PLAYING their second game in this years AIL Division 2a, Greystones recorded a dramatic win in injury time for a well deserved victory against Highfield at Woodleigh Park on Saturday last.
Stones have an impressive record against Highfield on their home patch having played them in five occasions and coming away with four wins.
However it started badly for the visitors with the concession of a penalty after only two minutes with Highfields outhalf, Paddy O'Toole kicking between the posts for a three point lead.
Two minutes later and another penalty award, after a further infringement by Greystones and another penalty in a kickable position, however he was narrowly wide of the mark.
Things were not going well for the visitors and on the twelfth minute a sweeping movement from inside their twenty-two initiated by the Highfield full back Dara Buckley Barry, the ball was taken on by O'Toole and centre Colin Mahoney with right wing Sean Quaid touching down in the corner, the conversion from an acute angle was duly scored to put the home side into a ten point lead.
Greystones were finding it difficult to break down a resoulate Highfield defence, but were now starting to make inroads, particularly from their forwards, with Neil Cooper, Bobby Clancey, Darragh Duggan and Alan O'Toole, making hard yards.
On 30 minutes, from the ever improving Greystones backline, left wing Brendan Kennedy was on the end of a well constructed attack which saw the ball transferred across the Stones back line for a try in the corner.
However the conversion from full back Andrew Kealy was narrowly wide. In the last minute of the first half, once again Stones were penalised with O'Toole kicking the resultant penalty to leave his team 13.5 up at the break
From the restart Stones started as the finished the first period with second row Ben Armstrong making some of his customary runs.
With five minutes on the clock and the Highfield pack in particular now infringing on a number of occasions, referee Nigel Correll, who policed the breakdown very well throughtout, awarded a penalty to Stones which Kealey despatched to narrow the gap to five points.
However three minutes later the gap was restored with O'Toole kicking his third penalty of the day. Things got worse for the visitors three minutes later, with Greystones captain Barry Holmes being yellow carded for slowing down a promising Highfield attack. With the loss of Holmes and facing a much bigger pack, Stones were under a lot of pressure and after a series of scrums close in, the referee awarded a penalty try which O'Toole converted to put them into what must have seemed a potential winning margin, but this would be their last score of the day.
With parity restored on Holmes' return and some excellent use of the bench by coach Reggie Corrigan, it was Greystones who were now applying the screw with the home team running out of steam and some relentless Greystones pressure, they were now conceding quite a lot of turnovers and penalties, with Highfield's Maurice Quaid being yellow carded.
And in a searing 10 minute period, Stones, through the boot of Kealy, scored two penalties and with prop Bobby Clancey touching down for a try, with the conversion narrowly wide, this reduced the deficit to four points.
The last 15 minutes saw relentless pressure exerted by Stones with Highfield infringing on a number of occasions, which the referee might have yellow carded on at least two occasions.
The Stones scrum had now settled and their lineout which had been functionimg poorly earlier, were now in complete control and with two minutes of injury time played, it was Armstrong with the try line in sight, and much like Richard Strauss in the Leinster game, used all of his long arms to touch down under the post to score the all important try, with Kealy having the easiest of kicks to end what was a well deserved win.
Greystones: A Kealy, B. Kennedy, S. Malone, C.Cleary, J. Egan, R. Carroll, R.Spillane, N. O'Brien, P. Hipple, B. Clancy, B. Holmes (C) B. Armstrong, D. Duggan, A. Dempsey, A. O'Toole. Subs: B Wojnar, B. Silverlock, N. Cooper, D. O'Rourke