Wesley widen gap at the top

by Gazette Reporter

Two late tries earned Old Wesley a comfortable victory over Blackrock in their Division 2A table-top encounter at Stradbrook last week, a result which sees the Donnybrook side into a potentially unassailable 10-point lead at the top of the All Ireland League ahead of ’Rock in second place.

Blackrock looked the stronger side for much of the first half, and on their first visit to the Old Wesley 22, they crossed for a try in the corner and the first score of the match by Dave Rowan.

Blackrock continued to pile on the pressure but the Old Wesley defence remained solid. Thirty minutes into the game Wesley were dealt a blow with an injury to JC Grayling resulting in an earlier-than-planned start for Wesley Deverell and a reshuffle of the back line.

As half time approached it looked like there would be no further scores but from a line out Old Wesley swung the ball wide for a well taken try by Steven Harvey, neatly converted by Ian Cassidy.

Wesley had a disastrous start to the second half when from the kick off, a break by Blackrock on their own 22 saw the ball being carried through a number of hands finishing with a try under the posts by Richie Marsh.

In response, Wesley increased their intensity and their bigger pack forced the home side to concede two kickable penalties, both of which Cassidy converted to regain a 13-12 lead. The home side responded with a penalty of their own to retake the lead.

As the final quarter approached, it was Wesley who were starting to look the more potent side. Substitute Michael Dunleavy was nearly over for a try but in their desperation Blackrock conceded a penalty under the posts and received a yellow card.

Cassidy converted to help Wesley regain the lead, and he extended it from a penalty again with 10 minutes remaining.

With eight minutes to go a break by Cassidy brought play into the opposition 22, the ball was quickly recycled and passed out the line finishing with a classic try in the corner by Eoin Stynes.

To rub salt in the wound Cassidy again converted and suddenly there was no way back for Blackrock. As full time approached Wesley were awarded a penalty 35 meters out, which was kicked down the line by Rory Stynes.

From the resulting line out the Old Wesley pack bulldozed their way over the line for a try by sub hooker Craig Telford. Cassidy again converted leaving the final score 33-15.

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