TULLOW ASHBOURNE 35 19: TULLOW ARE riding the crest of a wave in division 1B of the Leinster league this season and they have begun 2013 the way 2012 ended and that's with a bonus point win.
Ashbourne was the venue for Sunday's clash in the division and one Darren Dunne will gladly want to go back there as soon as possible after his impressive four try tally. William Canavan won't be far behind him after only missing one kick at the posts all day none of which could be called easy.
Early in the first half Tullow were dominant and forced a penalty which Canavan converted, it wasn't long after until Dunne had his first try of the afternoon close to the corner as he beat at least one defender. Canavan did the necessary and it began to look like Tullow's position at the top of the table was going to be almost guaranteed.
At 10-0 Tullow were all over Ashbourne and only for their out half would have had no edge to their play at all. However when Aho Bloomfield met him in a tackle mid-way through the second half, his stepping days were over.
Similarly the Ashbourne full back took a very heavy hit from Darren Dunne early on and Dunnes path for tries became clear for the rest of the afternoon.
Dunne nabbed his second try soon after which Canavan converted and soon after added a penalty but Tullow then became complacent and sloppy in defence and both of their penalty concessions were struck between the posts.
Tullow had plenty left in the tank though and Dunne was in for the hattrick soon after which Canavan converted. With half time approaching Ashbourne landed a penalty and Tullow had a commanding lead of 30-12.
The men from the balck gates sit atop of Division 1B on 44 points and one more bonus point win will mean they mathematically cannot be caught with Clondalkin the nearest team to them on 30 points.
The second half saw the game fade away as a contest, and although Ashbourne would get in for a converted try after a nice rolling maul Darren Dunne had managed his fourth earlier in the half and the result was all but secured.
Tullow will worry about the lapse in concentration but for now they rest assured that three more points guarantees them league victory and Towns cup preparation can begin.
Tullow: A. Burns, S. Corrigan, S. Caldbeck, J. Hanbidge, N. Keane, J. Fitzgerald, R. Porter, W. O'Brien, A. Daly, W. Canavan, D. O'Brien, M. Tuhaks, K. Bloomfield, S. McCarthy, W. O'Brien