Enniscorthy left to lick wounds after Towns Cup crash

Dermot O’Mahony

When the dust had settled after a weekend of upsets and near misses the big casualties in the second round of the Provincial Towns Cup were holders Enniscorthy, knocked out in Longford, and fellow Leinster League Division 1A side Newbridge, who crashed out to a last-minute try in Wicklow.

Enniscorthy have had a week to forget as they followed defeat in the final of the Ulster Bank All-Ireland Junior Cup eight days earlier to Tullamore by surprisingly falling 14-9 at the first hurdle in CPL Park.

The crucial score arrived on the stroke of half-time when winger Barry Trueick pounced on a kick ahead by out-half Colm Glynn to break the deadlock in a tied encounter with a try that edged Longford ahead at the break.

That score proved crucial as Enniscorthy were unable to bridge the gap as an exchange of two second-half penalty goals left the margin of victory unchanged and ended an emotional week for the hosts following the tragic death of popular player Derek Bannon.

Full-back Ben Porter was the hero for Wicklow as his try in the 11th minute of injury-time sent the home side through to the quarter-finals on a 23-20 scoreline in a pulsating clash at Ashtown Lane.

The victors' reward is a trip to hot favourites Tullamore in the next round.

The All-Ireland Junior Cup and Leinster League Division 1A champions comfortably disposed of neighbours Mullingar away in Cullion by 52-8 as they chase an unprecedented clean sweep of the top junior trophies.

The visitors scored three early tries to lead 19-3 at half-time, and after conceding an early home five-pointer soon after the resumption they added another five touchdowns to throw down the gauntlet to all challengers.

Longford face a trip to Cill Dara in the third round after the Kildare town side performed a Houdini act at home in Beechpark for the second Towns Cup tie in succession, out-half Jack Ryan kicking the decisive penalty goal from inside his own half with less than two minutes on the clock to beat Gorey 20-18.

The visitors, who ply their trade two divisions below Cill Dara and who caused the surprise of the opening round by knocking out Dundalk, appeared all set to repeat the trick with a pair of quick-fire late tries but their gallant effort was undone by the cannonball boot of Ryan.

Tullow were impressive in swatting Kilkenny aside at Black Gates but the visitors were obstinate opponents until half-time, trailing 10-6 before the home side unleashed their armoury with a four-try second-half salvo.


They will be at home to Ashbourne in the quarter-final, the Meath side fighting back from a 10-point deficit at home against Co Carlow to win 12-10.

Two tries from winger Jason Moore were the key to Edenderry's 26-18 victory in Naas, and the club on the Offaly/Kildare border will now host a quarter-final against Roscrea, who won 17-7 at the Showgrounds in Athy.

There is a return to action in Division 1A of the Leinster League tomorrow with the main battles concerning the four qualification spots for next season's Ulster Bank All-Ireland Junior Cup.

Tullamore travel to fourth-placed Enniscorthy, second-placed Wanderers host Cill Dara, sixth-placed Dundalk visit third-placed Newbridge and fifth-placed Coolmine are at home to Garda with a mere five points separating the four teams from third to sixth positions.