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Terenure College RFC U20s narrowly lost to MU Barnhall in Lakelands on Sunday.

MU Barnhall started well and opened the scoring from the tee with a straightforward penalty, followed closely by a converted try to lead 10-0 with little more than 15 minutes on the clock.  Terenure came into the game and looked to build through the phases.  They attacked well down the right but were penalised and lost scrum-half Keaney to the bin for 10 minutes.  Despite this Terenure never faltered and had opportunities to score.  Indeed they did cross the whitewash only to be held up.
Eventually, almost on the mark of halftime, Terenure converted a Yago Fernandez try to leave the contest finely balanced at 10-7.  However, within seconds Barnhall took advantage of some poor defence to score their own converted try on the halftime whistle to restore their 10-point advantage at the break.

Sponsors of the U20s Squad

 

The second half was brighter for the Nure men.  Despite losing their influential winger James Clarke to an apparent knee injury in the first half, the returning Jim Kennedy came on and looked very sharp when given the opportunity.  He was joined by Charlie Redmond Murray who started this fixture and got through a lot of hard work.  An attempted penalty by Harvey O’Leary was pulled just left of the upright, but the disappointment didn’t last long as Terenure kept up the pressure to eventually score a try.

O’Leary would have been very disappointed to miss the conversion, but he didn’t look to dwell on that and continued to run the attack well for Terenure.  Barnhall took their chance when it was presented and got a try of their own from a lineout maul in the bottom corner.  Having missed the difficult conversion Barnhall now held a 22-12 lead.

 

Terenure ramped up the pressure.  Returning from international duty Jack Grimes came into the inside centre with Fernandez moving to 13 and Odhran McKeown to the wing, allowing Kennedy to move into his more accustomed role as full back. With some hard carries in close by the forwards followed by some smart play from the backs, the chances started to show again.

Frustratingly, time was running out.  Eventually and with time up the referee blew for a penalty in midfield within 15 meters of the line.  The coaches called for the kicking tee to take the points and secure a losing bonus point.  Substitute hooker Keith Byrne didn’t hear the instruction and through some quick thinking and sharp play took the penalty quickly to score a smart try under the posts which O’Leary converted, the game ending 22-19 to MU Barnhall.

 
The Nure boys had several opportunities, especially in the second half, but at times, they faced challenges with precision and accuracy that prevented them from crossing the line. Their attention now turns to Sunday’s final game before Christmas when they travel to Energia Park to play Old Wesley at 3:00pm.
These young Terenure men know they are good enough to beat any team on their day, they just have to keep up the hard work.