Huge disappointment for Lansdowne U17s after losing out to Terenure in a winner take all cliff-hanger of a match in Lakelands.
Having led for most of the match and defending tenaciously against a strong wind, the Lansdowne defence was finally breached in the dying moments. Terenure kicked a marvellous conversion across the wind to take the lead and this effectively killed off Lansdowne’s attempt to reach the league semi-final.
Playing against the breeze, Terenure immediately tool the game to Lansdowne and attacked relentlessly through their pack. Lansdowne infringed at a scrum under their posts and Terenure duly kicked the penalty to take the lead. From the restart Terenure tried to run out of defence and were caught in possession and appeared to have secured a ruck ball, . Lansdowne ferociously counter rucked and the quick thinking Rob Kelly broke on the blind to score a wonderful opportunist try in the corner. Jack Mulcahy narrowly missed the difficult conversion. Both sets of packs were contesting every loose scrap and there was a definite edge to the match. Things spoiled over at a ruck and a Terenure forward was shown a straight red card after he threw a punch.
With time ticking away and with the wind behind them Lansdowne needed scores. In the last minute of the half they were awarded a penalty and found touch close to the ‘Nure line . From the line out they spun the ball and from an ensuing ruck Lucas David, in his last competitive game for Lansdowne picked and drove his way through the Terenure defence to score a brilliant solo try which was converted by Jack Mulcahy. The half time whistle went and Lansdowne led 12-3.
Straight from the kick off Terenure attacked Lansdowne. Their forwards were winning excellent ball at the breakdown and they were eventually awarded a penalty under the posts which they converted to narrow the gap. Lansdowne worked hard to get into the Terenure 22, but lost possession at vital moments on several occasions. Terenure were content to kick to the corners and pile the pressure on. Some excellent turn-overs, notably from Thomas Costello and Adam Curry gave Lansdowne huge hope. But in the dying moments Terenure spun the ball left and with extra numbers they scored on the left and kicked the conversion to win the match and gain the coveted semi final spot.
In fairness to Terenure, they played most of the game with 14 men, had most of the possession and they deserved their win.
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