Greystones secure the summit of Division 2B
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.