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Terenure Win Top Of The Table Clash

Terenure Win Top Of The Table Clash

Stephen O’Neill’s first half try was the difference between the teams at Lakelands Park as Terenure College continued their dream start to life in Division 1A with a 14-9 win over defending champions Clontarf.

Terenure's fifth victory of the current campaign extended their winning streak in the Ulster Bank League to an incredible 28 games, and in the process dented Clontarf's title defence with a second defeat.

'Nure did suffer a reversal to UCD in the semi-final of the Leinster Senior League Cup since their most recent league game but in the wake of that disappointment, they have bounced back in impressive fashion.

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James Blaney's men dominated possession during the early rain-hit exchanges and after weathering this particular storm, Clontarf watched their out-half David Joyce hit the post with a 40-metre penalty.

The hosts duly opened the scoring with a brace of successful penalties from Joyce's opposite number, James Thornton, after 21 and 25 minutes.

The usually accurate Joyce was also off target from the kicking tee six minutes before the interval, and the north Dubliners were left to rue this miss when Stephen O'Neill touched down on 37 minutes.

After racing on to a kick from distance, the outside centre used the space afforded to him to boot the ball towards the try-line and touch down on the right (pictured below). Thornton's missed conversion left it 11-0 at the interval.

Clontarf upped the intensity when the second period got underway and they finally opened their account in the 54th minute. Following Joyce's earlier missed efforts, replacement Alan Hughes stepped up to slot a penalty from the 22.

'Nure, who introduced Connacht loanee John Cooney off the bench, were holding their own against the rising Clontarf tide heading into the final quarter.

Having featured for Lansdowne during their 2012/13 league title-winning season, local boy Cooney provides great experience for Terenure, and given his injury troubles in recent months, he will have benefitted greatly from this run-out.

Indeed, a strong break by Cooney paved the way for Thornton's third penalty 13 minutes from time. He converted confidently to offer Terenure some breathing space.

Hughes responded with his second and third penalties of the afternoon to make life difficult for Terenure once again but despite their best endeavours, 'Tarf had to be content with a losing bonus point in the end.

Referee: David Wilkinson (IRFU)