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Energia Bateman Cup Goes To First-Time Winners Terenure College

Energia Bateman Cup Goes To First-Time Winners Terenure College

Victorious Terenure College captain Harrison Brewer lifts the Bateman Cup surrounded by his team-mates at Lakelands Park ©INPHO/Ben Brady

Terenure College were crowned Energia Bateman Cup champions for the first time, doing it in clinical fashion with a 71-13 final win over an understrength Buccaneers team at Lakelands Park.


Scorers: Terenure College: Tries: Craig Adams 2, Alan Bennie, Adam La Grue 3, Niall Lalor 2, Sam Coghlan Murray, Harrison Brewer, Conor McCormack; Cons: Caolan Dooley 7, James Thornton
Buccaneers: Try: Robert Teape; Con: Michael Hanley; Pens: Michael Hanley, Stephen Mannion
HT: Terenure College 31 Buccaneers 6

Full-back Adam La Grue ran in a hat-trick on a night that Terenure racked up 11 tries, with Buccaneers’ only consolation a 69th-minute converted effort from replacement Robert Teape.

It took a sterling effort from numerous players and volunteers to clear snow from the pitch and ensure the game went ahead. Terenure quickly hit top gear on the all-weather surface to score five tries inside 28 minutes.

La Grue touched down twice and Craig Adams, Alan Bennie and Niall Lalor also chipped in with scores, Buccaneers getting off the mark through Michael Hanley and Stephen Mannion penalties but trailing 31-6 at the break.

Missing their Connacht Academy contingent and some other key players, a battling Buccs deservedly got over the whitewash but ‘Nure were in no mood to pull up early.

Sean Skehan’s charges secured the club’s first senior national title since 2014’s Division 1B win with further scores from Adams, Sam Coghlan Murray, captain Harrison Brewer, Lalor, La Grue and Conor McCormack.

Terenure gave a warning of their power-packed mauling with a monster fifth-minute drive almost seeing Jordan Coghlan score. Bennie’s flicked pass opened the way for winger Adams to cross in the left corner.

Dooley converted and also added the extras to Bennie’s 10th-minute score, the experienced scrum half scampering through a gap off another ground-gaining maul from his forwards.

Buccaneers gained some traction from their tactical kicking, forcing ‘Nure offside and Hanley slotted a fine long-range strike to reduce the arrears to 14-3.

The hosts swiftly snapped back with their third try, Adams cutting past four defenders from halfway before deftly sending a grubber kick through for La Grue to dot down. Dooley added a smashing conversion from out wide.

Buccs began the second quarter with a terrific penalty from distance from Mannion, who rewarded a strong carry by Conor Fitzgibbon. However, they lost possession from the restart and centre Fitzgibbon was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on.

‘Nure made them pay with two quick-fire tries, flanker Lalor crossing from a zippy Bennie pass before a superb break by Campbell Classon ended with La Grue touching down from the prop’s offload off the deck.

Importantly for the Pirates, their defence improved closing in on the interval. Frankie Hopkins’ rip in a tackle thwarted one ‘Nure attack, and Buccs flanker Sean O’Connell increased his influence at the breakdown by winning two penalties.

Into the second half, senior debutant Andrew Evans did really well to cover a kick chase led by Adam Melia, yet Buccs could not clear the danger and Adams countered smartly, dummying and sidestepping through to complete his brace.

Dooley was back on target with a sweet strike from the right wing to convert Coghlan Murray’s 48th-minute effort, the Buccs defence worn down with crisp passes from Bennie, Dooley and Stephen O’Neill putting the wing over from close range.

The midlanders conceded again four minutes later, the ball sitting up from James Thornton’s clever chip in behind and Brewer was there to dot down. Dooley swung over another well-struck conversion, making it 52-6.

After Lalor had used another well-set maul to bag his brace, Buccs enjoyed a rare purple patch. Replacement Mathias O’Neill made an impact, but out-half Hanley missed touch from a subsequent penalty on the hour mark.

In response, ‘Nure replacement Cathal Marsh’s dummy and pass played in La Grue for his hat-trick score. Then it was the turn of the visitors’ pack to build through the phases, getting in sight of the try-line from a penalty.

Better ball retention resulted in Teape going over out wide on the left, Hanley’s skip pass did the damage with Ross Murphy Sweeney running a well-timed decoy line. Hanley’s conversion took the Pirates onto 13 points.

‘Nure, who keep the Bateman Cup in the capital after Lansdowne’s triumph last year, had a near miss when a foot in touch saw the rampaging La Grue denied another score. They did close out the scoring right at the death, McCormack burrowing over for Thornton to convert.

TIME LINE: 5 minutes – Terenure College try: Craig Adams – 5-0; conversion: Caolan Dooley – 7-0; 10 mins – Terenure College try: Alan Bennie – 12-0; conversion: Caolan Dooley – 14-0; 14 mins – Buccaneers penalty: Michael Hanley – 14-3; 19 mins – Terenure College try: Adam La Grue – 19-3; conversion: Caolan Dooley – 21-3; 23 mins – Buccaneers penalty: Stephen Mannion – 21-6; 24 mins – Buccaneers yellow card: Conor Fitzgibbon; 25 mins – Terenure College try: Niall Lalor – 26-6; conversion: missed by Caolan Dooley – 26-6; 28 mins – Terenure College try: Adam La Grue – 31-6; conversion: missed by Caolan Dooley 31-6; 31 mins – Terenure College yellow card: Alan Bennie; Half-time – Terenure College 31 Buccaneers 6; 41 mins – Terenure College try: Craig Adams – 36-6; conversion: Caolan Dooley – 38-6; 48 mins – Terenure College try: Sam Coghlan Murray – 43-6; conversion: Caolan Dooley – 45-6; 52 mins – Terenure College try: Harrison Brewer – 50-6; conversion: Caolan Dooley – 52-6; 55 mins – Terenure College try: Niall Lalor – 57-6; Caolan Dooley – 59-6; 63 mins – Terenure College try: Adam La Grue – 64-6; conversion: missed by Adam La Grue – 64-6; 69 mins – Buccaneers try: Robert Teape – 64-11; conversion: Michael Hanley – 64-13; 79 mins – Terenure College try: Conor McCormack – 69-13; conversion: James Thornton – 71-13; Full-time – Terenure College 71 Buccaneers 13

TERENURE COLLEGE: Adam La Grue; Sam Coghlan Murray, Stephen O’Neill, Caolan Dooley, Craig Adams; James Thornton, Alan Bennie; Campbell Classon, Levi Vaughan, Adam Tuite, Harrison Brewer (capt), Mick Melia, Adam Melia, Niall Lalor, Jordan Coghlan.

Replacements: Robbie Smyth, Conor McCormack, Andy Keating, Matthew Caffrey, Colm de Buitléar, Mike Murphy, Cathal Marsh, Luke Clohessy.

BUCCANEERS: Andrew Evans; Harry Balsiger, Conor Fitzgibbon, Stephen Mannion, Ross Murphy Sweeney; Michael Hanley, Frankie Hopkins; James Kelly, Steveni Lombard, Martin Staunton (capt), Fionn McDonnell, Ruairi Byrne, Sean O’Connell, Cathal Walsh, Luke Balsiger.

Replacements: Oisin Dolan, Charlie Byrne, Cian Daly, Dylan Bolger, Mathias O’Neill, Jack Scouler, Robert Teape, Yishai Avrahami.

Referee: Padraic Reidy (IRFU)