TERENURE COLLEGE 16 LANSDOWNE 17, Lakelands Park
Scorers: Terenure College: Try: Paddy Thornton; Con: James Thornton; Pens: James Thornton 3
Lansdowne: Tries: Oisin Dowling, Dan Sheehan; Cons: Tim Foley 2; Pen: Tim Foley
HT: Terenure College 6 Lansdowne 10
Leinster Academy hooker Dan Sheehan contributed another important try as Lansdowne struck late to overcome Terenure College 17-16 at Lakelands Park.
Tim Foley converted Sheehan’s injury-time score to make it five successive wins for Mark McHugh’s men, with Terenure, despite an 11-point haul from out-half James Thornton, falling to their fifth defeat in six rounds.
Eager to bounce back from a 13-6 loss at Dublin University a fortnight ago, Terenure showed plenty of early intent with Sam Coghlan Murray and Caolan Dooley both prominent in possession. Lansdowne were struggling to break out of their own half.
‘Nure flanker Niall O’Sullivan surged into the 22 in the 11th minute, helping to set up a penalty which Thornton sent over to break the deadlock. He doubled the lead with a 35-metre place-kick close to the half-hour mark.
Full-back Foley finally got Lansdowne up and running with a routine three-pointer, but he missed his second shot at the posts after Terenure hooker Robbie Smyth had been sin-binned.
Lansdowne’s numerical advantage eventually took hold when Leinster-capped lock Oisin Dowling spotted a gap and crossed on the stroke of half-time. Foley supplied the extras to give the visitors a 10-6 buffer at the break.
Terenure turned the screw on the resumption, and although a long-range penalty attempt from Thornton fell short in the 44th minute, impressive full-back Adam La Grue’s lung-busting run gave them front-foot ball and plenty of momentum.
Sean Skehan’s charges worked the ball through the middle for a number of phases before moving it wide for replacement Paddy Thornton to dot down in clinical fashion. James Thornton followed up with a superb conversion, making it 13-10.
‘Nure controlled possession with Lansdowne guilty of a number of uncharacteristic handling errors. The hosts knocked on close to the Lansdowne line, entering the final quarter, but a subsequent scrum penalty allowed Thornton to extend the lead to six points.
Crucially, Lansdowne were able to force the issue past the 80-minute mark, camping inside the ‘Nure 22 with a series of mauls bringing them into scoring range. Terenure held out until the 21-year-old Sheehan applied the finishing touches under a slew of bodies. Foley comfortably converted to seal a late smash-and-grab victory.
TERENURE COLLEGE: Adam La Grue; Jake Swaine, Stephen O’Neill, Caolan Dooley, Sam Coghlan Murray; James Thornton, Mark Fabian; Campbell Classen, Robbie Smyth, Liam Hyland, Peter Claffey, Michael Melia (capt), Stephen Caffrey, Niall O’Sullivan, Eoin Joyce.
Replacements: Adam Clarkin, Adam Tuite, Paddy Thornton, Mark O’Neill, Sam Dardis.
LANSDOWNE: Tim Foley; Daniel McEvoy, Harry Brennan, Conall Doherty, Peter Sullivan; Craig Ronaldson, James Kenny; Martin Mulhall, Dan Sheehan, Greg McGrath, Oisin Dowling, Jack Dwan (capt), Jack O’Sullivan, Mark Boyle, Darragh Murphy.
Replacements: Conor Gleeson, Adam Boland, Matt Healy, Ross Barron, Ian Fitzpatrick.