Caolan Dooley displayed his match-winning ability again as his razor-sharp right boot guided Terenure College past Lansdowne, the recent leaders of Energia All-Ireland League Division 1A.
ENERGIA ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE MEN’S DIVISION 1A:
Saturday, November 11 –
TERENURE COLLEGE 24 LANSDOWNE 23, Lakelands Park
Scorers: Terenure College: Tries: Adam La Grue, Conall Boomer; Con: Callum Smith; Pens: Callum Smith 3, Caolan Dooley
Lansdowne: Tries: Hugo McLaughlin, Jack Cooke; Cons: Stephen Madigan, Tom Gavigan; Pens: Stephen Madigan 3
HT: Terenure College 21 Lansdowne 9
Terenure’s goal-kicking hero from last season’s final, Dooley coolly fired over a 40-metre penalty in the last play to earn a tense 24-23 win over Lansdowne.
The Lakelands Park faithful must have felt a bonus point victory was a possibility, given ‘Nure led 21-9 at half-time thanks to tries from Adam La Grue and Conall Boomer.
Lansdowne rocked the hosts with converted scores from Hugo McLaughlin (67 minutes) and Jack Cooke (76), but Dooley had the final say to move the title holders back up to fifth place.
Despite Jordan Coghlan knocking on due to Temi Lasisi’s powerful tackle off the kick-off, Terenure hit the front in the fifth minute. They won the kicking battle before a smart back-line move opened up space on the left for La Grue to dive over in the corner.
A neat exchange between Peter Sylvester and Callum Smith, with Sam Berman running the decoy line, sucked in Lansdowne in midfield and gave Colm de Buitléar the chance to put La Grue over past Andy Marks’ last-ditch challenge. Smith added an excellent conversion.
Lansdowne captain Rory Parata won a penalty at the breakdown, only for Stephen Madigan’s first shot at the posts to slip wide. The visitors alo lost a promising position close to the posts when referee Stuart Gaffikin penalised Ruairi Clarke for sealing off.
Good hands from Lasisi won turnover ball for Lansdowne but a second Madigan kept them scoreless. Terenure soon took a 10-0 lead as a Smith kick went in off the left hand post, punishing Hardus van Eeden’s high tackle on Luke Clohessy.
Lansdowne came away with three points from their next visit to the ‘Nure 22, with Madigan nailing a central kick, before a Smith penalty swiftly restored the 10-point advantage nearing the half hour mark.
An offside decision against Coghlan allowed Madigan to double his tally from the tee, but the second of two Terenure maul attempts landed flanker Boomer over the whitewash from close range. The try went unconverted.
Madigan and Smith traded late penalties before the interval, with Terenure ending the first half without replacement prop Conan O’Donnell who was sin-binned for repeated team penalties.
A strong carry from Campbell Classon set up the first scoring chance of the second period for ‘Nure, but Smith pulled his kick wide. Lansdowne came under further pressure after lively second row Clarke saw yellow for lifting Clohessy above the horizontal in a double tackle.
Van Eeden and replacement Donough Lawlor stepped up in Clarke’s absence, pressurising ‘Nure in the lineout and at ruck time. An attacking flurry, via a close-in maul, saw the headquarters club go close but Cathal Eddy knocked out a pass from Marks.
A real dogfight was developing, as van Eeden and Lasisi was both hauled down a few metres short and an eventual turnover, pinched by Smith, allowed his half-back partner Fintan Gunne to kick clear.
As Lansdowne pressed again just before Clarke’s return, Barry Fitzpatrick, lurking on the left wing, was tackled into touch by Colm de Buitléar. Terenure were able to march back downfield until Clarke stole a lineout.
Madigan was bodychecked by Sylvester as he chased his own kick near halfway, earning the Terenure centre a yellow card. Lansdowne quickly profited, moving infield off a maul and full-back McLaughlin brilliantly brushed off a La Grue tackle to charge in under the posts.
Madigan, who had provided the assist for the try, added the simple conversion, reducing the arrears to 21-16. Worryingly for ‘Nure, they then lost full-back de Buitléar to the bin for a deliberate knock-on, just before Sylvester’s return to the pitch.
Some neat interplay between Marks and Lansdowne captain Rory Parata in midfield led to Eddy being tackled just two metres short. Quick ruck ball was generated again and after Parata was brought down, replacement Jack Matthews’ skip pass put Cooke diving over.
To the right of the posts, replacement Tom Gavigan drilled the conversion low over the crossbar to put Lansdowne ahead for the first and only time. 14-man ‘Nure still had time to respond with little over four minutes remaining.
A good spell of carrying got Sean Skehan’s side inside Lansdowne’s 10-metre line, and try scorer Cooke was unfortunate to give away a last-minute penalty for not rolling away. Dooley duly delivered the decisive three points at the end of an enthralling encounter.
TERENURE COLLEGE: Colm de Buitléar; Stephen O’Neill, Sam Berman, Peter Sylvester, Adam La Grue; Callum Smith, Fintan Gunne; Campbell Classon, Levi Vaughan, Adam Tuite, Harrison Brewer (capt), Mikey O’Reilly, Conall Boomer, Luke Clohessy, Jordan Coghlan.
Replacements: Ben Howard, Conan O’Donnell, Matthew Caffrey, Tom Coghlan, Aran Egan, Caolan Dooley.
LANSDOWNE: Hugo McLaughlin; Cathal Eddy, Andy Marks, Rory Parata (capt), Sean Galvin; Stephen Madigan, James Kenny; Ben Popplewell, Tom Barry, Temi Lasisi, Jack Cooke, Ruairi Clarke, Clive Ross, Barry Fitzpatrick, Hardus van Eeden.
Replacements: Henry Godson, George Morris, Liam Forster, Donough Lawlor, Jack Matthews, Tom Gavigan.