Old Wes­ley pack too much punch in Divi­sion 2 fi­nal

Wicklow People - - SPORT - LE­IN­STER SNR. LGE.


IN the end the step up in fac­ing op­po­si­tion from two di­vi­sions higher in the All Ire­land League and on their home pitch proved too much for this tal­ented Grey­stones side who were bat­tling to re­tain a tro­phy they have held on to for the last three years.

Old Wes­ley, cur­rently com­pet­ing in Divi­sion 1B of the AIL even­tu­ally ran out 41–5 vic­tors in an en­ter­tain­ing match where the hosts were only a slightly flat­tered by the score­line.

In se­lect­ing his squad for this post Christ­mas fi­nal, Grey­stones head coach Kevn Lewis had to con­tend with a se­ries of ab­sences ei­ther through un­avail­abil­ity or as key play­ers re­cover from the at­tri­tional na­ture of the first half of the AIL and per­haps with an eye on the big­ger prize of pro­mo­tion from Divi­sion 2B come the first week of May fielded a start­ing 15 shorn of half a dozen first team reg­u­lars.

Wes­ley set the tone for the match right from the off tak­ing the game to Grey­stones at pace and us­ing a back­line fa­mil­iar with the unique na­ture of the 4G En­er­gia Park pitch to dev­as­tat­ing ef­fect and within the first cou­ple of min­utes al­most opened the scor­ing with a blis­ter­ing break down the right wing.

This was re­pelled through a last ditch tackle from scrum half Andy Roberts who forced a foot into touch but the re­prieve was short lived.

Find­ing it dif­fi­cult to deal with the pace of the game Grey­stones were guilty of fall­ing off tack­les and leav­ing gaps in their de­fen­sive line and it took only 10 min­utes for the open­ing score with a break through the mid­dle for an easy touch­down un­der the posts. Wes­ley fol­lowed with a sec­ond on 20 min­utes to ex­tend the lead to 14 and added a third on the stroke of half time for a 19 point in­ter­val lead.

In be­tween scores Grey­stones had good pe­ri­ods of pos­ses­sion but with­out find­ing the break­through score to get them­selves into the game.

Wes­ley’s third try came at point when ‘Stones were pres­suris­ing their line only to spill pos­ses­sion and fail to gather a loose ball that was swiftly turned over for a length of the field try.

If there is any­thing Grey­stones head coach Kevin Lewis can take from the game it is how the small­est of er­rors can be pun­ished with dev­as­tat­ing ef­fect. Sec­ond half tries in­cluded a cou­ple of in­ter­cep­tions and a quick turnover and break­away when in pos­ses­sion in at­tack­ing ter­ri­tory. The one con­so­la­tion try came with the re­sult al­ready a fore­gone con­clu­sion when Kil­liam Marmion fin­ished a well worked move.

The fo­cus for Grey­stones now moves to the piv­otal away en­counter with joint lead­ers of Divi­sion 2B in the All Ire­land League, Barn­hall who are level on points with ‘Stones in two weeks time.

Kevin Lewis re­marked af­ter the game how we had en­joyed win­ning this Le­in­ster League tro­phy in the last three sea­sons and whilst de­feat is dis­ap­point­ing ev­ery player put their all into the game and some of the younger play­ers in­volved will have taken a lot from the ex­pe­ri­ence.

Un­doubt­edly for the club the big­ger prize is the AIL and fo­cus now switches to what will be a very tough sec­ond half of the sea­son kick­ing off in two weeks time on Jan­uary 19 with that away game against Le­in­ster ri­vals Barn­hall.

An­drew Kealy (Capt), Dy­lan Sim­monds, Con Cal­lan, Ryan O’Lough­lin, Matt O’Brien, Kil­lian Marmion, Andy Roberts, Joel Pen­ders, Michael Doyle, Conor Pearse, John Camp­bell, Michael Dou­glas, Eoin Marmion, Alan Dempsey, Robin O’Sul­li­van. Re­place­ments: Cor­mac O’Donoghue, Daniel Power, Vik­tor Ze­lenka, Conor Byrne, James Dempsey, Barry Traenor, Chris Sim­monds


Grey­stones RFC’s An­drew Kealy, Jamie Dempsey and Chris Sim­monds in ac­tion against Old Wes­ley.

Ryan O’Lough­lin puts in a tackle sup­ported by Kil­lian Marmion and Dy­lan Sim­monds.

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