OLD Wesley finished their Ulster Bank Division 1B campaign, coming up just two points short of a victory that would have put us into a promotion play off, falling 24-23 to UL Bohemians.
To be fair the better team won, certainly based on their first half performance when UL Bohs looked more controlled, won some key turnovers and enjoyed a lower error count.
Nevertheless, Wesley can be proud of a fifth place finish in their first season in Division 1B.
Bohs spent most of the early stages in the Old Wesley half and out half Rick McKenna opened the scoring with a penalty after five minutes before Barry McLoughlin evened matters after 20 minutes.
Soon after, Rory White crossed for the first try of the match for UL which was converted by McKenna to make it 10-3 to the visitors. McLoughlin was wide with another penalty attempt before McKenna struck again just before half time to make it 13-3 to the Limerick side at the break, an imposing lead.
Wesley started the second half with more gusto as the kickers exchanged penalty goals before Bohs prop Philip Poillet crossed for a second try for the Munster men after Old Wesley were guilty of conceding a turnover.
It all seemed to be going pear-shaped for Old Wesley. However, Ian Cassidy eventually got over for a try under the posts to give Wesley a glimmer of hope.
A minute later, a knock on by Bohs was picked up winger Paul Harte who sprinted from the half way to cross for a second try. The glimmer was now a real chance with just one point separating the sides.
The kickers again exchanged penalty goals and, with five minutes to go, the score was 24-23 to UL Bohemians. With Wesley anxious to get play into the opposition half and with the wind in their favour, a massive kick by Adam Kennedy from inside his own 22 went a metre too far.
The ball went dead and play was brought back. With the clock now in red Wesley’s last hope was a penalty from a scrum on the opposition 10-metre line. The penalty came ok but the referee decided to award it to Bohs, denying Wesley their chance.