18.04.2009 J4 XV v Old Wesley (A)

18/04/200912.30 p.mWinter’s CupOld Wesley19 – 22St. Marys J4 XVAway

St. Mary’s College J4 V Old Wesley J4

22                                19

The J4’s secured another hard-fought victory over our old rivals Wesley, in the Winters Cup quarter-final on Saturday. This third victory of the season brings the total to 3-2 in Mary’s favour over the last 2 seasons.

The match was played in glorious sunshine in Ballycorus (a contrast to the hail & lightning that caused the cup game between the teams last season to be temporarily halted by the ref for safety reasons!) but we got off to a bad start with Wesley scoring out wide early on and then slotting the difficult conversion for a 7-0 lead.

Mary’s got back into the match and were spending a lot of time in the Wesley half (if not their 22). The pressure led to a penalty in front of the posts which Ted knocked over for 7-3. Another penalty soon followed with the same result, 7-6. Mary’s were really starting to fire and again great pride can be taken from the performance of the pack against a bigger unit, evidenced by a great take and maul from a lineout that was just held up over the line.

Wesley’s pack, obviously used to dominating and having things their own way, started venting frustrations with a late hit on Mary’s full-back Colm Quinn and a number of punches in the aftermath. The ref sent their man and Mary’s Fionan Henry to the bin for retaliation. Quinner had his revenge though when Hooker (and coach) Eamon Moran intercepted a Wesley pass in midfield. He ‘cleverly’ delayed until the chaser was committed to tackling him and then offloaded to the supporting Quinner to go in under the posts and to give Mary’s a 13-7 half-time lead.

Mary’s continued to play very well with the pack putting their hits in and containing the Wesley 8 who had sprung their hefty No. 8 from the bench. Wesley were conceding penalties at the breakdown and Ted notched another 3 points and the most beautiful (i.e. ugly) drop goal for a 19-7 lead.

Mary’s had had the better of the kicking game and 13 points down, Wesley changed tack and started counter-attacking. They got a foothold in the Mary’s half and the pack started a succession of pick and go’s that was difficult to stop with the ref not enforcing the ‘stay on your feet’ rule at all. They crashed over near the posts and converted for 19-14 and managed to score again a few minutes later to make it 19 apiece. The kick was gettable but smacked off the upright and back into the 22 and a repeat of last year’s extra time looked on the cards.

But this Mary’s team never give up and under pressure, Wesley conceded another penalty in an ill-disciplined performance. Ted, who had a great day with the boot, both off the ground and out of hand, stepped up and, after a little drama locating the tee, kicked the penalty with seconds to spare. 22-19 to Mary’s and we played out the last couple of minutes to seal a place in the semi-final on Saturday against Coolmine in Templeville Road.

15. Colm Quinn 14. Nick Cunningham 13. Darragh O’Neill 12. Paul Moran 11. Chi-Yuen Hui 10. Brian Moran 9. K. Morrissey 8. Padraig Nestor 7. Tim Henderson 6. Andy McCarthy 5. Phil Conway 4. John Twomey 3. Ross Kelly 2. Eamon Moran 1. Alan Godfrey
Replacements: 16. Fionan Henry 17. Richard Pyne 18. Shane Levins 19. James Nolan 20. Gavin Rafferty