A stroll for Terenure
TERENURE'S Niall Hogan leapt in the air and punched the air soccer style. Even with some 21 minutes remaining he sensed blood. Blackrock had offered this match to Terenure by the time the scrum half all too easily dummied the entire home defence and strolled over unmolested to take his side to a 3-17 lead.
There was nothing Blackrock could have offered tactically that could have made up for the insipid all round performance and little in their play to suggest that Terenure would succumb, even under the direst pressure.
Three or four five yard scrums on the Terenure line early in the second half brought nothing but frustration, missed opportunities and wrong options. All foundered on a fearsome Terenure defence.
To Terenure's credit, it was their more productive mauling helped by the return of prop Peter Bruce and number eight Joe Kelly, and snappy play by a livelier backline that eventually put Blackrock to the sword.
Blackrock had threatened sporadically in the first half but when, on 13 minutes, out half Alan McGowan took a quick tap penalty inside his own 22 and got clobbered not long after, the resulting penalty from Peter Walsh put Terenure into a 3-0 lead.
Five minutes later prop Donal Hyland sensed confusion in the Blackrock ranks, took a quick tap penalty 25 yards out and Hogan spun it along the line to the left wing. Again Walsh was at hand to receive and go over almost unopposed. His accurate conversion boosted Terenure's lead to 10-0 before McGowan clawed back three points from a penalty just before the break.
Walsh pulled another kickable penalty just wide of the posts 13 minutes after the break and then proceeded to rob McGowan in midfield and flash away with 60 yards of clear turf in front of him. The alert Nicky Assaf bounded after him and impressively grounded the winger 10 yards short of a try that would have sealed the game.
But five minutes later that came anyway when Hogan took the ball from the scrum, dummied the pass and astonishingly found himself trotting through a mesmerised Blackrock defence.
Ronan Browne added another Terenure try when Blackrock, in desparation, tried to run instead of kick from their own line. Emmet Farrell was caught and the ruck once again turned over.
Paul O'Brien collected a nice try in the closing stages for Blackrock, gathering from a deft chips forward from Farrell, but it was an entirely cosmetic touch.