Wesley unable to break student defence
All Ireland League – Old Wesley 17 UCC 31
The resumption of the AIL saw Old Wesley host the current league leaders UCC, also the return of Club Captain Richie Morrow to league duty. The pitch was in good condition despite the recent rainfall and held up well.
The game was evenly contested throughout even although the score at times did not reflect this. UCC took the lead after eight minutes with a penalty for not releasing. This was to be a crucial area as Old Wesley conceded a number of penalties in this area. Barry McLoughlin responded by kicked a penalty but from the restart Old Wesley conceded a penalty to leave the score Old Wesley 3 – UCC 6. The home team then went on the attack and a great break by Alan Large almost led to a try but the UCC proved to have a very strong defence. Indeed Old Wesley had most of the possession in the first half but the UCC defence held firm. However it was the Cork Students who increased their lead with a penalty and then a breakaway try after thirty-six minutes. The halftime score was Old Wesley 3 UCC 14.
The second half saw strong Wesley pressure and some good rugby but another penalty increased the UCC lead. Just when Old Wesley looked like they were going to score their first try they received a killer blow. A pass was intercepted in the UCC 22 and the opposition player sprinted the length of the pitch for their second try. To make matters worse another try, this time from a counter attack brought the UCC tally to 31pts.
Old Wesley made a number of substitutions and Colin Wallace had a number of good attacking runs. Stephen Harvey got over under the posts but the referee adjudged a knock on. Eventually following some solid forward play Thomas Ratahi got in under the posts. Old Wesley were starting to dominate but they were running out of time and the opposition defence stood firm. As the final whistle approached McLoughlin showed his pace down the wing to round his opposite number and score under the posts.
Despite the defeat this was a very encouraging display against a strong UCC side, showing a great team commitment to keep attacking to the final whistle.
Old Wesley scores – Thomas Ratahi, Try: Barry McLoughlin, Try, 2 Con, Pen
Old Wesley Team: Kieran Hurrell, Barry McLaughlin, David Potterton, Stephen Harvey, Conor Boyd, Alan Large, Ian Cassidy, Davy Henshaw, Gavin Telford, James Burton, Ivan Pirrie, Iain McGann, Richie Morrow (capt), Stephen Boyle, Thomas Ratahi. Subs: Kenny Knaggs, Craig Telford, Colin Wallace, Ben Horan, Eoin Fitzpatrick.