TERENURE COLLEGE 43-24 LANSDOWNE
Terenure College put two recent defeats behind them with a swashbuckling 43-24 dismissal of south Dublin rivals Lansdowne at Lakelands Park.
Craig Adams took his season’s haul to 11 tries as ‘Nure’s dominant six-try first half salvo saw them effectively put the game to behind despite a spirited fight-back from Lansdowne.
The game doubled up as a Leinster Senior Cup semi-final, so Sean Skehan’s men won through to face Clontarf, the team they currently trail by a single point at the top of Division 1A.
‘Nure capitalised on Liam Forster’s early sin-binning, with Adam La Grue’s inside pass setting up Adams for a powerful finish beside the posts. Fellow winger Caolan Dooley converted.
Dooley was next over the whitewash, Peter Sylvester and Callum Smith combining neatly in midfield before La Grue set up the winger to score despite Daniel McEvoy’s best efforts to stop him.
Alan Bennie got his hand in to disrupt a Lansdowne move off a scrum, the resulting possession being fed to the onrushing Colm de Buitléar who floated a pinpoint skip pass wide for full-back La Grue to make it 21-0 with Dooley nailing the conversion again.
‘Nure ticked off the bonus point in the 18th minute, as pressure in the Lansdowne 22 led to prop Campbell Classon driving over with Matthew Caffrey on the latch. Dooley’s reliable right boot put 28 points between the sides.
As Lansdowne continued to struggle to make headway, Dooley landed a monster penalty from inside his own half. Even when the visitors put some promising phases together, their maul was smothered into touch and there were other turnovers.
Then, from a Mick Melia lineout steal, Terenure flashed the ball across to the opposite wing where La Grue’s expertly-timed pass released Adams to kick through and win the race with Peter Sullivan to dot the ball down just before the end line.
It was a top class finish from the in-form winger, and Lansdowne’s woes were compounded when their former scrum half Bennie beat two defenders near halfway, got a return pass from La Grue and found de Buitléar on his left to finish off another quick-fire attack.
However, Lansdowne worked their way into position through a series of early second half penalties. With Bennie in the bin for his part in collapsing a maul, James Kenny set up Cillian Redmond to go over in the left corner under Dooley’s challenge.
Punishing a missed touchfinder from La Grue, Lansdowne countered impressively in the 55th minute as openside Forster, invited forward by Liam O’Sullivan, dummied in between two defenders and raced over for Stephen Madigan to convert.
The pressure increased on Terenure following Dooley’s deliberate knock-on which resulted in another yellow. A long Madigan pass put O’Sullivan over, the winger fending off the returning Bennie to push his side onto 19 points.
Terenure replacement Robbie Smyth was stopped short from a maul, and a turnover penalty won by Tadhg McElroy allowed Lansdowne to clear the danger. ‘Nure ended the game with 14 men after replacement Conor McKeon was sent-off for a high tackle on Lansdowne centre Tom Monaghan.
The headquarters club used a resulting lineout drive to propel replacement Adam Boland over the whitewash, his 74th-minute bonus point try proving to be the final scoring act.