07.11.2008 J4 XV v Old Wesley (A)

07/11/20087.30pmLeagueOld Wesley13 – 29St. Marys J4 XVAway

St Mary’s College J4 V Old Wesley J4

29                                 13 

The J4’s met Old Wesley under lights in Donnybrook on Friday night in a top of the table clash, with both teams unbeaten after 3 games. There was also an added bit of spice as Wesley had put paid to our league ambitions at the quarter-final stage last season and knocked us out of the cup in an epic tie that featured 9 tries (6 of them to Mary’s), extra time and the referee bringing the teams back to the dressing rooms for their own safety during a thunder storm.

From kick-off it was clear that Old Wesley were going to pursue the same tactics as last year, namely using their large pack and even larger No. 8 as their primary weapons. The intensity was high from the start and a couple of missed or slipped tackles gave the home team a footing in the Mary’s 22. From a 5 metre scrum, the powerful Wesley No. 8 squeezed over and they slotted the conversion for a 7-0 lead.

Wesley were dominating possession but Mary’s were working hard from 1 to 15 to keep them from extending their lead. We secured some clean ball and as in the meetings last year, we looked to have the beating of them out wide. We were awarded a penalty in their half but Ted’s kick came back off the post. Their winger was overheard proclaiming “Same as last year, same as last year” as Ted prepped fornthe kick. How wrong he was.

Half-time: 7-0 to Old Wesley and cue a stirring team talk from coach and hooker, Eamon “Peanut” Moran.

The second half was a different game from Mary’s with the pack working equally as hard as in the first half but with the breaks going our way, we secured more possession, despite Old Wesley tacking on a penalty. Ted was using the wind to our advantage in a great tactical kicking display as the referee began to penalise Old Wesley at the breakdown. One kick to the corner, lineout and maul later, No. 8 Padraig Nestor was receiving the congratulations for the touchdown. 13-5 to Wesley.

We continued to press and Ted knocked over a penalty for 13-8.

The Wesley back 3 were now coming under serious pressure from Ted’s kicking and the pressure was telling right across the Wesley team with their 8 being binned for a high tackle and then refusing to let our player’s neck go on the ground. Mary’s second row Phil Conway followed him to the bin for retaliation.

Mary’s scrum got on top when it was 7 v 7 and even when their 8 returned a planned move off the base of the scrum led to Ted crashing through him and over for the score. 15-13 to Mary’s and Wesley began to get on the wrong side of the referee. Mary’s could smell victory and kept the pressure on.

A great win was sealed from tries from centre, Wally Moran who was the first man to his bigger (but younger) brother’s (Teddy) chip through, and Darragh O’Neill who got a slightly controversial but well deserved try from another chase down to seal a 29-13 victory.

Many thanks to those who came out to Donnybrook to support the team.

Gavin Rafferty

1. Mark McKay 2. Eamon Moran 3. Alan Godfrey 4. Phil Conway 5. Brendan Shortt 6. Andy McCarthy 7. Dan Byers 8. Padraig Nestor 9. Ross Wynne 10. Teddy Moran 11. Chi-Yuen Hui 12. Paul Moran 13. Darragh O’Neill 14. Nick Cunningham 15. Paul Whyte