Dublin University Football Club (DUFC) ended their league campaign today with a heavy 50-12 defeat at the hands of playoff-chasing Terenure in Lakelands. It was a repeat of the ultimate game from last year when DUFC ensured survival with some final-day heroics, but this year’s affair had a distinctly different flavour to it, with DUFC already safe and the hosts chasing a home semi-final in the playoffs.
A try after 20 minutes courtesy of Sam Coghlan Murray put the hosts in the driving seat, with Mark O’Neill adding the extras. This was followed two minutes later by a superb Matt Byrne try, O’Neill again making no mistake with his conversion. And by the half-hour mark, Terenure had breached the Trinity line once again, Murray touching down for his second of the afternoon.
With nothing but pride to play for, DUFC did eventually begin to string together some moves but failed to hit back before the break, trailing 19-0 going into half-time.
Moments into the second half, the visitors were relieved to see Robert Duke knock on over the tryline when it perhaps looked easier to score. It was a brief reprieve, with James O’Donoghue breezing through the Trinity defence moments later for a bonus-point try. Michael Melia added a fifth near the hour mark before Murray completed a superb hat-trick. O’Neill converted to leave the score at 38-0.
Michael Courtney led what little comeback Trinity did muster, crashing over with a quarter of an hour remaining to put the visitors on the board. Tommy Whittle split the posts with his conversion. Terenure were awarded a penalty try before Sam Pim crossed the tryline for Trinity’s second try.
With moments remaining, O’Donoghue scored a fabulous second try to consign DUFC to a heavy defeat. Already safe, it is unlikely to unduly worry Director of Rugby Tony Smeeth, who will no doubt seek to strengthen his squad over the summer after masterminding survival in the side’s second-ever season in the top flight of Irish rugby. For Terenure, a home semi-final awaits.