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Wood are too good

Captain Dowling leads the way with brace of tries


Clongowes’ Tom Mulcair is tackled by Terenure College’s Matthew McGetrick-Stafford

Clongowes’ Tom Mulcair is tackled by Terenure College’s Matthew McGetrick-Stafford

Clongowes’ Tom Mulcair is tackled by Terenure College’s Matthew McGetrick-Stafford

The jostling for position is already tight in what is turning into an intriguing Leinster Senior Cup.

Perennial front-runners Blackrock were dumped out by Gonzaga 22-21 on the opening day of the competition last Sunday afternoon.

Next up, Castleknock coursed the emotions from looking imperious to being vulnerable in holding out 24-17 to defeat Cistercian Roscrea on Monday.

Then, Belvedere had to give it everything to outlast a resilient St Mary's 17-13 on Wednesday.

It meant all three passed through to the quarter-finals by one-score, confirming the first impression that this is, by and large, an even playing field.

Clongowes and Terenure were next to the plate on a beautiful afternoon at Energia Park yesterday.


The Wood had to cope with the loss of their out-half David Wilkinson in the warm-up, Charlie Reilly coming in to lead the troops.

But, it was Terenure's Mattie Lynch who had the early impact spraying the ball for wing Barra Dignam to require a textbook tackle from Michael Spillane.

Then, Lynch's crossfield kick was inches away from the clutches of Oisín Lydon.

Clongowes were riding their luck until finally breaking out through the lineout leap and surge of second- row Tom Mulcair.

However, they couldn't mount any concerted pressure and the sheer aggression of 'Nure was rewarded when neat work on the inside created the space for centre Matthew Stafford-McGetrick to break and give Dignam a clear path to glory, Lynch converting in the 21st minute.

This jarring experience seemed to jolt Clongowes to life, their forwards taking the fight forward in sustained pressure, culminating in Jack Kearney crashing over for Oisín Devitt to square it.

McGetrick-Stafford was tearing it up through the middle, moving with menace again to fire another pass to Dignam which tickled the wings fingertips.

Glad of the let-off, scrum-half Devitt edged Clongowes in front from a close range penalty to close the half. Clongowes went about making a better impression, Devitt using his footwork and Mulcair almost piling over, but for the vigilance of Lynch.

They stayed on point for captain Calum Dowling to ground the ball beside the post, Devitt converting for 17-7 in the 42nd minute.

Suddenly, they had most of the points and all of the momentum until Lynch travelled and McGetrick-Stafford blasted up the touchline, just unable to connect with Dignam.

The pattern had been established. Clongowes were doing more with less as Lynch looked to unbutton their defence with his versatile kicking game.

It was effective enough to put them within striking range, prop Seán Daly going close from a rumble.

Then, Mulcair shot through a gap in midfield and timed the pass to centre Peter Maher for a sweet try, Devitt adding two more in the 50th minute.

The gaps were appearing more quickly now, Maher taking one and putting Dowling in for his second try and Devitt's fourth conversion.

Terenure did keep going to the end, replacement Jack Whelan picking up a try and Lynch the conversion before Devitt closed the show with a penalty.

CLONGOWES: Rory Morrin; Michael Spillane, Peter Maher, Chris Grimes, Seán Sexton; Charlie Reilly, Oisín Devitt; Luke McMahon, Eoghan Chambers, Barry Dooley, Jack Kearney, Tom Mulcair, Evan O'Boyle, Calum Dowling (capt), Diarmuid McCormack. Replacements: James Coonan for Reilly 48 mins; Killan Fitzpatrick for Mulcair 56; Hugh Hogan for Cumbers, Ruairí O'Regan for McMahon, Eddie Carr for Dooley, Harry O'Neill for O'Boyle all 60; John Carroll for Dowling 66; Harry McGoey for Devitt 68.

TERENURE: Patsakorn Kidd; Oisín Lydon, Harvey O'Donoghue, Matthew McGettrick-Stafford, Barra Dignam; Mattie Lynch, Liam Nolan; Seán Daly, Max Russell (capt), Adam Byrne, Rory Byrne, TJ Durran, Darragh Brooks, Tommy Farrelly, Alex Dempsey.Replacements: Cuan Doyle for Durran 48 mins; Jack Whelan for Dignam 51; Alex Smith for Lydon, Ethan Holohan for Russell both 53; Jack Doyle for Brooks 60; Harry Cullinan for R Byrne 66; Yegor Spellman for A Byrne, Yago Fernandez-Vilar for Nolan both 68.

Referee: B MacNiece, Leinster Branch.