Hockey: It was a second-half horror show for Enniscorthy's first choice eleven on Saturday as they conceded five without reply against Clontarf, severely denting their title hopes on the same day rivals Wicklow thrashed Avoca 8-0.
Despite the scoreline at the finish, the opening half was a rather even affair. Chances for both sides were at a premium, with most of the action between the two 23-metre lines.
Pearse Rogan had perhaps Enniscorthy's best chance on the half-hour mark when denied by some excellent goalkeeping by Clontarf's Kevin Warren.
Jason Rothwell worked his way down the left and his cross found Rogan, who discovered himself to be - all too briefly - in a one-on-one situation with Warren, who was able to scramble the ball clear.
The sides were deadlocked at the break, but the healthy attendance had little idea of what was to follow. Four minutes into the second-half the visitors had the lead, and doubled their advantage on 46 minutes.
Pearse Rogan - Enniscorthy's prime attacking threat - almost pulled one back on 50 minutes when a spectacular reverse stick effort went over the bar.
And then the collapse came. Over the next twelve minutes Enniscorthy's creaking defence leaked three goals - one from the game's solitary penalty corner on 60 minutes, converted by Andrew Poynter - wiping out all hopes of a comeback.
With just minutes to go Roy Chapman forced another quality save from Warren but by then the only matter at issue was Enniscorthy's goal difference.
The Wexford men travel to UCD for a 1.30 p.m. tip-off next Saturday needing a favour from Clontarf, who take on Wicklow on what will be a nail-biting day for supporters of two sides an hour apart on the N11.
Enniscorthy: Graham Hill, Clive Rothwell, David Simmons, Martyn Vietch, Ivan Rothwell, Andrew Rothwell, Glenn Chapman, Roy Chapman, Cory Cooke, William Durnan, Daithí Medcalf, Jason Rothwell, Edmundas Liukimas, Pearse Rogan. Coach: Donal Doyle. Manager: Fraser Rothwell.
Despite Sunday afternoon's bitter wind, the battle for a spot in the ladies' plate final took place on Enniscorthy's home turf. Enniscorthy's first team took on a physical Carlow side, resulting in a 3-0 victory for the Slaneysiders.
From the initial pushback from Carlow, Enniscorthy dominated the game. Possession was a key indicator of this domination as passes right around the pitch were linked together with a new-found ease for the Enniscorthy women.
Despite holding a great deal of possession, the home team found it hard to find the back of the net as panic in the circle took away their chances.
The long-awaited sound of ball to backboard contact was eventually heard in the latter stages of the half as Anna Flood attacked the right-hand baseline, off-loading a perfectly-placed pass across Carlow's circle to Sonja Rynhart who proceeded to seal the deal by slotting the pass into the left-hand corner with one sweep of her stick.
The first-half also saw some excellent play from our younger team members, May Wickham and Laura Bailey, whose defensive skills proved vital at times when Carlow pressured the home side.
An unfortunate event of a disallowed goal from Anna Flood as the half-time whistle blew put a dampener on the half but the overall play was outstanding.
After an uplifting half-time talk, Enniscorthy were keen to make up for lost goal opportunities and presented with confidence. Passes between Katie Owen, Laura Smith and Julie Watchorn in defence allowed Enniscorthy to shift play across the pitch, leading to some excellent attacks down the right-hand side by Olive Lett and Laura O'Leary.
O'Leary's efforts were rewarded as a cross-circle shot on goal was assisted with a final touch from Anna Flood to put the Enniscorthy ladies 2-0 up.
Carlow's press allowed Julie Watchorn to place her hit-outs through the gaps, with Marti Rudd finding herself at the receiving end. Rudd displayed confidence in her reverse stick stopping whilst proceeding to assist the play toward Sonja Rynhart, using Jessie Flood as a linking player when necessary.
Several more attacks on goal were broken down by Carlow's defence but Flood Jnr. soon found space to dribble around Carlow's defence and 'keeper to score her second goal.
Soon after, Fiona Breen had spectators on edge as one of her many attacks resulted in an open wound on her eye following a collision with a Carlow stick, ruling her out of the game.
Further attacks down the right-hand side kept Enniscorthy pushing forward in hope for more goals, but the game ended triumphantly with a 3-0 victory and a sense of pride in being 'cute' in the circle as earlier advised by coach Donal Doyle.
Enniscorthy firsts confirmed a place in the South East shield final and eagerly await their chance to be titleholders.
Enniscorthy: Fiona Rothwell, Katie Owen, Julie Watchorn, Laura Smith, May Wickham, Jessie Flood, Olive Lett, Marti Rudd, Sonja Rynhart, Anna Flood, Laura O'Leary, Fiona Breen, Laura Bailey. Coach: Donal Doyle. Manager: Irene Doyle.
It was a busy weekend of racing for S.B.R. despite the huge turn-out in Gorey on Thursday for the Night Run.
A number of races were held around the county and beyond, and well done to all competing.
A special note that the S.B.R. spring league continues Wednesday at 7.30 p.m. from the Square in Ferns, with registration at 6.45 p.m., over the two-mile distance. The conclusion of the league is then on Wednesday, March 15, in Ferns.
Belinda Kehoe continued a great 2017 with a second place finish in Gorey on Saturday over 5k with a Parkrun P.B. of 21:28. Well done Belinda. Michael Sweeney finished a brilliant ninth out of 97 in 21:25 on the men's side.
Louise Kehoe was the fourth woman home in a new 5k P.B. on Sunday at the Oylegate Camogie Club 5k. Well done Louise. Paul Gibbons rounded out a fantastic week by finishing first overall in the men's 10k.
Eugene Doherty had possibly the race of the weekend in third place overall out of 304 in the Go Neon 5k in Wicklow. He was first in his age category over 60 and was not far off the race winner. Well done.
S.B.R. had another massive turn-out at the St. Patrick's Special School 5k in Enniscorthy Sunday.
Times are still being processed but competitors included Tomás Kavanagh, Niall O'Connor, Patrick Curley, Tomás Breen, Marie Cullen, Adrian Doyle, Eilish Kehoe, Christine Hill, Frances Murphy, Pat Creane, Mag O'Leary and Liz Breen.
For all fixtures, club information and results, please visit www.sbrclub.com
The Gorey Under-17s welcomed Ardee to Clonattin on Saturday for their Leinster Culliton Cup quarter-final. After the torrential overnight rain, Gorey's pitches were in remarkably good condition and thankfully the rain had abated overnight.
Gorey came into the game off the back of two convincing wins over Navan and Tullow in the first two rounds, while Ardee had beaten West Offaly in their last game, having secured a bye in the first round.
The visitors started the stronger, driving Gorey back into their own '22, where they had to defend well to stop Ardee from breaking the line. But Gorey's discipline was good and each man defended very well.
Against the run of play Gorey managed to gather the ball and caught Ardee on the hop as captain Seán Wafer made a break and ran all the way to score in the corner. A great conversion by Oisín Fortune gave the home side the lead (7-0) after just ten minutes.
After this it was all Gorey as five minutes later they showed great handling skills, with Henry Kennedy gathering a difficult high ball from an Ardee kick and making good ground before off-loading to Greg Bolger who in turn fed Mark Boyle for a superb try (14-0).
Gorey were now well in control and the centre partnership of Mark Boyle and Seán Wafer were causing real problems for the visitors. Boyle kicked a beautiful chip over the Ardee defensive line, which Wafer chased and gathered for his second try, leaving Gorey 21-0 up with just 18 minutes on the clock.
To Ardee's credit they continued to try hard but they were finding it difficult to deal with Gorey's commitment to the tackle in every area of the pitch. The front row of Niall Kenny, Toby Falconer and Jack Ryan made some fine tackles and turned over a number of rucks.
On the half-hour mark, Gorey second-rower Cian Kenny made a good run before passing out wide to speedy winger Flynn Donnelly who evaded several tackles before touching down in the corner. Oisín Fortune, who had already converted three from three, stunned the crowd with a superb conversion in a swirling wind to put Gorey 28-0 ahead.
Gorey centre Mark Boyle continued to cause problems for Ardee and he made a super run right down the middle before timing his pass perfectly to Henry Kennedy who scored under the posts.
Frank Kavanagh made some crunching tackles at key moments, and flanker Dylan Sawyer let no man pass him as he proved as solid as ever.
Ardee made every effort to get themselves on the scoreboard before the half-time whistle and Gorey were forced to defend on their line for the remaining minutes, including ten minutes of additional time due to a sequence of penalties against them.
However, despite their best efforts, Ardee were unable to break Gorey's strong defence and the ball finally broke to winger Flynn Donnelly who ran the length of the pitch to score his second, and Gorey's sixth, try (42-0).
The second-half kicked off with Gorey having the benefit of the light wind. They began where they'd left off, playing with great confidence. Both their scrum and line-outs were operating well and they defended like their lives depended on it.
It wasn't long before they were threatening the Ardee line once again, and once Seán Wafer got his hands on the ball he was headed for route one, side-stepping a couple of defenders on his way to his third try.
Wafer's centre partner wasn't to be outdone, as just ten minutes later he got a well-deserved second try to top off a great performance.
It was all Gorey now as their second row Tadhg O'Neill looked to have scored a perfectly good try, but it was judged to have been held up.
But from the resulting five-metre scrum, Flynn Donnelly left no doubt as he planted the ball firmly between the posts.
The game finished with Seán Wafer catching a high ball and running the length of the pitch to score a final try, which Oisín Wafer converted to maintain his one hundred per cent record. The final score was 70-0.
The scoreline will definitely send a message to the remaining teams in this competition and, although the ten tries scored were shared amongst just four players, this was truly a team performance with every man from 1 to 23 putting in a great display.
Gorey now face the prospect of three semi-finals, in the Leinster Cup, Leinster Premier League and the South East League.
Gorey: Jack Ryan, Toby Falconer, Niall Kenny, Cian Kenny, Tadhg O'Neill, Dylan Sawyer, Alex Rothwell, Frank Kavanagh, Cillian Tomkins, Henry Kinsella, Greg Bolger, Mark Boyle, Seán Wafer (capt.), Flynn Donnelly, Oisín Fortune. Subs. - Kyle Donnelly, Robert Murphy, Ryan Gibney, Adam Byrne, Donough McGivern, Mark Doyle, Ryan Kinsella, Joe Butler.
Mullingar were the visitors to Clonattin on Saturday for a Leinster Under-14 Cup quarter-final. The lads had a good start and didn't let their visitors settle in to the game.
Tries were scored by Brian Cushe, George Hadden, Jack Higgins, Cillian Byrne and Michael Kruczek, with conversions kicked by Lee Cushe, Shamey O'Hagan and George Hadden.
Good performances were produced across the team, especially from Seán Sawyer, Brian Cushe, Jack Curley and man of the match Michal Kruczek who had a fine game in both defence and attack.
It was great to see Shamey O'Hagan back following a long lay-off due to injury, and we hope to see Ewan Stephens back quickly too. Happy birthday to our catering boss Aisling Fitzpatrick also!
Team: J. Curley, D. Fitzpatrick, E. Byrne, R. Tubritt, S. Guilfoyle, S. Sawyer, E. McCrea, G. Hadden, J. Higgins, L. Cushe, T. Baxter, M. Kruczek, R. O'Loughlin, B. Cushe, C. Byrne, A. McNeill, A. Cleary, S. O'Hagan, J. Milne, R. Arnold, C. Byrne, R. Cleary, S. Campbell-Carty, J. Wizner.