WANDERERS 29 Blackrock 31
A converted try in the last play of the game gave Blackrock a two-point victory, 31-29, in this keenly contested south side derby, but Wanderers will rue not putting the game beyond Rock earlier and were certainly not helped by three yellow cards, which had them reduced to fourteen men for thirty minutes of the game and to thirteen for eight minutes, as two periods overlapped.
Rock got off flying start in the sixth minute when running a good ball and from a kick and chase they got the touch down and the successful conversion gave them a seven-point lead. Wanderers attacked from the resultant kick off and after 11 minutes a stunning break by Brian Vaughan, with a good offload to wing, Mikey Russell, and he was in for a super try, converted by Conor Byrne to tie the game at 7-7.
A Rock penalty after fifteen minutes put them ahead again but this was cancelled out by a WFC penalty after twenty minutes. Another turnover by Brian Vaughan, offload to scrum half, Conor McQuaid, who made good ground and from the resultant mauls and rucks captain, Brian Quill got in for a try, converted by Conor Byrne and Wanderers led 17-10 after twenty-three minutes.
A disputed yellow card, for what looked like a ball knocked away in the tackle, reduced the home side to fourteen men. Making light of the reduced numbers they continued to attack and were rewarded in the twenty seventh minute when wing, Eoin O’Shaughnessy, went in for a try far out (conversion missed) to send WFC to the break leading 22-10.
Five minutes into the second half following a series of rolling mauls Blackrock scored a converted try to reduce the arrears to five points, 22-17. At the end of the third quarter WFC received two yellow cards within minutes of each other and were down to 13 men for eight minutes. Showing good defensive work to keep Rock at bay in spite of reduced numbers, WFC looked to have secured the game, when they broke out of defence and wing Mikey Russell scored his second try, converted by Rob Mullen, to give the home side the lead 29-17, with eighteen minutes left on the clock. This try secured a try bonus point.
However, conceding a number of penalties gave Rock possession and with four minutes remaining they scored a converted try to reduce the arrears to five points (29-24). Then in the last play of the game with WFC attacking in the Rock 22 they spilled the ball and Rock won possession and from their own 22 created an overlap on the right wing and finished a fine move with a try under the posts, at the other end of the pitch. The conversion brought the final whistle and a win by two points (31-29) and jubilation for the Rock supporters in attendance.
WFC consolation was two bonus points but it really should have been a five pointer.
What lies ahead – TWO KEY MATCHES OVER THE NEXT TWO WEEKENDS
Sat 4 Dec ‘21 B Harlequins (4th– 20pts) v WFC (2nd – 22pts)
Deramore Park 2.30pm
Sat 11 Dec ’21 WFC v Greystones (1st – 34pts)
Merrion Road 2.00pm
NOTE: Four points cover positions second to sixth – five places – in this AIL 2B League table. Greystones lead the table with 34 points