Clinical Terenure delivered on their pre-competition reputation by completing the quartet for the Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Junior Cup semi-final at Energia Pal on Friday afternoon.

The intensity on show was a level above that witnessed in the three previous quarter-finals, perhaps a reflection of the impression that these were two genuine contenders.

It was impressive fare from Terenure full-back Conor Quinn’s running and offloading, their flanker Senan Gavin’s power through contact, Gonzaga prop Tadhg McKeone’s nimble breakdown work and captain Bobby Colbert’s overall impact.

Mostly, ‘Zaga pressed the action on both flanks of the field, while ‘Nure were restricted to the counter-attack, Quinn leading the way.

The Sandford Road school almost cracked the cover from out-half Marcus O’Grady’s scramble for the line and wing Conor Farrelly’s burst to the left corner.

The longer the pressure without points went on, the more frustrating it became for the boys in green in the face of a tenacious and organised defence.

Terenure grew into the game through the kicking of Gareth Morgan and the punchy carries of centres Alvaro Swords and Niall Fallon, eventually leading to the opening try by Ethan Balamash which was converted by Geoff O’Sullivan in the 28th minute.

It was a lightning strike against the run of play, almost rectified when Tadhg Noone shot through the middle and prop Walter McMahon got over without getting the ball down on half-time.

The same feverish pace was set, O’Grady orchestrating a lovely set play from deep for wing Jim Devlin to fly up the left.

In return, Balamash surged up the touchline and flanker Gavin was prevented from grounding the ball by the strength of tight-head McMahon.

It was non-stop action, Balalmash’s inside pass picked off by Devlin and Gonzaga moving the ball across their own line in order to fashion an escape route.

A 5-metre scrum was the basis for the second try as number eight Josh Mooney carried hard and replacement Luke Durkin drove under bodies for O’Sullivan to make it 14-0 in the 43rd minute.

The clinical capacity of Terenure shone through, O’Sullivan slotting a penalty in the 49th minute from a mistimed tackle.

Their defence held firm for the next few assignments before a raid on the right allowed Jack Cooney to outflank the cover for Hugh Byrne to convert.

Never say die Gonzaga found some reward for their herculean efforts in the last minute when Luke Moran made the right corner.

Scorers – Terenure – E Balamash, L Durkin, J Cooney try each; G O’Sullivan 2 cons; H Byrne con.  Gonzaga – L Moran try.

TERENURE COLLEGE – Conor Quinn; Geoff O’Sullivan (Jack Cooney 49), Niall Fallon, Alvaro Swords, Ethan Balamash (Capt), Gareth Morgan (Hugh Byrne 57), Cathal Martin (Zach Grady 52); Pearse Kelly (Max Ryan 57), Leo Zelman (Harry Nolan 57), Daniel McKenna (Rory O’Brien 49), Max Carter (Luke Durkin 35), Ollie O’Leary (Ray Meade 57), Senan Gavin (Lochlainn Kennedy 58), Michael Smyth, Josh Mooney.

GONZAGA – James Verdon (Joshua Carroll 58); Jim Devlin, Bobby Colbert (Capt), Josh Mulligan, Conor Farrelly; Marcus O’Grady (Dara Keane 51), Roddy Cotter (Luke Moran 52); Tadhg McKeone (Danny Mackey 43), Jed Hickey (John Brophy 22), Walter McMahon, Jamie Carr (Peter Dockery 43),  Ronan Crowe, Tadhg Noone, Jack Carr (Michael Wall 45),  Bobby McCarthy.

Referee – C Hogan, Leinster Branch.