All-Ireland League Division 1A: Dublin University V Terenure College – – January 11 2020

Scorers: Dublin University: Try: Mark Nicholson; Con: Micheal O’Kennedy; Pens: Micheal O’Kennedy 2
Terenure College: Pens: James Thornton 2
HT: Dublin University 0 Terenure College 3

Hooker Mark Nicholson pounced for a decisive 58th-minute try to give Dublin University a much-needed 13-6 win over Terenure College in Energia All-Ireland League Division 1A.

In a largely attritional game played in testing wet conditions at College Park, Nicholson’s converted effort was enough to end the students’ five-match losing streak. The result saw them gain some revenge for last month’s 34-20 away defeat to Terenure.

Trinity were boosted by the return of Leinster starlet Rowan Osborne at scrum half, and unfortunately his opposite number Tim Schmidt – son of former Ireland head coach Joe, an interested spectator on the day – was forced off with an early injury.

After Micheal O’Kennedy missed a seventh-minute penalty for the hosts, Terenure settled into the contest and James Thornton kicked them ahead in the 13th minute from a tricky position on the left.

‘Nure had a series of attacking penalties in the second quarter, and while their lineout attempts failed to produce a try, the sin-binning of Trinity lock Arthur Greene gave them an obvious advantage.

Credit to Tony Smeeth’s youngsters, they knuckled down and largely dominated possession in Greene’s absence. Their attack was beginning to click at 3-0 down at the interval, and O’Kennedy duly split the posts just four minutes into the second half.

Thornton missed a kickable chance into a stiff breeze, and with clear-cut opportunities at a premium, the prospect of a low-scoring draw loomed large. That was until Osborne exploited a gap in the ‘Nure defence and quickly offloaded for Nicholson to touch down behind the posts. O’Kennedy converted for a 10-3 scoreline.

Terenure answered back with a lung-busting break from deep by Stephen O’Neill. Thornton followed up with a successful penalty to reduce the arrears to four points. The students maintained their composure, though, and an O’Kennedy three-pointer edged them closer to a precious victory.

Mid-table ‘Nure pushed with their might for a levelling try in the dying embers. A late lineout produced a final assault on the Trinity whitewash, but the second-from-bottom hosts dug deep and a defensive turnover brought this tense encounter to a close.

DUBLIN UNIVERSITY: Michael Silvester; Colm Hogan, Luis Faria, James Hickey (capt), Liam McMahon; Micheal O’Kennedy, Rowan Osborne; Bart Vermeulen, Mark Nicholson, Thomas Clarkson, Arthur Greene, Joe McCarthy, Alex Soroka, Max Kearney, Anthony Ryan.

Replacements: Robert Russell, Conor Lowndes, Donnacha Mescal, Dylan Doyle, Paddy Nulty.

TERENURE COLLEGE: Adam Lagrue; Jake Swaine, Stephen O’Neill, Caolan Dooley, Sam Coghlan Murray; James Thornton, Tim Schmidt; Campbell Classen, Robbie Smyth, Liam Hyland, Peter Claffey, Michael Melia (capt), Stephen Caffrey, Niall O’Sullivan, Eoin Joyce.

Replacements: Levi Vaughan, Adam Tuite, Mike Murphy, Mark Fabian, Mark O’Neill.

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