Terenure College make history by reaching AIL decider for the first time

Terenure will meet Clontarf in the decider.

Terenure's Colm De Butleir celebrates with fans.
Terenure's Colm De Butleir celebrates with fans.
Image: Tom Maher/INPHO

THE ENERGIA ALL-IRELAND League Division 1A final next Sunday will be an all-Dublin affair after Terenure College reached the decider for the first time, while table toppers Clontarf ended Cork Constitution’s reign as champions.

Five Caolan Dooley penalties and a 76th-minute try from full-back Adam La Grue proved enough for Terenure who edged out Lansdowne 20-18 in a cagey semi-final at Lakelands Park.

Lansdowne had a chance to take the game into extra-time, but Ireland Under-20 out-half Charlie Tector missed the conversion from the left after Sean Galvin’s try had given the visitors late hope.

Andy ‘Panda’ Keating led a strong scrummaging performance from Terenure, setting up two of winger Dooley’s four first half penalties which were backed by a significant wind.

Tector hit back in the 29th and 40th minutes to cut the gap to 12-6, while a late weaving break from centre Andy Marks showed what Lansdowne could do when afforded some space.

conal-boomer-makes-a-break Terenure's Conal Boomer makes a break. Source: Tom Maher/INPHO

The defensive pressure had been suffocating at times during the opening 40 minutes, but Tector recovered from an early penalty miss on the resumption to dummy and dart his way over for a 49th-minute converted try.

Lansdowne were ahead for the first time, leading 13-12, and only dogged defence – with Clive Ross and captain Jack O’Sullivan to the fore – prevented Terenure from responding on the hour mark.

The big home crowd willed Sean Skehan’s Terenure side on and they duly delivered. Donegal man Conall Boomer was hugely influential as a replacement and Jordan Coghlan also carried well before Dooley kicked them back in front.

It was Boomer’s brilliant break up the right that led to ‘Nure’s only try, quick ruck ball being transferred across to the left wing where La Grue finished smartly. Dooley was unable to convert.

Now 18-13 behind, Lansdowne rallied in the dying minutes. Replacement Stephen Madigan’s cross-field kick was gobbled up by winger Galvin for a late lifeline, but Tector sent the conversion wide and Terenure hung on to seal a trip to the Aviva Stadium.

Meeting them at Irish Rugby HQ next week will be 2014 and 2016 champions Clontarf. Andy Wood’s men followed through on their consistent form across the regular season to defeat Cork Con 29-13 at Castle Avenue.

‘Tarf were missing five players who are with Leinster in South Africa, including David Hawkshaw and Alex Soroka, but pulled clear in the second half thanks to converted tries from Tadhg Bird and in-form hooker Dylan Donnellan.

fionn-gilbert-celebrates-a-turnover Clontarf’s Fionn Gilbert celebrates a turnover. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Donnellan, the division’s top try scorer this season, now has 18 tries to his name – an outstanding haul for any player, let alone a front row forward.

Con looked like they might spoil the party when captain Aidan Moynihan kicked them into an early 6-0 lead as they quickly used the strong wind to their advantage.

However, Clontarf’s well-oiled attack soon found its rhythm with skipper Matt D’Arcy have some key involvements and the pack producing quick ball for half-backs Conor Kelly and Angus Lloyd.

D’Arcy’s centre partner Michael Courtney barged over in the 13th minute, swiftly followed by winger Cian O’Donoghue with a diving one-handed finish after D’Arcy’s expertly-floated long pass had released him.

O’Donoghue then doubled his tally in the left corner, benefiting from D’Arcy combining with Mick Kearney in the build-up. 15-6 in arrears, Con managed to answer back on the stroke of half-time.

Billy Crowley’s short pass sprung John Forde in between two defenders and the flanker went on a superb rampaging 35-metre run in under the posts.

The conversion from Moynihan left just two points between the sides, but Clontarf made sure they got the next score to rock the 2019 winners back on their heels.

The hosts regained the momentum in the 45th minute when tricky full-back Bird unlocked the Con defence with a sidestepping run, brilliantly slipping through the smallest of gaps and getting away from two more defenders to score close to the posts.

The post played a part in Clontarf’s next try as out-half Kelly missed a penalty off an upright, but ‘Tarf swept up the rebound and hammered away through their forwards. With support from Ivan Soroka, Donnellan rumbled over in the 53rd minute.

The Kelly-converted try was a real sucker punch to Con’s title aspirations, despite the best efforts of Munster’s Jack Crowley and Alex McHenry who came on for the final half an hour.

tadhg-bird-scores-a-try Clontarf’s Tadhg Bird scores a try. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Crowley came closest to scoring, tackled short just a metre out before Clontarf won a crucial turnover. The home defence tightened up thereafter, some loose passing and a crooked lineout letting Con down as their challenge petered out.

Ballynahinch hold a four-point lead at the halfway stage in the Division 1A relegation play-off. First half tries from Josh Hanlon and George Pringle guided them to a 21-17 first leg victory at UCC.

The Cork students, who had assistant coach Cian Bohane lining out at out-half, replied to an early penalty when scrum half Andrew O’Mahony sniped through for a converted try after a lineout steal.

Ireland Under-20 hooker Hanlon crossed from a ‘Hinch maul, five minutes later, and with the visitors’ scrum getting on top, Conor McAuley snappily sent centre Pringle over in the 28th minute.

Turning around with a 15-7 deficit, UCC had a dream start to the second half when Matthew Bowen was taken out by Ronan Patterson as he attempted to chase his own kick. The ‘Hinch winger saw yellow and also harshly conceded a penalty try.

Daniel Squires tagged on a 50th-minute penalty for a 17-15 home lead, but ‘Hinch used their superior scrum to storm back, providing the platform for penalties from Conor Rankin after 60 and 69 minutes.

Adam Craig’s side should have finished further in front, though, and the tie still remains in the balance. Greg Hutley hit the post with a drop goal attempt and missed out on a try due to a tremendous cover tackle from Bowen.

Division 1B table toppers Old Wesley’s promotion bid was dramatically ended by Naas with a 37-36 defeat in Donnybrook. Gary Kavanagh plucked down Tim Murphy’s skip pass to run in a second-minute try for Naas, setting them on their way to an unforgettable four-try victory.

A slick move off a scrum saw Ben Murphy open Old Wesley’s try account, with powerful tighthead Cronan Gleeson then twisting his way over in the 20th minute.

Both teams had yellow cards but Naas picked up the points, two more penalties from captain Peter Osborne’s right boot giving them a 16-14 half-time lead.

The precise place-kicking of full-back Osborne went on to have a huge say in the outcome, with his 17 points from the tee taking his tally for the league season to an incredible 219 points.

Another huge factor in the result was Wesley losing centre James O’Donovan to an early second half red card. A deliberate knock-on led to his second yellow card of the game.

Johne Murphy’s Cobras wedged in three converted tries between the 45th and 62nd minutes as Sam Cahill, via a terrific Craig Ronaldson offload, scrum half Murphy and Donal Conroy all crossed.

14-man Wesley’s only response was an Ian Cassidy penalty until they found something extra late on. Ben Burns crashed over from a maul and then a stunning four-man break from deep, led by Alex Molloy, saw replacement Charlie O’Regan add seven more points.

Suddenly the Naas lead was down to just 37-31, and with the home supporters in full voice, Connor Johnson’s sin-binning evened up the playing numbers.

As Wesley continued to mount a grandstand finish, the influential Paddy McKenzie flung a pass out wide for fellow replacement Brendan Monahan to score and make it a one-point game. Up stepped McKenzie for the conversion, five metres in from touch, but his kick missed the target in a cruel, season-ending twist.

Shannon will host Naas in the promotion decider after overcoming second-placed Highfield 25-19 in Cork. Their powerful forwards outmuscled the hosts in a three tries-to-one triumph, with Jake Flannery kicking the other 10 points.

Backed by a strong wind, Highfield took a 16-15 lead into the break, Shane O’Riordan kicking three penalties – including one from halfway – and converting Paddy O’Toole’s try which came from a Travis Coomey pass.

Shannon, who had an earlier try from Jordan Prenderville, recovered from a Sean McCarthy sin-binning to land a late first half try run in by Jack O’Donnell, following the initial damage caused by their maul.

Two minutes into the second half, a lineout steal propelled Shannon forward again, their front row punching holes and lock Ronan Coffey was unstoppable from close range. Flannery converted for a 22-16 lead.

The Ulster-bound Flannery drilled over a 56th minute penalty, but Pat O’Connor’s charges had to endure a nervy conclusion. A fourth O’Riordan penalty raised Highfield’s hopes but their late push for a converted try fell agonisingly short.

Centre Ben Carson, a recent Grand Slam winner with the Ireland Under-20s, got amongst the tries as Banbridge won their relegation play-off first leg against Navan.

Late scores from Conor Field and Carson gave Bann a priceless 25-17 win at Balreask Old, leaving Navan, whose scrum half Mark Farrell kicked four penalties, with an uphill task next week.



Scorers: Clontarf: Tries: Michael Courtney, Cian O’Donoghue 2, Tadhg Bird, Dylan Donnellan; Cons: Conor Kelly 2
Cork Constitution: Try: John Forde; Con: Aidan Moynihan; Pens: Aidan Moynihan 2
HT: Clontarf 15 Cork Constitution 13

CLONTARF: Tadhg Bird; Michael Brown, Michael Courtney, Matt D’Arcy (capt), Cian O’Donoghue; Conor Kelly, Angus Lloyd; Ivan Soroka, Dylan Donnellan, Ben Griffin, Fionn Gilbert, Michael Kearney, Cormac Daly, Adrian D’Arcy, Tony Ryan.

Replacements: Cathal O’Flynn, JP Phelan, Darragh Bolger, Andrew Feeney, Andrew Smith, Max Kearney, Ed Kelly, Conor Kearns.

CORK CONSTITUTION: Billy Crowley; JJ O’Neill, Greg Higgins, Niall Kenneally, Rob Jermyn; Aidan Moynihan (capt), Duncan Williams; Liam O’Connor, Max Abbott, Rory Burke, Cian Barry, Cathal O’Flaherty, John Forde, James Murphy, Luke Cahill.

Replacements: Luke McAuliffe, Brendan Quinlan, Luke Masters, Eoin Quilter, Gerry Hurley, Jack Crowley, Matisse Lamarque d’Arrouzat, Alex McHenry.

Scorers: Terenure College: Try: Adam La Grue; Pens: Caolan Dooley 5
Lansdowne: Tries: Charlie Tector, Sean Galvin; Con: Charlie Tector; Pens: Charlie Tector 2
HT: Terenure College 12 Lansdowne 6

TERENURE COLLEGE: Adam La Grue; Caolan Dooley, Colm de Buitléar, Peter Sylvester, Craig Adams; Cathal Marsh, Alan Bennie; Dewald Barnard, Levi Vaughan, Andy Keating, Matthew Caffrey, Michael Melia, Harrison Brewer (capt), Luke Clohessy, Jordan Coghlan.

Replacements: Conor McEvoy, Adam Tuite, Conor McCormack, Mike Murphy, Conall Boomer, James Thornton, Sam Coghlan Murray, Adam Melia.

LANSDOWNE: Eamonn Mills; Sean Galvin, Andy Marks, Paul Kiernan, Peter Sullivan; Charlie Tector, Jack Matthews; Oisin Michel, Luke Thompson, Ben Popplewell, Ruairi Clarke, Jack Dwan, Clive Ross, Jack O’Sullivan (capt), Mark Boyle.

Replacements: Michael O’Brien, Daniel Murphy, Frank Kavanagh, Joey Szpara, Adam Boland, James Kenny, Corey Reid, Stephen Madigan.

UCC 17 BALLYNAHINCH 21, the Mardyke
Scorers: UCC: Tries: Andrew O’Mahony, Penalty try; Cons: Andrew O’Mahony, Pen try con; Pen: Andrew O’Mahony
Ballynahinch: Tries: Josh Hanlon, George Pringle; Con: Conor Rankin; Pens: Conor Rankin 3
HT: UCC 7 Ballynahinch 15

UCC: Rob Hedderman (capt); Joe O’Leary, Darragh French, Daniel Squires, Matthew Bowen; Cian Bohane, Andrew O’Mahony; Alessandro Heaney, Tadgh McCarthy, Corey Hanlon, Richard Thompson, Mark Bissessar, Sam O’Sullivan, Jack O’Sullivan, Jack Kelleher.

Replacements: Billy Kingston, Alan McDonald, Rory Duggan, Aidan Brien, Peter Hyland, Louis Kahn, Louis Bruce, Billy Kiernan.

BALLYNAHINCH: Conor Rankin; Ronan Patterson, George Pringle, Greg Hutley, Aaron Cairns; Ryan Wilson, Conor McAuley; John Dickson, Josh Hanlon, Kyle McCall, Thomas Donnan (capt), John Donnan, Bradley Luney, Reuben Crothers, Callum Irvine.

Replacements: Ben Cullen, Peter Cooper, David Cooper, Kyle Gill, Chris Gibson, Ben McMullan, Callum McLaughlin, Zac Ward.


OLD WESLEY 36 NAAS 37, Energia Park
Scorers: Old Wesley: Tries: Cronan Gleeson, Ben Murphy, Ben Burns, Paddy McKenzie, Charlie O’Regan; Cons: Ian Cassidy 2, Paddy McKenzie 2; Pen: Ian Cassidy
Naas: Tries: Gary Kavanagh, Tim Murphy, Sam Cahill, Donal Conroy; Cons: Peter Osborne 4; Pens: Peter Osborne 3
HT: Old Wesley 14 Naas 16

OLD WESLEY: Alex Molloy; Tommy O’Callaghan, James O’Donovan, Eoin Deegan, David Poff; Ian Cassidy, Ben Murphy; Harry Noonan, Ben Burns, Cronan Gleeson, JJ O’Dea, Iain McGann (capt), Will Fay, Josh Pim, Reuben Pim.

Replacements: Robert Byrne, Sam Kenny, David Young, Alastair Hoban, Brian Short, Paddy McKenzie, Brendan Monahan, Charlie O’Regan.

NAAS: Peter Osborne (capt); Donal Conroy, Gary Kavanagh, Craig Ronaldson, Sam Cahill; Bryan Croke, Tim Murphy; Adam Coyle, John Sutton, Peter King, Paul Monahan, Patrick O’Flaherty, Cillian Dempsey, Will O’Brien, Ryan Casey.

Replacements: Connor Johnson, Jack Barry, Conor Doyle, David Benn, Paulie Tolofua, Connor Halpenny, Matt Stapleton, Fionn Higgins.

HIGHFIELD 19 SHANNON 25, Woodleigh Park
Scorers: Highfield: Try: Paddy O’Toole; Con: Shane O’Riordan; Pens: Shane O’Riordan 4
Shannon: Tries: Jordan Prenderville, Jack O’Donnell, Ronan Coffey; Cons: Jake Flannery 2; Pens: Jake Flannery 2
HT: Highfield 16 Shannon 15

HIGHFIELD: Sam Burns; Ben Murphy, Paddy O’Toole, Mark Dorgan, Luke Kingston; Shane O’Riordan, Chris Banon (capt); Cillian Buckley, Travis Coomey, Daragh Fitzgerald, Eoin Keating, Fintan O’Sullivan, Ronan O’Sullivan, Cathal Gallagher, Miah Cronin.

Replacements: Robert Murphy, Michael Dillane, Ian McCarthy, Eddie Earle, Ryan Murphy, Paul Stack, Colin O’Neill, David O’Sullivan.

SHANNON: Jamie McGarry; Josh Costello, Killian Dineen, Alan Flannery, Jack O’Donnell; Jake Flannery, Aran Hehir; Conor Glynn, Jordan Prenderville, Luke Rigney, Ronan Coffey, David Maher, Sean McCarthy, Kelvin Brown, Lee Nicholas (capt).

Replacements: Declan Moore, Jade Kriel, Kieran Ryan, John O’Sullivan, Ian Leonard, Colm Heffernan, Daniel Okeke, Darragh McSweeney.


NAVAN 17 BANBRIDGE 25, Balreask Old
Scorers: Navan: Try: Sean McEntagart; Pens: Mark Farrell 4
Banbridge: Tries: Brendan McSorley, Ben Carson, Conor Field; Cons: Adam Doherty 2; Pens: Adam Doherty 2
HT: Navan 8 Banbridge 7

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NAVAN: Ben Daly; Mark Coen, Evan Dixon, Riaan van der Vyver, Sean McEntagart; Colm O’Reilly, Mark Farrell; Liam Carroll, Jack Nelson, Eoin King, Eoghan Noonan, Conor Hand, Ben McEntagart, Conor Farrell (capt), Conor Ryan.

Replacements: David Clarke, Charles Johnston, Leigh Jackson, Ronan Meegan, Niall Farrelly, Rory Gordon, Shane Walshe, Cillian Farrell.

BANBRIDGE: Adam Doherty; Conor Field, Joe Finnegan, Ben Carson, Josh Cromie; Andrew Morrison, Neil Kilpatrick; Callum Reid, Peter Cromie, Michael Cromie (capt), Brendan McSorley, Max Lyttle, Matthew Laird, David McCann, Robin Sinton.

Replacements: Timothy Savage, Josh Chambers, Stuart Cromie, Martin Vorster, Alex Weir, Aaron Kennedy, Macauley Little, Ross Cartmill.


Queen’s University 82 Ballymena 14, Dub Lane
Cashel 17 Buccaneers 25, Spafield


Rainey Old Boys 17 Nenagh Ormond 17, Hatrick Park


Greystones 19 Galway Corinthians 14, Dr Hickey Park
Belfast Harlequins 17 Blackrock College 29, Deramore Park


Galwegians 34 Ballina 19, Crowley Park


Enniscorthy 12 Tullamore 9, Alcast Park
Skerries 32 Bangor 29, Holmpatrick


Clonmel 33 City of Derry 17, Ardgaoithe


Saturday, April 30

Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –


Shannon v Naas, Thomond Park back pitch


Banbridge (25) v Navan (17), Rifle Park


Queen’s University v Buccaneers, Dub Lane


Nenagh Ormond (17) v Rainey Old Boys (17), New Ormond Park


Greystones v Blackrock College, Dr Hickey Park


Ballina (19) v Galwegians (34), Heffernan Park


Enniscorthy v Skerries, Alcast Park


City of Derry (17) v Clonmel (33), Judge’s Road

Sunday, May 1



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