Dream season continues for Enniscorthy
Enniscorthy's dream season just goes on and on. Having survived a searching semi-final test from Naas last Sunday in Kilkenny Rugby Club, the holders progressed to the Bank of Ireland Provincial Towns Cup Final on a 6-3 scoreline, while tomorrow they travel to Clonmel to begin their quest for Ulster Bank League qualification.
The second Bank of Ireland Provincial Towns Cup semi-final takes place this Sunday in Oak Park, the home of County Carlow Football Club, and will see Wicklow taking on Clondalkin.
The AIL Round Robin features the winners of the four provincial qualifying leagues playing each other once, with the winner gaining automatic promotion to the Ulster Bank League and the second-placed team playing off against the second last team in Division 2C of the AIL.
And that battle to avoid the drop from Division 2C is also going right down to the wire tomorrow with Dundalk in last place trailing Sligo by four points while Boyne are two points better off than the westerners and Kanturk one further point clear.
Tomorrow, Enniscorthy travel to take on the Munster champions, Clonmel, who were runners-up in the Round Robin to Dundalk a year ago but because of a recalibration of the AIL numbers last season, the Tipperary club never got to take part in the playoff.
This game could prove pivotal in the destination of the Round Robin title as both sides have home games to follow against Ulster champions Bangor while all three teams will be expected to beat Connacht standard-bearers, Westport.
Enniscorthy have already won the All-Ireland Junior Cup this season, which included beating Bangor in a home semi-final at Ross Road, and the county Wexford club will enter the AIL Round Robin as favourites to succeed the last seven Leinster League winners that have subsequently gone on to achieve AIL promotion.
A week ago, Enniscorthy were put to the pin of their collar as they continued the defence of their Bank of Ireland Provincial Towns Cup with victory against Naas in a semi-final that was severely influenced by the wind.
The county Kildare club had first use of the elements but only had flank forward Cillian Dempsey's penalty goal to show for their endeavours. Out-half Ivan Poole slotted a similar effort for Enniscorthy as the teams went to the break deadlocked at 3-3.
Poole struck a wonderful kick from the halfway line a quarter of an hour into the second half and despite further try-scoring threats from both teams, that proved to be the decisive score in a game noteworthy for two remarkably solid and brave defences.
On Sunday, Wicklow and Clondalkin lock horns looking to book their place in the final only three weeks after the Garden County team beat the west Dubliners 21-16 in the Leinster League Division 1A/1B promotion/relegation playoff.
Another close battle is in expected at Oak Park with both clubs striving to win the fabled pot for an historic first time.