Wexford rivals look for an edge in title finale
Published 26/02/2016 | 02:30
Following a break for couple of rounds of the Bank of Ireland Provincial Towns Cup intermingled with some catch-up games throughout the various divisions, the business end of the season is nigh for the Leinster League.
The penultimate series of games in Division 1A is down for decision tomorrow, with Enniscorthy just about in pole position ahead of a hard-finishing Gorey, while the race to avoid the relegation play-off should become much clearer.
The Wexford rivals are locked together at the summit on 45 points, with Enniscorthy enjoying the edge having won a game more, and tomorrow they host De La Salle Palmerston at Ross Road while Gorey travel to Foulkstown to take on Kilkenny.
The bottom line is that if Enniscorthy finish with maximum points they win the league; anything less opens the door for Gorey, who must win more points than their fellow contenders over this two-game stretch.
It's certainly a thrilling finale to what has been an extremely competitive league, with the winner also progressing to the AIL Round Robin in April.
When the sides met back in November at Kirwan Park Enniscorthy staged a dramatic late comeback to snatch a 21-14 victory against fourth-placed De La Salle Palmerston, while Gorey snared a four-try bonus point in a hard-fought 24-6 win over fifth-placed Kilkenny at home in Clonattin.
Suttonians have already been relegated to Division 1B and Monkstown will almost certainly seal their own Division 1A status for next season if they win at Station Road against the north city club, who are still winless this campaign.
Should Monkstown garner their anticipated success tomorrow then nothing short of victory for Clondalkin at home in Gordon Park Kingswood against Ashbourne will suffice for the west Dubliners as failure to do so will mean they will finish seventh and play in the relegation play-off.
Malahide are practically home and hosed in Division 1B as the north County Dublin club enjoys a 10-point advantage at the top and they should be crowned champions, as well as gaining automatic promotion to Division 1A, when they welcome Coolmine to Estuary Road tomorrow.
North Kildare lie in second place in Division 1B and their priority as they welcome last-placed Cill Dara to The Maws in Kilcock on Sunday will be to hold off the charge of in-form Wicklow, who are a mere two points in arrears and will be at home in Ashtown Lane against sixth-placed Tullow.
Division 2A table toppers Portlaoise enjoyed a couple of Towns Cup wins while they took a break from their league campaign and they will need to be on top of their game for their local derby against Portarlington as they try to cling on their one-point advantage over Railway Union.
The Dublin 4 club face a tricky trip to New Ross, who themselves are in a three-way battle to avoid the relegation play-off s along with Edenderry (current incumbents) and Newbridge, who happen to lock horns this Sunday.
Roscrea could wrap up the Division 2B title on Sunday when they travel to Park Lane to play Wexford Wanderers whom they beat 14-8 at home in the Towns Cup at the weekend, while Division 3 pacesetters Arklow will be crowned champions if they beat second-placed Clane.