Monday 24 July 2017

Top two clash in Malahide

No 8 Nick Doyle's try helped the Co Wexford club, who are defending the Junior Cup, into a 7-3 interval lead (Stock photo: PA)
No 8 Nick Doyle's try helped the Co Wexford club, who are defending the Junior Cup, into a 7-3 interval lead (Stock photo: PA)

Dermot O'Mahony

While most of the rugby world will be focused on the Ireland v All Blacks clash at the Aviva Stadium tomorrow, beforehand there is another round of action in Division 1A of the Leinster League and the most important game of the season to date will be in Estuary Road when leaders Malahide host second-placed Enniscorthy.

The home team lead their visitors by a mere point, courtesy of garnering one more four-try bonus point as both clubs arrive at the mid-point of the campaign having won all their games.

It's an intriguing clash between champions Enniscorthy, who are determined to atone for last season's agonising last-minute failure to reach the Ulster Bank League (AIL), and the new kids on the block Malahide, who have lit up the league with their dynamic attacking play in their first season in the top flight after their promotion from Division 1B.

The mouthwatering clash at the grounds located on the scenic Broadmeadow Estuary kicks off at 2.0pm, giving the supporter who relishes his or her rugby time to pop on the DART or drive into the Aviva Stadium for the 5.30 KO.

Elsewhere tomorrow in Division 1A, third-placed De La Salle Palmerston welcome struggling Kilkenny to Kirwan Park, fourth-placed Ashbourne will be at home in Milltown House against relegation contenders Gorey and bottom club Monkstown will host Dundalk.

Last Saturday there were three Leinster clubs in the quarter-finals of the Ulster Bank League and after tough encounters all three have made it through to the penultimate round. Enniscorthy were at home in Ross Road to Ballyclare from Antrim and won through 31-13 after a testing battle where a couple of late tries flattered the hosts' margin of victory.

No 8 Nick Doyle's try helped the Co Wexford club, who are defending the Junior Cup, into a 7-3 interval lead and indeed that advantage was down to the bare minimum ten minutes into the second half.

Then centre Daniel Pim's try eased home supporters fears somewhat but the Ulster club kept coming to score their only five-pointer and it took a couple of late touchdowns from Ivan Poole and Ivan Jacob to wrap up the win.

Ashbourne No 8 Simon Deevy bagged a hat-trick as they saw off the stern challenge of Cork visitors Bandon on a 33-8 scoreline.

Deevy and hooker Dan Norton scored tries as the home side came from behind to lead 14-8 at half-time and on the resumption Deevy extended the lead but it was only when he completed his hat-trick in injury time just after scrum half Gavin Kennedy had touched down that Ashbourne were safe.

De La Salle Palmerston beat Galbally from Limerick 39-22 at home in Kirwan Park but only led 17-12 at half-time as wingers Ian O'Connor and Dave Beagon scored a try apiece. The Kilteran club scored three second-half tries with full-back Andrew Norton grabbing a pair and second-row Keith Taite scoring the other to help book a semi-final slot.

Irish Independent

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