Wednesday 28 June 2017

Title on line for top two

Leinster Club Rugby

When the two sides met back in November at Estuary Road, Malahide prevailed on a 15-9 scoreline and the north county Dubliners will win the league provided they remain ahead of Enniscorthy on the table at the close of play on Sunday. Stock image
When the two sides met back in November at Estuary Road, Malahide prevailed on a 15-9 scoreline and the north county Dubliners will win the league provided they remain ahead of Enniscorthy on the table at the close of play on Sunday. Stock image

Dermot O'Mahony

From early in the campaign the season finale this coming Sunday between the hosts Enniscorthy and league leaders Malahide has loomed large on the horizon as the likely Leinster League Division 1A decider, and unlike the Aviva Stadium tomorrow where the potential Six Nations decider failed to develop, the clash in Ross Road will have everything on the line.

This follows Enniscorthy's thumping 52-24 win over Monkstown at Sydney Parade last Saturday where the Wexford club scored eight tries to reduce the gap at the top to four points.

When the two sides met back in November at Estuary Road, Malahide prevailed on a 15-9 scoreline and the north county Dubliners will win the league provided they remain ahead of Enniscorthy on the table at the close of play on Sunday. However, should Enniscorthy finish level on points then they will hold the tie-breaker and they will win the Eddie Egan trophy for the second year in a row.

For that to happen Enniscorthy must win and prevent Malahide picking up a bonus point, or if the visitors do glean a bonus point in defeat then the home side must do likewise by scoring four tries. Any other result, a win, a draw or a defeat that includes two bonus points will see Malahide win not only for the first time but also at their first attempt in Division 1A.

And of course the winner goes on to play in the Ulster Bank League Round Robin against the other three provincial champions with the winner going through to the AIL and the runner-up playing off with the second last team in the AIL.

At the other end of the table, Monkstown and Kilkenny are level on points with the Dublin 4 club holding the edge courtesy of having won a game more, so Kilkenny need to do better at home in Foulkstown against De La Salle Palmerston than Monkstown away to Dundalk if they are to avoid finishing last and getting automatically relegated.

Whichever club finishes second last will play Clondalkin in a one-off promotion/relegation playoff after the west Dublin club scored a dramatic late win at home against Mullingar that secured them second place behind already crowned Division 1B champions Wicklow but doomed the Westmeath club to relegation.

Mullingar will be replaced in Division 1B next season by Longford who won Division 2A after an impressive 41-24 home victory in CPL Park against Cill Dara, and on Sunday the newly-crowned champions will play their final game against Co Carlow away in Oak Park with the home side needing a point to secure a promotion/relegation playoff against Suttonians.

New Ross were presented with their Division 2B trophy after their home win against Ardee and Wexford Wanderers finished runner up to earn a playoff.

Irish Independent

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