TERENURE COLLEGE 22 UCC 14, Lakelands Park
Scorers: Terenure College: Tries: Sam Dardis, Sam Coghlan Murray, Caolan Dooley; Cons: Mark O’Neill 2; Pen: Mark O’Neill
UCC: Tries: Murray Linn, John Hodnett; Cons: Eoin Monahan, Peter Sylvester
HT: Terenure College 7 UCC 7
Terenure College moved up to second place in the Division 1A standings with a hard-earned 22-14 victory over UCC at Lakelands Park.
Sam Dardis, Sam Coghlan Murray and Caolan Dooley all touched down as ‘Nure leapfrogged the Cork students in the table. It was seven points apiece at half-time, but Sean Skehan’s men produced the big moments on the resumption to ultimately earn their fourth win of the campaign.
It was Dardis, the younger brother of Ireland Sevens captain Billy Dardis, who got the ball rolling inside the opening five minutes. He burst through a gap for a superb solo try following a quick attack off a turnover scrum. Mark O’Neill converted and Terenure were good value for their early lead.
Nonetheless, a series of pick and drives edged former leaders UCC towards the whitewash on the quarter hour mark. ‘Nure held them at bay until an Eoin Monahan pass out wide left winger Murray Linn with a simple finish on the right flank. Into a stiff breeze, Monahan landed an excellent conversion to level it up.
Despite ‘Nure losing centre Stephen O’Neill to the sin-bin, UCC were unable to take the lead. Peter Sylvester carried powerfully before a tricky penalty on the stroke of half-time was nudged wide by young out-half Monahan.
‘Nure drew first blood when play resumed, with number 10 O’Neill finding the target from a close range penalty. The hosts could not make hay while UCC prop Bryan O’Connor was in the bin, but they were more ruthless when it came to exploiting the extra space on offer.
After play was spread right across the UCC line, Coghlan Murray grounded an unconverted try on the left wing. UCC remained in contention moving into the final quarter with John Hodnett’s influence growing. Jake Swaine had a try ruled out in the 64th minute – only for ‘Nure to put things right just moments later.
Grasping his opportunity to burst through midfield, centre Dooley spectacularly sprinted in under the posts to make it 22-7. Hodnett, the Munster Academy talent, did likewise with a powerful finish in the 69th minute – supplemented by a Sylvester conversion – which added renewed vigour to UCC’s challenge.
Terenure maintained their composure, however, and the outcome was never in doubt during the final minutes. UCC had a last-gasp chance to notch a losing bonus point, but with Monahan and John Poland both off injured, centre Sylvester’s penalty effort from the 10-metre line fell short.
TERENURE COLLEGE: Matthew Byrne; Sam Dardis, Stephen O’Neill, Caolan Dooley, Sam Coghlan Murray; Mark O’Neill, Conor McKeon; Campbell Classen, Robbie Smyth, Saba Meunargia, Peter Claffey, Michael Melia, Stephen Caffrey, Paddy Thornton (capt), Niall Lalor.
Replacements: Adam Clarkin, Liam Hyland, Mike Murphy, Tim Schmidt, Jake Swaine.
UCC: Rob Hedderman; Murray Linn, Louis Bruce, Peter Sylvester, Matt Bowen; Eoin Monahan, John Poland; Shane O’Hanlon, Fergus Hennessy, Bryan O’Connor, Aiden Brien, Rory Suttor, Ryan Murphy (capt), John Hodnett, Jack O’Sullivan.
Replacements: Tadgh McCarthy, James French, Brian O’Mahony, Louis Kahn, Michael Clune.