Seniors vs Old Wesley

UCC 31 OLD WESLEY 27, the Mardyke
Scorers: UCC: Tries: Murray Linn, Richard Walsh, Kevin Slater; Cons: James Taylor 2; Pens: James Taylor 4
Old Wesley: Tries: Jack Maybury, Tommy O’Callaghan; Con: Jack Maybury; Pens: Jack Maybury 5

HT: UCC 15 Old Wesley 15

Backs Murray Linn, Richard Walsh and Kevin Slater all crossed for tries in UCC’s high-scoring and entertaining clash with Old Wesley, the Cork students prevailing 31-27 at the Mardyke to make it two league wins in-a-row.

Brian Walsh’s youngsters bounced back from a heavy Munster Senior Cup defeat to Cork Constitution with their top-scoring out-half James Taylor chipping in with another 16 points from place-kicks. His season’s haul now stands at 54 points after five rounds.

A kick out on the full from Old Wesley led to UCC building through several phases, putting good width on the ball before a gap opened up for centre Linn to cross for a fifth-minute opener, converted by Taylor. Full-back Jack Maybury then got the visitors off the mark by turning a scrum penalty into three points.

The 21-year-old Maybury, who is in his second season in the Wesley senior squad, looks an assured kicker and he was excellent throughout for Morgan Lennon’s men, finishing with a 22-point tally. His second penalty success came after Tommy O’Callaghan’s probing kick had led to Walsh being pinged for not releasing.

However, UCC continue to look the more potent side with ball in hand. Former Munster centre Cian Bohane made an incision off a lineout ball and he fed Walsh to run in a 21st-minute unconverted try. Despite that, Wesley had the better of the exchanges leading up to half-time, with UCC losing their number 8 and captain Ryan Murphy to the sin-bin.

Maybury knocked over three penalties in the space of seven profitable minutes, with Taylor nailing one kick at the other end. That left the sides tied at the turnaround – 15-15 – before Taylor was successful with two of his three penalty efforts in the third quarter, giving UCC a six-point buffer.

It was end-to-end stuff with Wesley penalised for sealing off again and Taylor registering another three-pointer. The visitors’ hard-working hooker Conor Maguire was just held up on a muscular drive towards the line, but from the resulting 75th-minute scrum, they attacked the blindside and Eoghan O’Reilly’s timely pass sent Maybury over to cut the gap to 24-20.

But Bohane’s value to UCC this season was summed up when he broke the line once more and released the supporting Slater to score in the corner, with Taylor’s well-struck 79th-minute conversion pushing the margin out to 11 points. Wesley snapped back to earn a losing bonus point thanks to a JJ O’Deaturnover and a rapid run-in by winger O’Callaghan from halfway.

UCC: Richard Walsh; Kevin Slater, Cian Bohane, Murray Linn, James Kiernan; James Taylor, John Poland; Shane O’Hanlon, Tadhg McCarthy, Rob O’Donovan, Cian Barry, Darragh Moloney, Ben Mitchell, Daire Feeney, Ryan Murphy (capt).

Replacements: John Hodnett, Charlie Slowey, Jack O’Sullivan, Alex Molloy, Daniel Horgan.

OLD WESLEY: Jack Maybury; Eoghan O’Reilly, Cillian Monahan, Adam Kennedy, Tommy O’Callaghan; Tim Clifford, Aaron Atkinson; Cronan Gleeson, Conor Maguire, James Burton, Donnchadh Phelan, JJ O’Dea, Darren Horan (capt), Stephen Boyle, Kieran Murphy.

Replacements: Craig Telford, Ryan Healy, Mark Robinson, Rory Stynes, Richie Jermyn.