Saturday 10 December 2016

Ashbourne off the mark after rally stuns DLSP

Dermot O'Mahony

Published 16/10/2015 | 02:30

Leinster's Mick McGrath during squad training at Belfield this week ahead of tonight's trip to play Scarlets
Leinster's Mick McGrath during squad training at Belfield this week ahead of tonight's trip to play Scarlets

Enniscorthy has forged a significant early advantage at the top of Division 1A of the Leinster League after coming from behind to beat Kilkenny on Saturday, while closest rivals De La Salle Palmerston crashed to their first defeat against Ashbourne.

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In fact it's a county Wexford 1-2 at the summit as Gorey travelled to Monkstown and stunned their hosts at Sydney Parade with a 32-28 victory that moves them to within four points of the neighbours down the N11.

Gorey established control in the opening period and led 22-8 at half-time with the help of tries from scrum-half Stephen Horan, centre Andy Holland and winger Andrew Walsh.

Bonus

No 8 Jordan Ahern touched down to snare the bonus point within five minutes of the restart and when out-half Stephen Duke added a penalty on the hour mark to go with his earlier brace of conversions it seemed as if a blowout was on the cards, but the home side battled back stoically, scoring three late tries to pick up two bonus points.

Enniscorthy trailed 8-0 at half-time at home in Ross Road against Kilkenny as the visitors appeared on track to reverse last April's heart-breaking one point Bank of Ireland Provincial Towns Cup Final loss but the home side improved appreciably after the break to thwart their guests.

That improvement was brought about by dominance up front that resulted in out-half Ivan Poole punishing Kilkenny with three early penalty goals to edge ahead before he scored a terrific individual try and winger Ivan Jacob wrapped up the victory with another touchdown as Enniscorthy ran out 21-8 winners.

Ashbourne bagged their first win of the campaign as they returned from Kirwan Park with an impressive 34-24 win over De La Salle Palmerston.

The Meath club trailed by 14 points early on but a pair of tries from No 8 Simon Deevy and scrum-half Conor McNally meant the teams went in at the break level at 14-14.

The visitors quickly grabbed the initiative on the resumption with McNally and flanker Mark Rooney touching down twice inside 15 minutes to secure the precious bonus point and Ashbourne maintained their lead to the end.

Suttonians are rooted to the bottom of Division 1A following their 11-5 home loss at the JJ McDowell Grounds to Clondalkin, who led 8-5 at half time and held on despite a late surge by the home side where they got over the line a number of times but couldn't ground the ball.

In Division 1B Coolmine rallied from 15 points down early in the second half to win 22-21 at Mullingar and the west Dubliners are joined at the top of the table by Malahide, who impressively won 38-27 at Wicklow.

Dispatching

Railway Union are the early pacesetters in Division 2A after dispatching visitors Newbridge at Park Avenue last Friday while Roscrea (30-3 winners at home against Arklow) and Balbriggan (24-10 victors away at Ardee) are to the fore early in Division 1B.

The only Leinster League action this weekend is in Division 2B and the key match-ups include Balbriggan at home against Garda and Roscrea away to RCSI (Surgeons).

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