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Ballynahinch Upset Leaders Terenure

Ballynahinch Upset Leaders Terenure

Terenure College were stunned into submission by Ballynahinch on Saturday, as the Ulster Bank League Division 1A leaders were beaten 14-10 at a wet and windy Ballymacarn Park.

Ballynahinch put in the performance of the season with a magnificent second half display of controlled rugby to hold out against a determined Terenure side.

'Hinch, kicked off with the wind blasting at their backs from Slieve Croob. It looked as though the hosts would need at least a 12-point advantage by half-time and they quickly settled into the game, controlling play and possession.

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Place-kicking centre Richard Reaney opened the scoring for the Co. Down club when he converted a penalty goal in the 16th minute after Terenure were caught offside at a ruck on their 22. Reaney repeated the dose for the same offence in the 22nd minute.

The Dubliners struck back with a try in the 24th minute when Kevin O'Neill attacked the blindside from a scrum on halfway. The 'Hinch tackling was poor, allowing O'Neill to put winger James O'Donoghue clear to race in for the score which Mark O'Neill converted.

Despite the earnest work-rate of the 'Hinch forwards, in particular hooker Jonny Murphy and second row Jonny Madden, the hosts could only manage one more score before half-time. Terenure captain James O'Neill failed to use his arms when tackling Madden and Reaney was successful with his third shot at goal for a 9-7 scoreline, 33 minutes in.

Turning around with the wind at their backs, the visitors were quick to respond. Out-half Mark O'Neill converted a 41st minute penalty after 'Hinch had been guilty of crossing on the edge of their 22.

'Nure half-backs Kevin and Mark O'Neill used the conditions well, forcing 'Hinch to return play from deep in their half of the pitch.

The turning point in the game came in the 48th minute. 'Nure opted to move the ball on halfway and the blitz 'Hinch defence put them under pressure, allowing Reaney to intercept and sprint clear to score. He failed to add the extras, leaving the home side with a narrow 14-10 lead.

It was a major setback for James Blaney's men and they suffered a further loss when scrum half Kevin O'Neill was yellow carded in the 51st minute for back-chat to referee Eddie Hogan O'Connell.

While the visitors started to falter, 'Hinch dug in and led by number 8 Michael Graham (pictured above), they battled away for the remainder of the game with a wonderful display of controlled rugby into driving wind and rain.

Terenure had all the territory and possession during the final five minutes but they failed to penetrate a very determined and spirited 'Hinch defence, as the hosts managed to hang on for a well-earned and important victory.

Referee: Eddie Hogan O'Connell (IRFU)