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Leaders Terenure Prevail In Lakelands Thriller

Leaders Terenure Prevail In Lakelands Thriller

James O’Donoghue and Stephen O’Neill scored two tries as Terenure College returned to winning ways in a thrilling Division 1A encounter with Old Belvedere.

Last season's Division 1B champions had made a barnstorming start to life in the top flight, but their incredible 29-match winning-streak in the Ulster Bank League finally came to an end at the hands of Lansdowne last week.
 
Ireland Under-20 international Conor McKeon broke their hearts on that occasion and a quick response was required against an Old Belvedere side that had recovered from slow starts to secure back-to-back victories over Clontarf and UCD.
 
However, in stark contrast to their most recent games, it was actually 'Belvo who enjoyed the brighter opening here. Having moved through several phases of play, they were eventually awarded a close range penalty and the in-form Josh Glynn comfortably slotted the fifth minute kick between the uprights.

Terenure started to get their hands on some valuable possession, but when a pass out of the defence was miscued, exuberant 'Belvo scrum half Charlie Rock was in the right position to gather the ball and cross for an unconverted 10th minute try on the right wing.
 
To their credit, 'Nure hit back within three minutes as a well-worked move across the opposition saw out-half James Thornton put outside centre Stephen O'Neill through for a five-pointer in the right corner.

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Back came 'Belvo and they notched their second try in the 25th minute, with out-half Aaron Sheehan, who is more known as a scrum half, getting over out wide on the left. Glynn's excellent conversion from the touchline made it 15-5.
 
After a mixed start to the season, 'Belvo were now playing with great confidence. Terenure always showed plenty of resilience, however, and a dangerous maul on the half hour was finished off by number 8 Kyle McCoy for their sixth try of the league run which Thornton converted.
 
The out-half also added the extras to James O'Donoghue's first try in the latter stages of the half. Brilliant build-up play by Kevin O'Neill and Stephen O'Neill enabled the winger to dot down on the left flank. With the conversion, James Blaney's charges were suddenly four points to the good (19-15) at half-time.
 
This was a significant morale boost for the home team and with Old Belvedere losing Glynn to injury before the break, there was a sense that the pendulum was starting to swing in the direction of the league leaders.
 
Indeed, 'Nure carried this momentum into the second period and it came as no surprise when the hard work of Graham Coffey set up his centre partner Stephen O'Neill for the bonus point score just five minutes after the restart.


 
'Belvo were prepared to go down without a fight, though, and the ever reliable Daniel Riordan bravely reached over the line on 59 minutes to drag his side back into contention.
 
This was a reminder to 'Nure that the final outcome was not yet beyond doubt, and a Thornton penalty nine minutes later was much welcomed by the anxious home support.
 
However, it did not prove to be the insurance score that they thought it might be. After a number of missed opportunities, replacement David Mongan, who had taken Glynn's place on the right-win, registered a converted score for 'Belvo to narrow the gap to just two points.
 
This was also the visitors' fourth try of the day which meant that they would return to Anglesea Road with at least two point to their name.

During a lengthy period of injury-time Paul Cunningham's men did have plenty of possession but following some patient work in defence, O'Donoghue scored a brilliant breakaway try to finally confirm Terenure's superiority.

Referee: Mark Connolly (IRFU)