Nure’s pride of the parish

by Gazette Reporter

TERENURE College won parish bragging rights and moved back to the top of Ulster Bank League Division 1A following their third straight bonus point victory, scoring 25 second half points to overcome their local rivals at a packed Templeville Road last Saturday.
St Mary’s had done the double on Nure last season and held a 14-7 at half-time, their American international full-back Tim Maupin jinking over for a 14th-minute opening try from a neat pass by Sean Kearns.
Terenure failed to capitalise on a strong break by winger Marc Hiney, before the hosts manufactured their second converted try on the half hour mark. Although flanker Hugh Kelleher was initially held up shy of the try-line, captain Ciaran Ruddock managed to power through some heavy traffic for an excellent score.
However, Terenure had a timely response before the break, their inside centre Ted O’Donoghue spotting a gap in the home defence and sprinting in under the posts for a confidence-boosting seven-pointer.
Try number two followed in the 47th minute when in-form openside Niall Lalor’s lung-bursting run earned him his third try of the campaign, which went unconverted.
With their tails now up, James Blaney’s men were soon in the ascendancy. Their decision to turn down a kickable 52nd-minute penalty paid off when the subsequent lineout maul was finished off by hooker and captain Robbie Smyth. Out-half Mark O’Neill converted for a 19-14 lead.
With both coaches looking to their benches for fresh legs, O’Neill nailed a 35-metre penalty entering the final quarter.
His 21-year-old half-back partner Tim Schmidt – son of national coach Joe who was a scrum half in the Toulouse Espoirs squad last season – made it 29 points without reply when he dived over at the end of another pacy and power-packed move, 12 minutes from time.
Mary’s showed signs of a late revival with a snappy try from winger Craig Kennedy, who broke free on the left with two minutes remaining. But Terenure closed the door on the hosts’ bonus point bid as O’Neill closed out this entertaining battle of the parishes with an injury-time penalty, bringing his own haul to 12 points.
In the city centre, Lansdowne smashed an understrength and injury-hit Dublin University for a half century, running up a 52-12 win.
Lansdowne already had 33 points on the board before Trinity crossed as they led from the second minute.
Two tries each from Harry Brennan and Eamonn Mills combined with a penalty try and further five-pointers from Michael Earle, Daniel McEvoy and Jack O’Sullivan to do the damage.

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