Lansdowne 7 – 5 Terenure

Metro League Division 5


Talk about saving the best wine till last, the J3s didn’t just save their best performance till the last game of the league but they waited until almost the very last play of the match to score their winning try!

A game for the purist perhaps, Terenure’s try came in the first five minutes and our decisively converted one came in the last, with roughly 80 minutes of heroic attack and titanic defence in between.

Terenure’s opener came after they dominated possession in the early encounters.  After a series of phases, the ball came from a maul near the middle of the pitch and was pushed wide, but their winger cut inside from the touchline, drawing his defender, while their centre looped outside to collect an excellent overhead pass and touch down in the corner. The conversion fell short … and that made all the difference.

Fast forward 80 scoreless, but mesmerizing minutes and Terenure had a scrum 10 meters from their line, apparently in control of the ball. But as it emerged from the back row, their wily scrum half and easily their best player was tackled at exactly the right moment by our substitute nine, Alex Dillon, forcing him to fumble. Even after 80 grueling minutes, openside flanker Luc Van Cauwelaert was still alert enough to pounce on the ball and score crucially, within kicking distance of the posts. Or was it? The  crowd of roughly 200 home and visiting supporters held their breath as Captain Rob “ice for blood” Troy lined up the season-defining kick …. and slotted it over as if it was just another day at the office!

What went on between the two tries will be the stuff of legend, fireside stories and even retelling over the odd pint.  Lansdowne threw everything in their formidable  arsenal at the outgoing league champions and my oh my, didn’t they defend that cup with all their might?  We tried everything.  Thanks and enormous credit to Terenure. They were noble in defeat and theirs was an exhibition of defence worthy of any training video. Even when they were down a player (or two at one stage) they rallied to reform a line that proved almost completely impenetrable. Almost. As one appreciative Lansdowne supporter acknowledged, “It was like the Great Wall of Terenure!”

Congratulations and thanks also to our own coaches and managers of this excellent squad. Victory in this campaign started with pre training in August, the meetings with players to present and consult on the plan for the season, excellent coaching over seven months, culminating in the selection and such intelligent deployment of each of the 20 players – starters and subs  – that led to the such a glorious win. Dave Tunney, Mark Quinn and Shane Dalton take a bow. And well done also to manager James Caslin, just another of a number of recently retired players smoothly making the generous and rewarding move into management.

But the last word must go to the players. We could write a tome on this epic encounter and the effort and accomplishments of every player on the whole squad below, but for now we just list ALL their names and thank them, one and all, from a grateful club.

  1. Ross Farrell
  2. Sean Grimley
  3. Johnny Barry
  4. Shane Kennedy
  5. Michael Whelan
  6. Luc Van Cauwelaert
  7. Caoilim Fassbender
  8. David Kavanagh
  9. Rory Durand
  10. Rob Troy
  11. Tadhg Brennan
  12. Josh Healy
  13. Paddy Meenan
  14. Shane Donnelly
  15. Arthur Rousset
  16. Dorian Graef
  17. Jacques Chapeau
  18. Conor Horan
  19. Alex Dillon
  20. Rory Boyle

To paraphrase the Bard of Avon, “You’ve done the Club some service, and we know it. No more of that.”


Match Report – Brian Whelan