Clongowes Wood College 17 Terenure College 15

The composure of Clongowes Wood under fire was key to their passage in a Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Senior Cup first-round thriller at Energia Park on Wednesday.

The forwards were first into the action, both sets taking it in turns to test the fabric of the fringes with direct runners.

The crunching collisions made the gain line even more valuable than usual, Terenure using an offloading game to get in behind where Clongowes’ scramble defence reacted quickly.

The same could be said of Nure’s work without the ball when lock Blayze Molloy orchestrated a surge up the right.

The Clane school made steady progress through back-to-back penalties and their lineout, Terenure relying on the long boot of Casper Lorin Gabriel to drive them out of trouble.

The out-half released Jim Kennedy on the right and ‘Nures’ continuity almost put James McCormack outside the cover on the left.

They rolled forward for Paddy Curry to duck inside and prop Adam Cooper was on the premises to drive over for Louis Moran to convert in the 14th minute.

Immediately, Clongowes’ Callum McDonald slipped Ross Adams into a gap, hooker Kosi Ugwueru had a go and Molloy was strong in contact before the ball was lost, allowing Lorin-Gabriel to clear

It was a temporary solution as the purple-shirted troops came again, the pressure producing a yellow card for Moran.

Number eight Dan Daly blasted between defenders for Harry Mallon’s conversion to level it in the 20th minute.

The scores were coming in rapid fashion now, Moran nudging ‘Nure back in front for a ruck infringement in the 22nd minute.

The sweet handling of the Clongowes forwards was evident, prop Max Duggan and lock Alex Kelly causing Olan Storey to concede a penalty try and a yellow card for 14-10 in the 24th minute.

A daring attempt to escape the 22 backfired when Terenure forced a penalty on the floor to set up a 5-metre lineout, Carlos Montero-Belard grounding in the left corner on the half hour.

It made sense to play the game in the opposition’s half as Clongowes found out when they were snared on their 40-metre line, Moran missing left to prevent Terenure from extending their 15-14 lead at the interval.

The presence of Daly at the breakdown drew a sharp whistle, leading to a sustained attack, led by props James Wyse and Duggan, which went close when wing Oscar O’Brien put a foot-in-touch.

Clongowes out-half Mallon drew a penalty for obstruction and promptly slammed a shot between the sticks for 17-15 in the 46th minute.

Another tackle on Mallon off the ball made for another penalty, activating a multi-phase attack which was halted by Lorin-Gabriel ripping the ball away.

Terenure were running out of time and room, Simon Horgan bundled into touch by Mallon on the 22.

They went for broke from a penalty, Lorin-Gabriel flinging a 20-metre pass that Curry just couldn’t collect at speed.

It wasn’t the end of it, Terenure trying all they knew to break down a Clongowes defence that would not yield.

Scorers – Clongowes Wood – D Daly try; Pen try; H Mallon pen, con. Terenure – A Cooper, C Montero-Belard try each; L Moran pen, con.

Clongowes Wood – Padraic Spillane; Ross Adams, Harry Roche-Nagle, Callum McDonald (Gavin Keane 54), Oscar O’Brien; Harry Mallon, Tom Murtagh; James Wyse, Kosi Ugwueru, Max Duggan (Alex Hermeryck 54), Blayze Molloy, Alex Kelly (Capt), Matthew Roche Nagle, Dermot Collins (George Strickland 30, temp), Dan Daly.

Terenure – Jim Kennedy; Paddy Curry, Thomas Costello (Rory King 66), Daniel Martin, James McCormack (Simon Horgan 61); Casper Lorin Gabriel, Louis Moran; Adam Cooper, Keith Byrne, Ólan Storey, Lochlann Wardick (Eamon Geraghty 54), Matthew Somerville (Capt), Ben Blaney, Carlos Montero Belard (Michael Murphy 64), Ben Nolan.

Referee – A Cole, Leinster Branch.