Two-point defeat flatters Shannon
Victory over Shannon doesn't foster many performance-driven recriminations. Terenure College will not care one whit that a two-point margin offered scant justice to their dominance at Lakelands on Saturday.
The home side failed to exploit excellent try-scoring opportunities and it was that inability which fostered Shannon ambitions.
The visitor's hooker and captain Mark McDermott and international prop John Hayes both cried off before the start through injury. The upshot was that Shannon's frontrow cover was severely restricted.
On 58 minutes Frankie Roche was introduced for Colm McMahon, the former going in at hooker with David Quinlan switching to the backrow.
Five minutes later Noel Healy was forced to retire injured and referee Ronnie McDowell demanded of Mick Galwey whether they could muster a bona fide frontrow.
An answer in the negative was offered and so for the remaining 20 minutes or so, scrums were uncontested, denying Terenure possibly one if not two excellent try scoring opportunities from five-metre scrums.
It was a serious blow to Terenure whose front row of Stephen Baretto, James Blaney and John Campbell bent their counterparts out of shape. David Quinlan's patchy lineout throwing allowed the home side greater latitude to compete but it was not Quinlan's delivery alone that is attributable to Rory Sheriff's excellent performance out of touch.
Pat Holden, Eric Miller and Brendan Kavanagh demonstrated a voracious work ethic, but it was blindside flanker Peter O'Malley who earned the plaudits.
Terenure began impressively and forged ahead on 11 minutes. Holden set up a ruck close to the Shannon line, Governey looped around Mark O'Kelly choosing to offload to Dempsey rather go for the line. The second ruck and moderate handling allowed Shane Cullen to cross in the corner. He failed to post the difficult conversion.
The home side continued to dominate but failed to translate territorial ascendancy. Gradually Shannon wrested the initiative, reducing the deficit with a Conor Bourke penalty on 32 minutes. In first half injurytime, referee McDowell missed a Horan transgression (offside) at a ruck, Shannon turned over the ball and a wonderful long pass by Anthony Foley allowed Maurice Lawlor to skin Richie Governey and score in the corner. Bourke converted.
Terenure responded five minutes after the re-start, right wing David Coleman finishing strongly from 30 metres following a Shannon turnover. Cullen converted and from then on, Terenure shaded it.
SCORING SEQUENCE: 11 mins: Cullen try, 50; 32: Bourke penalty, 5-3; 43: Lawlor try, Bourke conversion, 5-10. 45: Coleman try, Cullen conversion, 12-10.
TERENURE COLLEGE: G Dempsey; D Coleman, M O'Kelly, M Smyth, S Cullen; R Governey, D Hegarty; S Barretto, J Blaney, J Campbell; R Sheriff (capt), P Holden; P O'Malley, E Miller, B Kavanagh. Replacement: C Potts for Holden 69 mins.
SHANNON: J Hayes; M Lawlor, R Ellison, P McMahon, J Lacey; C Bourke, P Stringer; M Horan, D Quinlan, N Healy; M Galwey, J Langford; A Quinlan, A Foley, E Halvey. Replacements: C McMahon for A Quinlan 53 mins; F Roche for C McMahon 58 mins; K Keane for Healy 63 mins; J O'Neill for Lacey 83 mins.
Sin binned: A Quinlan (Shannon), P Holden (Terenure).
Referee: R McDowell (Munster).