Blackrock replacements stun 'Nure in comeback
Blackrock 15 Terenure 6
The impact from replacements Liam Heylin and Matthew Cullen turned this Leinster Junior Cup first round tie in the favour of champions Blackrock at Donnybrook yesterday.
A tenacious Terenure knocked Blackrock out of their stride, with a high degree of commitment to contact often driving back their bigger opponents.
In return for their efforts, they built up a 6-0 lead through penalties by scrum-half Mattie Lynch in the second and tenth minutes.
The second shot came about due to No 8 Adam Simpson's yellow card for his legs-above-the-horizontal tackle.
Slowly, though, Blackrock flanker James Culhane and prop Scott Barron turned the tide through their big dents from ball-in-hand and this increased on Simpson's return.
It was his aggressive carry that opened the space for full-back Shane Murray to fly for long yards.
The lead was halved by centre Adam Dixon's strike in the 21st minute, despite the excellence of flankers Conor McCabe and Thomas Farrelly in defence.
In the second-half, Blackrock finally began to free-up their quick boys in the wider channels.
They just had too many weapons thereafter, as Heylin grounded at the rear of a maul for a two-point lead in the 38th minute.
They kept the foot down and Heylin broke away only to be confronted by some unbelievable goal-line defence.
The second try came when Cullen seized on a ball which squirted out of Terenure's five-metre scrum, with Dixon's conversion making it 15-6 at the three-quarter point.
There was a glimpse of a comeback when Blackrock captain Hugh O'Malley was binned for an illegal tackle.
Then the champions were temporarily reduced to 13 boys when Simpson was sent off for his second yellow card.
However, Terenure did not have the organisation to cause Blackrock enough trouble out wide.
Blackrock: S Murray, J Campbell, S Small, A Dixon, M Lowey; M Moloney, P O'Connor; B Melly-Murphy, C O'Carroll, S Barron, M Morrissey, H O'Malley (capt), M Wood, J Culhane, A Simpson.
Replacements: M Cullen for O'Connor ht; L Heylin for Wood 33 mins; S Lowe for Ca mpbell 56 mins; R Coyne for Barron 58 mins.
Terenure: P Kidd; O Lydon, M McGetrick, A Dempsey, D Saunders; H Colclough, M Lynch; A Byrne, M Russell, C Owens, F Church, S Daly (capt), C McCabe, T Farrelly, C McElwaine.
Replacements: B Dignam for Saunders, L Nolan for Colclough both 46 mins.
Ref: P Reidy (Leinster Branch).