Terenure College defeat damaging blow for Young Munster

Young Munster 21 Terenure College 22: Terenure College remain on course for the Ulster Bank League Division 1A play-offs after Saturday’s one point victory over Young Munster.

For the hosts, however, the result is a blow. Though they remain in the running for the top four, a second successive defeat could edge them towards the relegation zone with six series of matches still to be played of this drum tight division.

Their problems began from the kick-off when prop Hugh McGrath tore his hamstring badly. It was a sign of things to come. In the closing stages, a point down, they were awarded a penalty 30 metres out and ten metres to the left of the posts. Gearoid Lyons, who had put them 9-0 ahead with three fine kicks, struck the ball well but failed to judge the fierce wind and his effort swung inches wide.

“We would have taken 3-0 coming down here”, admitted Terenure coach James Blaney, the former Munster hooker. “After leading 17-9 at half time having played against the wind, we set out to maintain that standard in the second half and didn’t do so. Munsters came back, the crowd got into it and certainly got the heart racing. But our goal at the start of the season was to make the top four and we are on target.”

While pleased at the way his side came back to take the lead playing against the wind in the second half, Young Munster coach John Staunton was understandably annoyed at the way his side let the game slip away. “We did more than enough to win but gave them 12 points through very silly errors”, he lamented. “Our season has now reached a stage where we could qualify for the play-offs or find ourselves in a dogfight at the other end.

“But four of our remaining six matches are at home and that is a big help.”

However the hosts failed to make home advantage count on Saturday, conceding a soft try on the stroke of half time and another midway through the second period. To Terenure’s credit, though, their first two tries touched down by Robert Smyth and Graham Coffey were the product of excellent build-ups. The third from Stephen O’Neill, who also converted Coffey’s try, had them 17-9 ahead at the break.

The home side hit back with two tries from hooker Ger Slattery following line-out mauls to take the lead only for the issue to be decided by Terenure’s fourth by Harry Moore.

TERENURE COLLEGE: I Hanly; J O’Donoghue, S O’Neill, G Coffey, H Moore; M O’Neill, K O’Neill; R Harrison, R Smyth, O Heffernan, F Walsh, J Dever, R Duke, J O’Neill, K McCoy.

Rolling replacements: K Buckley, G Hamilton, K O’Dwyer, W Devane, M Mahony.

YOUNG MUNSTER: B Martin; E Carr, S O’Leary, G Lyons, C O’Hanlon; W Staunton, R Guerin; G O’Flaherty, G Slattery, H McGrath, S Duggan, D Gallagher, A Kennedy, Y Browne, S Rennison.

Rolling replacements: S Fenton, P Allen, M Madden, B Kilkenny, K Ifoa.

Referee: D Wilkinson (IRFU).

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