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Debutants Coolmine take Tralee to the cleaners

The All-Ireland Junior Cup took centre stage on Saturday with three of the four Leinster teams winning their opening ties to advance to the quarter-finals.

Pride of place goes to Coolmine, the west Dubliners making their debut on the national stage with an emphatic 87-21 victory over their hapless visitors, Tralee, in Ashbrook.

Former winners Tullamore comfortably disposed of another Munster club in beating Kilfeacle 43-7, Dundalk were forced to work a little harder before overcoming Ballina 23-3 at home, while Skerries became the only 1st round victims from the province when they agonisingly lost 9-8 at home to Monivea.

Coolmine ran in 13 tries as they routed the Co Kerry club with a display of champagne rugby that included a pair of touchdowns apiece for winger David Stacey, No8 Liam McGrath and replacement hooker John Lee.

Despite trailing 7-0 after only 90 seconds, the Castleknock club racked up an amazing 56 points before the break as they took out the frustrations of their vital league defeat a week earlier against leaders Newbridge on the unfortunate southerners.

Tullamore have earned the name of cup specialists over the years and they confirmed that reputation on Saturday as they scored six tries to turn what was a tight contest at half time (the home side led 11-7) into one-way second half traffic.

Winger Rory Deverell touched down for the only home try of the opening period but the heavens opened thereafter as second row David Milne, flanker Jason Clancy, full back Mick Brazil, replacement flanker Paul McNiff and replacement prop Tomás Bennett all bagged five pointers for Tullamore.

Second half tries by out-half Ene Fa'atu and replacement hooker Declan McCabe were enough to send Dundalk over the line as they built on a 6-3 interval advantage in miserably wet conditions in Mill Road.

A second-half try scored by winger Kevin McGrath wasn't enough for Skerries as they exasperatingly lost to last season's All-Ireland Junior Cup runners-up by a single point in a cracking tie at Holmpatrick.

They can now concentrate on the Leinster League as Division 1A resumes tomorrow with the visit of Skerries to Dundalk looking like the standout tie.

Leaders Newbridge host struggling Tullamore (that's league form rather than cup form), bottom side Garda will look to make it two wins in a row at home to Monkstown while Enniscorthy will try to put a halt to their mini slide at home against Coolmine.

In Division 1B Cill Dara moved to the top of the table on Sunday with a 16-3 home win over Tullow.

3JUNIOR CUP DRAW ON PAGE 73


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