Grey­stones had the last say when Sim­mons added his try, with Marmion con­vert­ing.

In as­sess­ing his side’s per­for­mance, Lewis re­marked: “Af­ter con­ced­ing the two tries, we set­tled down again af­ter about half an hour, and from there to the end we were com­pletely in com­mand, scor­ing a lot of nice tries.

‘And they didn’t score again un­til about three min­utes from the end.

‘Sun­days Well are a team that you’d ex­pect to do dam­age to a lot of teams, and they knocked us out of the pro­mo­tion fi­nal a few years ago.

‘So we were un­der no il­lu­sions about what to ex­pect to­day, and so it’s nice to put up a big score against them and make them think about the re­turn match against them.

‘But it won’t be easy for us next week against Dun­gan­non, as that’s an ex­cep­tion­ally hard place to go to. We haven’t a great record up there and we’ve lost the last three times that I’ve been up there.

‘So there’s lots to play for and we can’t take any­thing for granted.’

On the debit side of his side’s dis­play, Lewis added: ‘I was slightly dis­ap­pointed with the three tries that we con­ceded, and that con­trasted with the last cou­ple of games against Sligo and Belfast Har­lequins in which we didn’t con­cede any points at all.

‘We’ll look at that to see why it hap­pened, and try and work on that dur­ing the week and see if we can im­prove on that area in the match against Dun­gan­non.’

Sun­days Well coach Peter Dal­ton said: ‘There was a lot of mix­ing and match­ing and fel­las play­ing out of po­si­tion and Grey­stones are a qual­ity side and they took some qual­ity scores.

‘Grey­stones got off to a great start, but I was very proud of the lads, they came back into it re­ally well, and at half-time we thought we had a bit of a chance at 20-12 down.

‘But you could see there in the sec­ond half that we were just out on our feet, but we fought as hard as we could and it was good to get our third try just be­fore the end.

‘We’ve very un­lucky in the last three or four weeks with fel­las pick­ing up in­juries, and we haven’t been able to select from a full deck for over a month now. And it will be prob­a­bly the other side of Christ­mas be­fore we’ll be able to put out a full strength side.

‘But ev­ery­one is deal­ing with that prob­lem and it’s not an ex­cuse. And I’m not say­ing that we’d have done any bet­ter if we had a full strength side out to­day, as Grey­stones are a qual­ity side.’

GREY­STONES: Nick Quirk; Ferdia Kenny, Ryan O’Lough­lin, An­drew Kealy, Paudie Geoghe­gan; Kil­lian Marmion, Andy Roberts; Vik­tor Ze­lenka, Joel Pen­ders, Conor Pearse, Oisin Len­non, Dan Man­nion, Eoin Marmion, Ian Cul­li­nane, Robin O’Sul­li­van. Subs: Josh Glynn for Nick Quirk (half­time), Michael Dou­glas for Vik­tor Ze­lenka, Mick Doyle for Dan Marmion, Chris Sim­monds for Ian Cul­li­nane, Alan Dempsey for Robin O’Sul­li­van (all 50 mins), Dan Marmion for Oisin Len­non (70 mins), Nick Quirk for Ferdia Kenny (77 mins), Robin O’Sul­li­van for Eoin Marmion (78 mins).

SUN­DAYS WELL: Michael Boland; James Kier­nan, Eoin Geary, Ryan Buck­ley, Paddy He­garty; Peter O’Brien, Gary Downey; Michael Moyni­han, John Barry, Evan O’Con­nell, Ian Mur­phy, Joshua Barnes, Aaron Sweeney, Dar­ren Lof­tus, Shane Des­mond. Subs: An­drew Min­tern for Aaron Sweeney (20 mins), Ross O’Ma­hony for Ryan Buck­ley (60 mins), Ryan Lennnon for John Barry, Joshua Feather­stone for Eoin Geary (both 65 mins), Ryan Buck­ley for Paddy He­garty (70 mins).

REF­EREE: Henry Red­mond.

Chris Sim­monds has his try awarded dur­ing the AIL Di­vi­sion 2B clash with Sun­days Well in Dr Hickey Park last week­end.

Paudie Geoghe­gan feeds the ball back to his col­leagues.

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