THE MEN from the Black Gates got revenge for their Towns Cup final defeat last year when they claimed the South East final over rivals Enniscorthy at Carlow Rugby Club on Saturday night.
Tullow started well, similarly to the Towns Cup final last year and stole an Enniscorthy lineout and after some good work Stephen Smith scored a try, Will Canavan however missed an easy enough conversion but was unlucky in that he hit the post.
Enniscorthy seemed to find it tough in the scrum where Tullow dominated and after 35 minutes Canavan added a penalty after Enniscorthy were penalised at scrum.
Good work by the Tullow pack paid off and Frank Murphy's return from injury was visibly welcome, while at half time Tullow lead 8-0.
After the restart Enniscorthy had been given new life and before there were 10 minutes gone in the second half Tullow lost their own scrum on half way and Enniscorthy went left towards the dressing rooms in Oak Park before switching right and Evan Lett scored despite the presence of three Tullow tacklers.
Enniscorthy had the upper hand and in the 67th minute Ivan Poole made it level with penalty. The same man had a pop at a drop goal also but it drifted wide and Tullow needed to respond.
As often happens in sport when a team is reduced in numbers due to indiscipline that team often galvanizes, improves and can often go on to win.
In this case it was Andy Turner who received a yellow for Tullow but the maroon and white men forced a penalty which Canavan kicked with nine minutes to go.
Three points is nothing in a rugby match and Tullow would need to get more points on the board before they could ever feel comfortable. With time up they were awarded a final penalty and Canavan did the business for 14-8
The game continued and Tullow were thankful for their final penalty because there was enough time left for Enniscorthy to get one of their own which Ivan Poole converted.
Amazingly the Wexford men would get one more chance to attack but when they elected to go for the corner, but great Tullow defence kept them out as Enniscorthy looked eager but make mistakes at crucial times.
The final act of the game was a knock on by Enniscorthy and that signaled the end of game despite nine minutes extra time.