Greystones through to Paul Cusack Cup semi-final after victory over Arklow
Ruthless performance at the Oval
Greystones booked their place in the semi-finals of the Paul Cusack Cup after a ruthless performance at The Oval on Sunday afternoon. A combination of hard hitting, powerful bursts from the ’Stones pack alongside some free-flowing and pacey movement from the backs helped them to a comfortable win.
The visitors held Arklow to a scoreless first half but were made to work very hard and often on their own try line to keep out an eager Arklow outfit.
The first score of the game came courtesy of a well struck penalty from Aisling Mulvaney from Greystones.
Just moments later, the away side piled on the pressure again with big carries from the likes of Ana Iraizoz and Amy O’Mahony causing the Arklow defensive line some trouble. After phases of pressure on the Arklow tryline, Lauren Sweeney powered over from close range to find the first try of the game. Mulvaney converted to extend her side’s lead to 10 points
From here Arklow did start to play some good rugby of their own with Hannah Mai Jones, Emily Slater and Dianne Hunt Byrne seeing plenty of the ball. Just as Arklow were piling on the pressure inside the Greystones 22, a loose ball was gathered by ’Stones winger Niamh Kelly, who ran close to the whole pitch before slotting down in the corner.
The home side looked certain to find a score of their own in the dying moments of the first period but couldn’t find a way through the strong and resolute Greystones defence and the sides went into the break with Greystones leading 15-0.
Laura Rice was introduced at half-time for Arklow and made a huge impact off the bench. Arklow started the second half in the same form as they finished the first and finally their efforts were rewarded with Emma Flood diving over in the corner.
Despite the backing of a loud home crowd and just scoring their first try of the game, it was Greystones who picked up the pace from the restart and almost immediately, a wonderful line break from full-back Aisling Dalby led to ’Stones’ third try of the afternoon. Mulvaney converted once again to extend her team’s lead.
Arklow did show good fight during the third quarter of the game and Hannah Mai Jones’ try on the hour mark was converted by Laura Rice to bring the hosts back within ten points of Greystones, but sadly, this was as good as it got for Arklow on the scoring front.
Greystones managed to increase their tempo yet again and ran in a flurry of tries in the final 20 minutes courtesy of Amy O’Mahony, Ana Iraizoz and Leah Kearney to cement their place in the semi-finals of the Paul Cusack Cup.
Arklow: Emer Dillon, Emma Flood, Danielle Kaye, Emily Slater, Alex Byrne, Kiri McLoughlin, Kerry Byrne; Lauren Messitt, Louise Murphy, Hannah Mai Jones; Katie Shanley, Annmarie Burke; Dianne Hunt Byrne, Samantha Byrne, Wioletta Godkin. Subs: Laura Rice for Kiri McLoughlin (41), Dilara Sayan for Wiolette Godkin (62).
Greystones: Aisling Dalby, Michelle Colgan, Lucia Lanza, Eva Sterritt, Niamh Kelly, Leah Kearney, Alexandra Dalton; Eibhlin Laffan Downes, Alanna Plunkett, Aisling Mulvaney; Aine Hughes, Ana Iraizoz; Lauren Sweeney, Amy O’Mahony, Emer Meagher. Subs: Christina Megannety for Alanna Plunkett (55), Anna O’Brien for Eibhlin Laffa Downes (55), Clodagh Brennan for Eva Sterritt (60).
Referee: Niall Neville