Second row Brian Moylett was the toast of the tight-five union last Friday night on the Aviva Stadium back pitch, as his two-try salvo saw off a determined Terenure College challenge.
Making his first appearance of the campaign following injury, within the space of two second-half minutes Moylett managed to equal his League try tally for last season. Loose head prop Peter Dooley also made his seasonal debut following Leinster duty, and he and tight head Ian Prendiville locked out a powerful scrum that had the visitor’s eight under pressure for most of the evening.
The match started off as a low key affair, both sides probing to test each other out. The first promising Lansdowne attack in the 8th minute saw centre Tom Farrell unable to control the final pass and a good chance went astray. A Terenure kick deep into the Lansdowne half was cleared before a Prendiville turn-over set up a penalty just inside the Lansdowne half. Touch was found in the Terenure 22, but the attacking line-out was lost.
The Lansdowne forwards were slowly getting in amongst the visitors pack, however, and solid defence by the back row, with No. 8 Ross Deacon and Joe O’Brien prominent, and the always secure home backline denied Terenure any headway. The Lansdowne backs, who played very effectively as a unit throughout, were beginning to make inroads, however, and a Tom Farrell surge and off-load to No.6 Tadhg Beirne led to a penalty after 20 minutes play. While this effort was missed, captain Scott Deasy made no mistake moments later with another penalty from 42 metres to establish a 3-0 lead.
A great turn-over by hungry winger Foster Horan saw Lansdowne back on the attack, and Terenure were penalised for not releasing after 28 minutes. Centre Tom Daly, who had the better of his opposite number, Harrison Brewer, all evening, struck a great long-distance penalty from just inside the opposition’s half which sailed well into the car park for a 6-0 lead on 28 minutes.
Lansdowne continued to look sharp and maintained the pressure on a Terenure side which quickly ran out of ideas, failing as it was to make any headway in the face of resolute Lansdowne tackling and aggressive counter-rucking. Daly and Horan again made ground with penetrating runs, and the visitors scrum was penalised in the 34th minute as their front row was popped by the home surge. Deasy was again foot-sure and struck a fine effort over from 37 metres for 9-0.
This was to be the last score of the half, as a brilliant effort just before the break saw lively right wing Mark Roche gather a Scott Deasy cross-kick and feed full back Eamonn Mills, who carried the ball deep into the Terenure 22. The subsequent attacking lineout was lost, however, when Terenure turned the home side over and a great chance went a-begging.
Facing into the second half, Lansdowne have every reason to feel confident. The forwards were getting the better of the exchanges, and the pacey home back line always looked threatening with go-forward ball. Another great scrum in the 44th minute saw a further penalty awarded to the home side and Deasy once more did the necessary to establish a 12-0 lead.
Terenure didn’t lie down, and to their credit raised their game and began to exert some pressure of their own. They were rewarded with a series of penalties which they put into the corner and eventually sub Niall Lalor was mauled over wide out to reduce the margin to 12-5 after 55 minutes.
Lansdowne responded with some excellent running from centres Farrell and Daly, while full-back Mills showed his pace and excellent footwork with a great cut. This put pressure on the visitor’s defence, and they conceded a five meter scrum. Surprisingly, the Lansdowne pack chose to break with the ball, rather than drive the set piece. Their efforts were rewarded, however, when, after several pick and goes, Brian Moylett plunged over the line for a hard-earned try in the 67th minute.
The conversion was missed, but Lansdowne roared back and scored another try within two minutes. Mark Roche launched a great counter-attack off a loose defensive kick by the visitors, and made significant headway into the Terenure 22. Roche split the defence before linking up with Tom Daly, who drew the last man to send the supporting Moylett over for a great try which was converted by Daly for a 24-5 lead.
Lansdowne rang the changes, with Munster hooker James Rael coming on to make his club debut, Matt D’Arcy on for Padjo O’Driscoll, Tom Kiersey for Scott Deasy, Jack Barry replacing Peter Dooley and Eoin Walsh all making their entrances.
Terenure were not finished, and launched a series of attacks which led to double try-scorer Moylett spending ten minutes on the naughty chair as he took one for the team. Niall Lalor crossed for a late try as Terenure chased a losing bonus point, but the Lansdowne defence held firm and the Headquarters side ran out worthy winners by a 24-10 score line.
On to Galwegians next Saturday, as the Ulster Bank League seeks to compete with the RWC. Never an easy away match, your travelling support in the West next weekend would be very much appreciated by this talented young Lansdowne side!
Match Report: Michael Daly
Article related to 1st XV team.
Article related to 1stXV v Terenure Coll fixture.