AIL Honours Even with Draw against Galwegians
AIL – Old Wesley 7 Galwegians 7
This game was in doubt due to heavy rainfall the previous day but an early morning pitch inspection was passed and indeed by kick off time the pitch was in soft but otherwise very good condition.
Old Wesley had the better of the opening exchanges and looked the sharper side. They had a number of visits to the opposition 22 putting the Galway side under pressure. Old Wesley even took the first opposition line out against the head. But despite the advantage they could not convert their possession and territory advantage into points. On 13 minutes it looked like Wesley would score the first points of the game when they were awarded a penalty 25 metres out, however the relatively straightforward kick was pushed well wide. Wesley continued to pressurise the Galwegians line but the defence held firm. There was one golden opportunity but a handling error saved the day for the Connacht side. A second missed penalty goal attempt, this time from 30 metres out meant that Wesley had left at least 11 points behind within the first 30 minutes. In the final 10 minutes of the first half Galwegians got into the game and had 2 penalty goal attempts, but they also were off target, and the score at half time was nil all.
Now playing into the breeze and up the hill the second half did not look an appealing prospect for Old Wesley. And when Galwegians full back Aidan Moynihan crossed for the first try of the match after just 3 minutes it looked even more daunting. The successful conversion from the corner made it 7 nil to the hosts. Now boosted by their lead Galwegians continued to pile on the pressure but Wesley dug deep and were able to weather the storm, eventually bringing play back down to where they wanted it. David Poff looked to be clear for Wesley’s first try but was called back for a forward pass. Then minutes later it was Paul Harte’s turn but he was bundled into touch at the corner flag. With 10 minutes to go Wesley were running out of time and it appeared that the Galway side had done just enough to earn the win. But a perfectly taken penalty kick by Rory Stynes had an Old Wesley line out on the opposition 5 metre line. Now Galwegians were under pressure and soon conceded two penalties under their posts. Wesley opted for a scrum on both occasions. The gamble paid off and from the second one scrum half Adam Griggs broke and beat the defence to score Wesley’s first points. Adam Kennedy converted to make it 7 all. In a bizarre last play a kick by a Galwegians player was marked by Old Wesley winger Brendan Monahan who appeared to be taken out in the air. However after a long discussion between the referee and the touch judge the referee adjudged no foul play and blew the final whistle.
This was a match that Old Wesley deserved to win and they will rue a number of missed scoring opportunities. Nevertheless the draw keeps Wesley in fourth place in the league ahead of next Saturday’s visit to Ballynahinch
Old Wesley team: Rory Stynes, Brendan Monahan, David Poff, Michael Hastings, Paul Harte, Tim Clifford, Adam Kennedy, Martin Gately, Conor Maguire, James Burton, Iain McGann (capt), Michael Dunleavy, Matthew Bursey, Stephen Boyle, Mark Rowley
Subs: Craig Telford, David Henshaw, Donnchadh Phelan, Adam Griggs, Alan Large.
Old Wesley scorers: Adam Griggs, try; Adam Kennedy, con.
Match Photos –
Adam Griggs Try –