Friday 24 February 2017

Enniscorthy's eyes on second Junior crown

Dermot O'Mahony

Levi Vaughan celebrates with his Terenure College team-mates after the Junior Cup win over Cistercian College Roscrea Photo: Sportsfile
Levi Vaughan celebrates with his Terenure College team-mates after the Junior Cup win over Cistercian College Roscrea Photo: Sportsfile

Tomorrow is a big day in the club calendar as Enniscorthy take on Instonians in the Ulster Bank All-Ireland Junior Cup final which will be played at Ashbourne Rugby Club's excellent facilities at Milltown House.

There are also a couple of important Leinster League Division 1A games down for decision tomorrow, matches that had to be rescheduled because of waterlogged pitches before Christmas and the outcome of both will have a major impact on the relegation dogfight.

Maximum

Suttonians will be relegated if they fail to garner maximum points at home in Station Road against Kilkenny or if Monkstown pick up as much as a single point in their home clash in Sydney Parade against Clondalkin.

Kilkenny jumped up to fifth place on 21 points when they travelled to Clondalkin two weeks ago and won 23-19, and if they can win tomorrow with a bonus point they are all but safe.

Clondalkin is the team that cannot afford to lose tomorrow as defeat against Monkstown would see them fall below the Dublin 4 club with two very tough games remaining including a visit to title-chasing Gorey on the final day.

Monkstown, who currently occupy the relegation play-off seventh place, trail their visitors by a point and Kilkenny by two but have a game in hand, and while their finishing stretch includes fixtures against both leaders Enniscorthy and Gorey they also have a visit to Suttonians that they can surely consider to be a banker.

When the relegation escaping contenders met back in October at Gordon Park, Clondalkin won 13-6 while Monkstown were also beaten two weeks ago but they did glean a precious bonus point in losing 14-8 away to Ashbourne.

While Kilkenny would appear destined to win five points at Suttonians, it would seem that the battle at Sydney Parade will be incredibly close and is too hard to call.

Co Carlow host New Ross tomorrow at Oak Park in a rearranged Division 2A fixture while there are also a couple of games rescheduled in Division 3 with leaders Arklow at home at the Oval against second-placed Ardee and RCSI welcoming Swords to Dardistown.

Enniscorthy will be trying to put their name on the All-Ireland Junior Cup for the second time having won the coveted trophy two years ago when they beat another Ulster club Clogher Valley 10-9 at Coolmine Rugby Club.

Enniscorthy were well beaten 26-6 two weeks ago in Gorey in their top-of-the-table Leinster League Division 1A clash and they will hope to return to their best form tomorrow, form that has seen the Co Wexford club lead the league from the outset.

Instonians were one of the original members of the AIL and were relegated two years and despite winning the Ulster Qualifying League last season they failed to make it through the AIL Round Robin.

The Belfast club are vying for the northern crown again and are a point behind leaders Bangor, the team Enniscorthy beat 23-5 to reach the decider, so it's possible tomorrow's clash could be the first of two huge games between the teams with the Round Robin looming in April.

Irish Independent

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