AIL Division 1B
St Mary’s College 15
Old Wesley 41
By Ken Browne
After December saw Old Wesley record a long overdue victory over St Mary’s, they completed the double over the AIL Division 1B double over their rivals at Templeville Road last Saturday.
They were in control throughout, bossing the key parts of the game to run out winners by 26-points to move into a share of top spot with next opponent Malone on 28 points.
From the kick-off, they were doing the attacking from a strong foothold in opposition territory.
Rory Stynes pulled the first scoring opportunity from a medium range penalty wide while a strong run by Tommy O’Callaghan had Mary’s on the back foot, but his pass to Paul Harte did not go to hand.
Stynes did put them in front with his second penalty shot but Mary’s did respond in kind via Marcus O’Driscoll for 3-3.
From the restart, however, Wesley were again on the attack and finding weaknesses in the Mary’s backline. A break by Charlie O’Regan brought play up to the five-metre line and, under pressure, Mary’s conceded a penalty and a yellow card.
From the ensuing lineout, the Wesley pack pummelled the opposition line before eventually swinging the ball out to the backs for Tom Kiersey to cross untouched for a try which was converted with ease by Stynes.
As half time approached, Wesley turned down the option of clearing to touch from inside their own half. Instead they launched a counter attack with the ball being passed through many hands in Barbarians style.
The gamble paid off when Ben Burns broke through a weak tackle to finalise the move with a try near the posts. Stynes again added the points to give Old Wesley a well deserved 17-3 lead at half time.
Mary’s had a better start to the second half, probing the Wesley line on a couple of occasions.
But they were caught cold when a neat chip ahead by Kiersey was picked up by James O’Donovan who showed his speed and strength to touch down under the posts.
Straight from the kick off, they were back attacking with some great carries, getting them up to the Mary’s 22, when JJ O’Dea received the final pass.
Arms flaying, he got over for try number four despite the efforts of the home defenders. At 31-3, the result and the bonus point were in the bag.
Stynes added a further penalty goal and Burns was again on hand to fight off the final tackler to score under the posts.
The hosts eventually found another gear with two late tries. The first saw substitute Hugo Conway outsprint the Wesley defence down the wing for a converted try.
Five minutes later, following a bout of pressure, Padraig Dundon bundled over for a second.