Friday 28 October 2016

Redmond keeps Gorey hot on leaders' trail

Dermot O'Mahony

Published 11/12/2015 | 02:30

Star players Johnny Sexton, Jamie Heaslip and Noel Reid land a hand at the Leinster Schools Cups draws this week
Star players Johnny Sexton, Jamie Heaslip and Noel Reid land a hand at the Leinster Schools Cups draws this week

Storm Desmond wreaked havoc around the country over the weekend and caused major disruption to the club rugby schedule, with only two of Saturday's Leinster League Division 1A fixtures surviving.

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However it wasn't inclement weather that caused the postponement of the Kilkenny v Monkstown tie but rather an injury during the warm-up to the referee who had been an eleventh hour replacement after the appointed ref never arrived.

A waterlogged surface put paid to the Clondalkin v De La Salle Palmerston clash.

Pacesetters Enniscorthy bounced back from their first league defeat a week earlier by hammering bottom side Suttonians 61-0 at home in Ross Road, while at their Clonattin base Gorey snatched a late winning try to beat Ashbourne 10-6.


Gorey remain in second place, three points adrift of Enniscorthy after both sides battled bravely particularly when each team faced the violent force of the wind that blew straight down the pitch from the clubhouse end.

Indeed it took the home side until just before half-time to establish their 3-0 gale-assisted interval lead when out-half Stephen Duke landed a penalty.

Centre Donal Crotty quickly levelled matters with a penalty soon after the resumption and his next successful effort with a quarter of an hour remaining appeared to have sealed the win for the county Meath club.

However, as the game was ticking towards injury- time persistent pressure on the visitors' line paid handsome dividends when second-row and skipper JP Redmond crashed over for the only try of the game and Duke added the extras for a crucial victory.

Enniscorthy scored ten tries in their demolition of Suttonians and the game was to all intents and purposes over as a contest at half-time as full-back David O'Dwyer, centre Ross Barbour along with wingers Ivan Jacob and Hughie O'Neill all touched down for tries to deliver a bonus point in a 22-0 interval lead having played against the elements.

O'Neill completed his hat-trick after the break, Jacob and O'Dwyer both dotted down again while out-half Killian Lett and flanker Tom Ryan, who was the only forward to score, completed the rout.

Tomorrow Enniscorthy get a break from Leinster League duty as they host Bangor in the semi-final of the Ulster Bank All-Ireland Junior Cup.

Gorey will be hoping to take advantage of their neighbours' league inactivity but they face a tough task at Kirwan Park when they tackle third-placed De La Salle Palmerston tomorrow.

Elsewhere escaping the relegation quagmire will be of prime concern in the remaining Division 1A fixtures when Suttonians host sixth-placed Kilkenny at Station Road, while seventh-placed Clondalkin make the short journey into Sydney Parade to take on fifth-placed Monkstown.

Malahide sprung to the top of Division 1B with a bonus-point 34-10 home victory over Mullingar and on Sunday they travel to bottom side Longford, who are enjoying a mini-revival after winning their last two games.

Portlaoise and Co Carlow are joint leaders of Division 2A and they play each other on Sunday at the county Laois venue, it's second versus first in Division 2B when Athy entertain leaders Roscrea.

And in Division 3 it's the reverse pairing as leaders RCSI (Surgeons) are at home to closest rivals Arklow.

Irish Independent

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