Wesley too slick for Clonakilty
AIL DIVISION 2A
OLD WESLEY……………………………… 48
By DAIRE WALSH
BARRY MCLAUGHLIN was the scorer-in-chief at Donnybrook on Saturday, as his 21-point haul helped Old Wesley to condemn Clonakilty to their sixth straight defeat in Division 2A this season.
The West Cork outfit had started the game positively, and were putting Old Wesley under plenty of pressure in the scrum, but were powerless to stop the home side making the breakthrough eight minutes in when second-row Ian McGann drove over the line.
Clonakilty responded well initially to the concession of this score, and they deservedly got their account for the day up and running courtesy of a penalty after 23 minutes from Matt Kirby.
It was hoped that this would settle the nerves of the visitors, but instead it was Wesley who were the first to react as McLaughlin easily touched down to the right of the posts after an excellent break from scrum-half Izak Miller.
They were beginning to put some daylight between themselves and Clonakilty, and McLaughlin increased their advantage to 14 (17-3) on the stroke of half-time, just moments after Kirby had been off-target with a place kick from 30 metres into the wind.
Clon’s chances of achieving a losing bonus point evaporated when Wesley’s left-wing Ross Barbour got through to the line.
Clonakilty finally got over the line nine minutes later through half-time replacement Mark Purcell, who broke through a number of Wesley challenges to register a terrific individual score.
This try was converted with ease by Kirby, but this would turn out to be the final Clonakilty score of the game, as the outstanding Tristan Goodbody got through for his second try of the game. This was followed swiftly by late converted five pointers from substitute Ian Cassidy and McLaughlin.
Clonakilty did keep battling until the very end of the game, but they were always second best against a well-prepared Wesley, who looked as accomplished in their pack as they did in their back line.
This result leaves Clonakilty in a somewhat perilous position, but they will get a chance to quickly address this matter when they welcome eighth-place Greystones to The Vale next Saturday.
Scorers For Old Wesley: Barry McLaughlin 2 tries, 4 cons, 1 pen; Tristan Goodbody 2 tries; Ross Barbour, Ian McGann, Ian Cassidy try each; Dan van Zyl con. Clonakilty: Matt Kirby 1 pen, 1 con; Mark Purcell try.
OLD WESLEY: Rory Stynes; Barry McLaughlin, Stephen Harvey, Nigel Kinlan, Ross Barbour; Dan van Zyl, Izak Muller; Tristan Goodbody, Matt Crockett, David Henshaw, Philip Hosie, Ian McGann, David O’Connor, Ivan Campbell, Richard Murphy. Replacements: Ian Cassidy for van Zyl (25), John Carroll for Campbell (h-t), Campbell for Henshaw (54), Michael Stack for Hosie (72), Gavin Telford for Stynes (77), Simon Goldsmith for Crockett (78).
CLONAKILTY: Denis McCarthy; Noel O’Sullivan, Darragh Lynch, David Lombard, Billy Woof; Matt Kirby, Joe Crowley; Stephen Cotter, Batt Duggan, Ryan Purcell, Sean Dignan, Mike Keohane, Tom Keogh, Paddy Ryan, Ger McCarthy. Replacements: Johnny O’Donoghue for Purcell (35), Mark Purcell for Crowley (h-t), Purcell for Duggan (h-t), Duggan for Purcell (47), Kieran Howlin for Woof (51), Fiachra Keane for Dignan (61).
Referee: Stuart Gaffakin (IRFU).