Wesley dig deep to defeat DLSP
All Ireland League – Old Wesley 18 DLSP 11
The Old Wesley players may have worn pink socks for charity but they did not show any charity to their Dublin opponents in this tight encounter at Donnybrook. DLSP looked the hungrier in the early encounters, understandable for a club sitting at the bottom of the league facing relegation. They struck early with two penalty goals to take a 6 nil lead. Then the visitors consolidated their lead after winning turnover possession. They quickly swung the ball out to the opposite wing where they found the Old Wesley defence short leading to the first try of the match.
It took 30 minutes for the home side to get a scoring opportunity when they were awarded a penalty in front of the posts on the 22. The kick was easily converted by Barry McLoughlin. Then a brave long range effort by McLoughlin had the distance but went wide. Five minutes before half time a break by Rory Stynes brought play up to the opposition 22. From the tackle the ball was fed to McLoughlin who twinkled toed his way through a gap passing to John Carroll who had a clear run in for Wesley’s first try in the corner. Alan Large was unfortunate to hit the upright with the conversion attempt. Half time score 8-11
Ten minutes into the second period Stynes struck again with a wonderful break from his own half. This time he found Large who showed great pace to score under the posts. McLoughlin converted and for the first time in the match Old Wesley were in the lead 15-11. But the opposition were not prepared to give up and they mounted some strong attacks, however they were denied any points due in no small part to handling errors on their part. But Old Wesley were now playing with more purpose and displaying some sturdy defence, none more so than Darren Horan who delivered a brilliant try saving tackle much to the delight of the Old Wesley players and supporters.
With 20 minutes to go Old Wesley were awarded a penalty just 3 yards inside the opposition half. A little to the surprise of the home supporters McLoughlin stepped up to kick for goal, but he struck the ball perfectly extending the Old Wesley lead to 18-11. Wesley were then dealt a blow when Jamie Boyle was shown a yellow card for dangerous play. The Kilternan men continued to mount assault after assault but again were frustrated by handling errors and some poor decision making. With five minutes to go their physical pack drove over but Colin Wallace did just enough to prevent them from grounding the ball.
When the final whistle blew it was greeted by Old Wesley not with elation but with relief. On the day they may have had a touch of good fortune on their side but will be much relieved to get a win after a number of disappointing results. The win moves Old Wesley up one place in the league to ninth.
Old Wesley scores: John Carroll, Alan Large, try each; Barry McLoughlin, con, 2 pens.
Team: – Rory Stynes, Barry McLaughlin, Kieran Hurrell, Richie Jermyn, Rob Hallam, Alan Large, Ian Cassidy, Davy Henshaw, Jamie Boyle, Kenny Knaggs, John Carroll, Ian McGann, Darren Horan, Thomas Ratahi, Richie Morrow (Capt). Subs: Craig Telford, Greg Leader, Colin Wallace, Steven Boyle, Eoin Fitzpatrick.