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Keating Brace Maintains ‘Tarf’s Winning Start

Keating Brace Maintains ‘Tarf’s Winning Start

Michael Keating book-ended Clontarf’s second win of the AIB League campaign with tries as they beat Terenure College in a lively Dublin derby at Lakelands.

AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION ONE: Saturday, October 11


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Scorers: Terenure College: Try: Brian Blaney; Con: Conor Gildea; Pens: David McAllister 2; Drop: David McAllister
Clontarf: Tries: Michael Keating 2; Pens: Martin Dufficy 3

Winger Michael Keating, a member of Belvedere College’s Leinster Senior Cup-winning side of last season, crossed the whitewash after four and 79 minutes.

Terenure took a 6-5 advantage into half-time thanks to two David McAllister penalties.

Despite leaking three penalties to Martin Dufficy, ‘Nure kept ahead through Brian Blaney (try) and McAllister (drop goal) but teenager Keating had the last laugh.

Clontarf lost three of their first four games in the AIB League last season, but they seem in better nick this time around.

Andy Wood’s charges are one of four Leinster-based teams in Division One’s top five at the moment and next Saturday’s visit of St Mary’s College, the early pacesetters, to Castle Avenue already looks like a humdinger.

Clontarf took an early lead at Lakelands when a flowing back-line move, allied to some good continuity from the forwards, ended with Keating scoring in the corner.

Former Leinster player McAllister, who slotted in at inside centre behind out-half Conor Gildea, replied for Terenure with a well-struck penalty.

‘Nure had provincial duo Brian Blaney and Stephen Knoop bolstering their front row and the home pack covered good ground.

They forced an error from the visitors and McAllister stepped forward to land his second penalty and hand his side a 6-5 half-time advantage.

By the midpoint of the second half, ‘Nure were 13-11 to the good courtesy of a try from hooker Blaney, after a quick series of rucks and a huge drive from the pack.

The Ireland Under-20-capped Dufficy sandwiched that score with two penalties and his third success nudged ‘Tarf into a one-point lead.

That did not last long as the influential McAllister planted a brilliant drop goal through the posts to inspire hopes of a home success.

McAllister had gone from villain to hero as he had been sin-binned earlier in the game for shouldering a player when attempting a tackle.

Still, with South African flanker Heinrich Stride adding his bulk to the drives and scrum half Paul O’Donohoe covering every blade of glass, ‘Tarf created enough space out wide to put Keating over for the match-winning score.

Denied at the death, Terenure must quickly rally regroup and refocus for another Dublin derby next week, against unbeaten Blackrock College.