With the last minute cancellation of the Women’s Cup Match against Kilkenny last weekend, the Railway U21s were the sole representatives on the pitch on Sunday. They took on their counterparts in Old Wesley in the JP Fanagan Pennant League and were very much out for the win.
Starting off with their backs to the wind, Railway played a strategic game to capitalise on this but early injuries to Sebastian Long and Matthew O’Driscoll didn’t help the side. Railway spent most of the time in the Wesley half thanks to tactical kicking from Captain Tom Kinsley. Unfortunately, they were unable to score on account of solid defense from the Wesley side. Matthew O’Driscoll was denied as he stretched for the line but the ball was slapped out of his hand. As the half came to a close, Wesley got themselves into the Railway 22 and from a scrum, the Wesley number 10 crossed the try line, making the score 7-0 at half-time.
With the wind now in the faces of the Railway players, Wesley started to dominate greatly. Superb tackling from Declan Waters, in his first game back from a dislocated shoulder, kept the game tight. A missed pass from the Wesley fullback on the half-way line allowed Stan Wassel to intercept the ball and run 50 metres to make the score 7-5. Railway foolishly gave penalties away on their own 5 metre line which eventually saw Wesley crash over for a try. Mark Beakey gave Railway some hope as quick turnover saw him make an inspirational break, brushing off countless tackles and run 70 meters to make the score 12-10. Railways hopes of a comeback, however, were dashed as two successive tries put a victory out of reach.
Luke O’Neill had an excellent debut at prop, as did Stan Begley at scrum-half, adding immensely to the game on an ever growing team. Both players and coaches have realised many changes need to be made in commitment and attitude and the team are dedicated and eager to create a shock in the cup.