The game was moved from Model Farm Road after a pitch inspection but that didn’t appear to worry the Cork side, as they raced into a 13-0 lead inside the opening quarter.
But, after dominating territory, helped by a strong wind, Highfield conceded a converted try just before half time and that ultimately came back to haunt them. They had to endure long periods of Greystones pressure in the second half but battled to keep the visitors at bay. That defence eventually cracked and a try seven minutes into injury time, converted out wide, left them with just one losing bonus point. The defeat cost them second place in the table behind leaders City of Derry.
Highfield coach Tim Ryan was left frustrated by the outcome. Adding to Ryan’s annoyance was the fact leaders Derry lost at home to Dungannon and Sunday’s Well moved from third to second, courtesy of their win over Barnhall.
“It’s frustrating, Derry being beaten could have put a different perspective on the title race. Our lads worked very hard, we dominated at scrum time but didn’t get the rewards. In the final play, we were penalised (harshly), they kicked to touch and then overthrew a lineout that was so crooked, I couldn’t believe; , I’m very disappointed .”
Highfield will be furious at their inability to protect that big early advantage. They took the lead with a penalty from Dylan Horgan after two minutes and followed up with tries from Kevin Foyle and Sean Quaid in the 13th and 18th minutes respectively.
It looked good for Highfield then but Jason Curran grabbed a try for Greystones and Killian Marmion’s conversion narrowed the gap to six at the interval. Greystones dominated second half territory but Highfield’s bravery in defence kept them out until sub Cormac O’Donoghue fastened onto that long line out throw and scored the try. Marmion converted brilliantly.
G O’Leary; P Stack, B Murphy, B O’Hea, S Quaid; D Horgan, K Foyle; J O’Callaghan, D O’Hea, C Forde; D O’Connell, F O’Sullivan; M Murphy, D Lane, M Cronin.
D O’Callaghan, I McCarthy, D Kelly, C Bannon, M Dorgan.
D Callan; J Keating, S Malone, B Lynn, F Kenny; K Marmion, J Curran; D McKeown, K Moes, C Pearse; D Mannion, J Campbell; B Hill, A Dempsey, B Clancy.
E Marmion, B Treanor, B Norman, C O’Donoghue, P Geoghegan.
K Collins (IRFU).