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Trinity Overcome Odds To End Old Wesley’s Winning Run
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Trinity Overcome Odds To End Old Wesley’s Winning Run

Trinity Overcome Odds To End Old Wesley’s Winning Run

Dublin University’s resurgent form continued at Donnybrook where they managed to topple Division 1B pacesetters Old Wesley 13-10 despite being reduced to 11 players at one stage.

Four successive yellow cards in the second half left Dublin University in all sorts of trouble as they defended a 10-3 lead. Winger Tim Maupin was binned for a high tackle, prop Andy Keating and full-back Conor Kearns followed him, and centre Kingsley McGowan then saw yellow for a no-arms tackle.

But a combination of defiant defence and Old Wesley's poor execution saw Trinity somehow hold firm. Restored to 13 players, Jack McDermott booted a penalty to make it 13-3 before winger Billy Henshaw's late effort gave the home side a losing bonus point.

Old Wesley's league bubble eventually burst when for once it was the students who taught the more experienced players how to control a match. Wesley were guilty of a high error count, a high turnover count and some poor decisions in a match full of opportunities to win.

Trinity showed their liking of the all-weather pitch early on and in typical fashion, they were always willing to run the ball. From a third minute lineout on the halfway, they swung the ball out wide to Kearns who wrong-footed Billy Ngawini and sprinted in from 50 metres out for a tremendous try.

Barry McLaughlin hauled back three points with a penalty from 47 metres that just about had the length. Trinity were nearly on the scoreboard again when their potent winger Max McFarland made a fine break but was stopped just short of the line.

However, 20 minutes in, the league leaders started to come to terms with the visitors' play, and the home pack started to flex its muscles. Wesley took a good lineout steal on the opposition 22 but frustratingly it came to nothing following a knock-on.

Further pressure ensued with a series of good scrums, however Trinity defended well. It looked like Wesley might score from a five-metre scrum but whatever their powerful front row was doing, referee Oisin Quinn did not like it and Trinity lifted the siege with a penalty.

Indeed, this spurred on the visitors and they soon got back down the far end of the pitch. After some good recycling, winger McFarland eventually crossed in the corner to make it 10-5.

Wesley's cause was not helped by a yellow card for second row Iain McGann for foul play and there were no further scores before half-time.

Wesley started the second half with more purpose, albeit that McLaughlin sent an early penalty attempt wide. The goal-kicking winger was then nearly in for a try but was bundled into touch, albeit by a high tackle that resulted in a yellow card and Trinity then suffered three more sin-binnings in quick succession.

Bizarrely, Wesley were unable to capitalise as they were beset by handling errors and crooked lineouts and their failure to profit from a couple of close-in set pieces. In fact, much against the odds, it was Trinity who earned the points with a McDermott penalty kick to make it 13-3.

The numbers advantage did eventually tell for Wesley when Henshaw crossed for a try in the corner. McLaughlin struck the conversion perfectly to make it a three-point game. However, with just five minutes left on the clock, the visitors successfull ran down the clock before referee Quinn blew the final whistle.

Referee: Oisin Quinn (IRFU)

Lineups Scorers

Match Lineups

Home Team

Rory Stynes; Barry McLaughlin, Billy Ngawini, Ger Finucane, Billy Henshaw; Alan Large, Ian Cassidy (capt); Ken Knaggs, David Rowley, James Burton, Josh Hinde, Iain McGann, Darren Horan, Stephen Boyle, Mark Rowley.

Replacements: Craig Telford, Oltian Dervishi, Michael Triggs, Garry O'Brien, Adam Kennedy.

Away Team

Conor Kearns; Tim Maupin, Kingsley McGowan, Paddy Lavelle (capt), Max McFarland; Jack McDermott, Angus Lloyd (capt); Eric O'Sullivan, Jack Boland, Tom Collis, Jack Burke, Raef Tyrrell, Conor Gleeson, Brian du Toit, Tom Ryan.

Replacements: Matt McCann, Andy Keating, Nick McCarthy, Brian Slater, Michael Courtney.

Match Scorers

Home Team

Try: Billy Henshaw; Con: Rory Stynes; Pen: Barry McLaughlin

Away Team

Tries: Conor Kearns, Max McFarland; Pen; Jack McDermott