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Doyle delivers Port' hat-trick on a Plate

PORTARLINGTON capped off a memorable season by winning the Provincial Towns Plate on Sunday last with a 13-6 victory over Longford in Mullingar Rugby Club.

This was the Co Laois club's third 1st XV trophy this season, following on from success in Division 2A of the Leinster League as well as the Hosie Cup, and rounds off the most successful year in their 38-year history.

And they're still on a high after the magnificent job they did in hosting the Provincial Towns Cup Final a week earlier.

Having been relegated a year ago they couldn't have bounced back any better and, despite being out-muscled up front against Longford, they had enough speed behind the scrum to win the day.

In fact, their try came off a scrum in retreat, but the ball emerged swiftly and was quickly transferred to the flank where winger Ross Doyle crossed over for the game's only try.


Port' also won the Towns Plate in 2009, and they'll be aware that last year's winners, Enniscorthy, went on to ultimate success in the Towns Cup this season.

Tomorrow, it's the turn of the 2nd XVs to have their day in the sun as Newbridge take on Tullow in the Provincial Towns Seconds Cup Final in Edenderry.

This forms part of an attractive double-header at the progressive club on the Kildare/Offaly border, kicking off at 6pm, immediately after the Leinster v Munster Junior Interprovincial, which commences at 4pm.


Newbridge have beaten Wicklow, Portlaoise, Cill Dara and West Offaly Lions (1st XV) to get this far, while Tullow overcame holders North Meath (1st XV), Ashbourne, Tullamore and Swords (1st XV) on their march to the final.

The county Kildare club finished second in the Leinster Seconds League Division 1A, behind Coolmine, while their opponents were narrowly shaded in Division 1B by Cill Dara.

In North Kildare Rugby Club at the same time tomorrow, Naas and Balbriggan contest the final of the Michael Dunne Cup, which is for J4 sides and normally features a mix of experienced heads with a number of livewire young bucks.

These two sides are no exception to that rule and will be anxious to sign off the season with some well-earned silverware.

The club season is fast drawing to a close and after this weekend there are only a handful of games remaining.

However, the great thing about sport is there's always tomorrow, and planning is already under way for 2012-13.