Terenure College needed two late tries to finally break UCD’s resistance and get back to winning ways with a 45-28 bonus point victory at the UCD Bowl.
ENERGIA ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE MEN’S DIVISION 1A:
Saturday, November 4 –
UCD 28 TERENURE COLLEGE 45, UCD Bowl
Scorers: UCD: Tries: Chris Cosgrave, Sean Egan, Andrew Osborne; Cons: Michael Moloney 2; Pens: Michael Moloney 3
Terenure College: Tries: Adam La Grue, Stephen O’Neill, Luke Clohessy, Peter Sylvester, Tom Coghlan; Cons: Caolan Dooley 4; Pens: Caolan Dooley 4
HT: UCD 13 Terenure College 15
Stephen O’Neill’s opportunist try just before half-time gave Terenure a 15-13 lead, with Adam La Grue having dotted down earlier after UCD winger Jack Deegan’s sin-binning.
Now coached by former Terenure assistant coach Emmet MacMahon, the students led twice during the opening half – Chris Cosgrave crossed the whitewash and Michael Moloney landed three kicks – and they were right in the hunt until the dying minutes.
In the soft underfoot conditions, Moloney finished with 13 points from the tee as UCD doggedly kept pace with the reigning Division 1A champions. Tries from replacement Sean Egan (65 minutes) and Andrew Osborne (68) brought them level at 28 points apiece.
Terenure found another gear though, as 20-point kicking star Caolan Dooley fired over another penalty and converted those closing scores from Peter Sylvester and former UCD clubman Tom Coghlan, who is now playing for ‘Nure, alongside his cousin Jordan.
It was nip and tuck during the opening exchanges, UCD, and Diarmuid Mangan in particular, revelling in turning over a Terenure maul, before the title holders gained revenge by winning a penalty from the resulting scrum.
Terenure took a ninth-minute lead thanks to Dooley’s reliable right boot, before Moloney hit the post with his first attempt from the tee. UCD opted for a scrum from their next penalty opportunity and they generated quick ball to chip away at the defence.
‘Nure eventually coughed up a try to Cosgrave, who was sent in under the posts by Wilhelm de Klerk. Moloney converted for a 7-3 scoreline but his opposite number O’Neill’s spritely break, after La Grue’s good work to bat down the restart, had the visitors right on the try-line.
UCD winger Deegan saw yellow for being slow to roll away, and although Sean McNulty was held up off a maul, ‘Nure quickly came hunting again thanks to a scrum penalty. When the ball was worked wide, La Grue jinked inside both Cosgrave and Harry Donnelly to touch down.
Dooley’s conversion was cancelled out by a Moloney penalty, which rewarded Osborne’s impressive fielding of the restart and levelled matters at 10-all before Deegan’s return to the pitch.
Despite Terenure holding an advantage at scrum time, the students almost broke through for a second try when number 8 Sean O’Brien attacked hard off the base and Mangan was stopped just short.
Sean Skehan’s side also left likely points behind them when failing to capitalise on a break from centre Sylvester and missing touch from a penalty. It was UCD who nipped back ahead through Moloney as the interval approached.
However, the College outfit were left stunned by a last-minute concession to O’Neill. Moloney’s attempted clearance kick cannoned into the back of Mangan, and O’Neill coolly dribbled the loose ball through to score in the left corner.
An early Moloney penalty pointed the way for UCD on the resumption, yet Dooley started to become a more central figure. A series of penalties saw him split the posts twice from three attempts, making it 21-16 with 54 minutes gone.
A rain shower led to more spilled passes, but Terenure maintained their scrum dominance. Their maul really came to the fore on the hour mark, drawing penalties and powering flanker Luke Clohessy over the line for Dooley to convert.
There were no signs of UCD flagging. A penalty parachuted them back up to the ‘Nure 22 before Cosgrave’s cross-field kick came off the fingertips of Dooley and landed into the welcoming arms of Osborne to pull back seven points.
Barely three minutes later, the UCD forwards took centre stage. Mark Hernan, who was terrier-like in his tackling, broke from a maul and almost sent captain Bobby Sheehan over in the left corner. A quick recycle allowed Egan to burrow over with Mangan on the latch.
Moloney’s missed conversion left the game tantalisingly poised at 28-all. It turned out that Terenure had that bit more in the tank, and a booming strike from Dooley in the 71st minute moved them back in front.
Their strong maul platform put ‘Nure in position for O’Neill to send Sylvester over for the bonus point score. Dooley converted and also added the extras to Coghlan’s clincher, which came from another lineout drive and good support from Matthew Caffrey closer in.
UCD: Harry Donnelly; Jack Deegan, Chris Cosgrave, Tim Corkery, Andrew Osborne; Wilhelm de Klerk, Michael Moloney; Hugo O’Malley, Bobby Sheehan (capt), Andrew Sparrow, Diarmuid Mangan, Conor O’Tighearnaigh, Michael Colreavy, Mark Hernan, Sean O’Brien.
Replacements: Lucas Maguire, Tom O’Riordan, Sean Egan, Gerry Hill, Rob Gilsenan, Niall Carroll.
TERENURE COLLEGE: Colm de Buitléar; Caolan Dooley, Sam Berman, Peter Sylvester, Adam La Grue; Callum Smith, Stephen O’Neill; Campbell Classon, Sean McNulty, Adam Tuite, Harrison Brewer (capt), Mikey O’Reilly, Conall Boomer, Luke Clohessy, Jordan Coghlan.
Replacements: Levi Vaughan, Conan O’Donnell, Matthew Caffrey, Tom Coghlan, Aran Egan, Craig Adams.