They go into the Christmas break knowing they are good enough to beat anyone on their day, and they will be looking forward to the return fixtures in the New Year.
The first half was a nervy affair, with Terenure College playing into a strong wind.
The Lakelands outfit started well and worked their way into the Wesley half often, but small errors or a loose last pass often got in their way and halted progress before points could be scored. Old Wesley were up for this one, and with no wins this season it was clear they had targeted this fixture. The physicality was up a notch, and sadly Terenure’s hooker Keith Byrne had to leave the field with an injured shoulder to be replaced by Oliver Udell.
Shortly after Adam Clarke took a bad knock to be replaced by Charlie Redmond Murray. But the changes didn’t appear to hurt their belief and the Nure boys continued to play their game. The Wesley defence was brave and with some last gasp tackles they were managing to hold out. On one occasion mid-way through the half the strong running Yago Fernandez Vilar seemed to have done enough, but he was taken down inches from the line.
On the few occasions the Nure boys won penalties they opted for the corner given how strong the wind was. Their lineout maul was working and closing in on the line, only for Wesley’s defence to save them again. Despite a yellow card to influential No.8 Darragh Brooks after 32 minutes the Terenure pack continued to have the upper hand. However, the pressure couldn’t be converted and the teams went into the break with the game still scoreless.
The second half started like the first with Terenure showing their skills and taking the ball through the phases. The artificial surface seemed to be having an effect, causing fumbles or knock-ons as players from both teams hit the deck. But with the strong wind now at their backs the Terenure team was able to find good field position through the big boot of flyhalf Harvey O’Leary.
They worked the ball down field and the forwards made some big carries. Kieran Kelly and Matthew Sommerville got through a mountain of work making some great carries of their own, but back on the field after his card it was Brooks who broke the deadlock with an awesome carry close to the posts. O’Leary slotted the extras to give Terenure a deserved lead.
Confidence was growing and not long after some great work form the backs, including the illusive Jim Kennedy at full back, the boys worked the ball into the hands of winger Fintan Dignam who’s electric pace carried him over in the left corner for another 5 points. O’Leary came within inches with the conversion but it slipped wide. Terenure were now leading 12-0 and it felt like they could push on, but repeated infringements at scrum time gave Wesley a route back into the game.
Not long after Wesley worked their way up to the Terenure line and with a risky high loopy pass that illuded O’Leary and winger Matt Vaughan they found a gap to score a try wide in the corner. Having missed the difficult conversion Wesley were back to within 7 points.
Terenure got back to work and continued to play attacking rugby. The impressive Odhran McKeon was replaced by Jack Grimes who came on at 12 with Fernandez pushing out to 13. After another strong carry from the forwards and some quick recycling, space was starting to appear.
The quick footed Fernandez found space again and almost breaking the tackle as he fell to the ground he made a lovely offload to Grimes who raced clear to score on the left.
With experience from his previous attempt O’Leary had a better understanding of the wind and this time slotted the extras to give Terenure a 19-5 lead, which they held for the few remaining minutes until the final whistle.