Rugby: All-Ireland league division 1b

Fourth win on the bounce for in-form Wesley

by Aaron Dunne
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In a closely-fought match Old Wesley made it four wins on the trot with a victory over St Mary’s at Templeville Road.

For the first five minutes play stayed between the two 10 metre lines as both sides looked to settle in. Then, a break by the elusive Alex Molloy set the crowd alight. Taking a pass just inside the opposition half he went on one of his now trade mark runs, weaving and at times turning defenders inside out, to score under the posts. Josh Miller converted with ease for an early lead.

Two penalties conceded by Mary’s earned Wesley good territory. The latter, from 30 metres, was kicked by Miller extending the lead to 10-0. 

Five minutes later it was the opposition’s turn to do the attacking. This was compounded by a deliberate knock on and a yellow card for Eoin Deegan. 

The penalty was kickable but Mary’s opted for touch, and from the ensuing line out and drive they crossed for their first try, scored by Stephen O’Brien and converted by Michael O’Gara and at half-time it was 10-7 to Old Wesley.

Mary’s struck early after the restart, with penalty which they kicked to earn a seven-metre touch. And similar to their first try they mauled the Wesley pack over the line for a try by Thomas O’Reilly, again converted by O’Gara. And for the first time in the game Wesley were trailing on the scoreboard. 

Miller pulled three points back with a penalty shortly after the restart, but at this stage it looked like the home side would start to take over. 

Wesley soon retook a 16-14 lead, before Tommy O’Callaghan crossed for a try. Cassidy struck the kick perfectly to make it a two-score game in Old Wesley’s favour.  Then they struck a killer blow  in the final quarter with a try from Harry Noonan, converted by Cassidy.

But St. Mary’s responded immediately and two minutes later their pack had Wesley in trouble again, driving over for a try by Jack Reidy Walsh, converted by O’Gara. 

However, Wesley soon got back on the rails and three minutes later, following a kick through, they had a penalty inside the Mary’s 22. In search of a bonus point try they kicked to touch andfrom the ensuing line out bundled over.

 the line. But the ball was held up and Marys were able to relieve the pressure. Both sides, each with bonus point hopes and opportunities, made late rallies but there were no further scores and the match finished 30-21 to Old Wesley.

Feature image: Old Wesley’s Tommy O’Callaghan off-loads to hooker Howard Noonan in the win over St Mary’s.

Photo: Ken Richardson

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