Super win away to Naas secures league final berth
Greystones continued their winning start to the season with an impressive bonus point win away to AIL Division 1B opponents Naas in their final group game in the Leinster Senior League. The win secures top spot for Kevin Lewis’ men and the opportunity to secure some early season silverware with a final against the winners of a playoff between Wanderers and Tullamore to be played on a date to be set this side of Christmas.
The game saw a return to action for club captain Killian Marmion who started at 10 with Matt O’Brien making the switch into the centre. There was a first start too for Con Callan taking up the other centre position for a real attack minded combination in the middle of the field.
Greystones started the game in the manner their selection promised with Marmion orchestrating play from his out-half position. Some early pressure inside the Naas half brought the first scoring opportunity with a penalty inside the ten-meter line. Marmion lined up the kick, but the ball drifted wide of the post.
Despite having the better of the play and positional dominance it was the home side rather than the visitors who opened the scoring when Naas capitalised on a breakaway to score in the corner. The effort was converted to deliver a 7-0 advantage on the quarter hour mark.
That lead was pegged back when Marmion made no mistake with his second penalty attempt converted from the ten-meter line and the four-point margin was maintained with the sides exchanging a couple more penalties as the clock ticked towards halftime. However, when the break arrived it was Greystones who were ahead on the scoreboard following another stunning length of the field score finished by flying winger Ferdia Kenny.
With Greystones defending their line from an attacking five-meter scrum, Captain Marmion picked off a wonderful intercept and raced clear toward the halfway before finding Kenny who was never going to be caught with an open field in front of him. Marmion added the conversion for a 10–13 half-time lead.
Buoyed up by the lead Greystones increased the intensity from the start of the second half and were rewarded with an early score when Prop Michael Douglas touched down from a drive off a five-meter line out. Kenny added to his personal tally with a second try on 64 minutes following a move down the right wing where some neat interplay set up again by Marmion saw Kenny race clear to score in the corner. Marmion added a third penalty before Naas threatened a fightback with a second try ten minutes from time.
The bonus point fourth try was delivered by Nick Quirke playing on the opposite wing to Ferdia Kenny and showed his own turn of pace when taking the final pass from Danny Kenny to run in from 22 meters.
Naas added a third try in a frantic closing few minutes and rounded off the game with a penalty on full-time, but it was too little too late for the hosts as Greystones wrapped up a convincing win with an impressive display.
Focus now shifts to the All Ireland League and the opening round on Saturday week when Dungannon visit Dr Hickey Park. With three impressive performances in the bank Kevin Lewis’ men will be confident they can push on in domestic rugby’s premier competition and mount a serious bid for promotion this season.
Greystones: Mark Meyler, Ferdia Kenny, Con Callan, Matt O’Brien, Nick Quirke, Killian Marmion (Capt), Andy Roberts, Ivanhoe Takatai, Michael Douglas, Conor Pearse, Eoin Marmion, Patrick Kiernan, Mick Doyle, Danny Kenny, Dan Mannion. Replacements: Matt Looby, Cormac O’Donoghue, Ken Murphy, Alex Ryan, Ronan Mannion, Barry Treanor, Jason Curran.