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Duffy has nerves of steel to leave Wicklow chasing Cill Dara's tail

IF Jonny Sexton's late heroics in a remarkable weekend of Heineken Cup rugby were the inspiration for some similar theatrics in the Leinster League then they were nowhere more evident than in Wicklow out-half Stephen Duffy on Sunday afternoon.

His team had trailed by 10 points in their Division 1B clash in Clondalkin but had drawn level as the final seconds approached, before the ice-cool pivot dropped the winning goal with the last kick of the game for a 25-22 victory that kept Wicklow within a point of new leaders Cill Dara.

The Kildare town club had to drum up their own late sortie at home to bottom-of-the-table Portlaoise with flanker Des Payne crossing in the corner for the winning try in an 18-16 victory with only five minutes left.

Co Carlow lost their perch at the top when they went under 14-6 in Ashbourne.



Pounce

Tomorrow, Cill Dara travel to Oak Park to take on Co Carlow in the top match in Division 1B with Wicklow ready to pounce from any fallout there when they host Longford.

Newbridge continue at the head of affairs in Division 1A following their strong 21-6 win at a relieved Monkstown, the hosts thankful to have salvaged a halving of their four-point deduction imposed for playing an illegal overseas player two weeks earlier.

Despite this win, the Newbridge lead over second-placed Skerries was trimmed by a point, with the gap now four. Skerries hammered Coolmine in Holmpatrick 32-10, racking up five tries in the process to secure a precious bonus point.

Tullamore continued their recent revival by beating Enniscorthy at home in Spollenstown while Garda moved off the bottom with an encouraging 18-15 win in Dundalk.

Portarlington continued their unbeaten run at the top of the Division 2A table with a 28-15 victory in Clane and the County Laois club have extended their lead at the summit to three points.

Roscrea are now up to second place following a dramatic stoppage-time penalty try that squeezed them past winless North Kildare 25-23 in Kilcock while early pacesetters Malahide were surprisingly beaten 17-15 at home by New Ross.

West Offaly Lions failed to field for the second game in a row when they conceded a walkover to Kilkenny but at the time of writing they are confident of fulfilling their fixture with North Kildare tomorrow.

There were also a couple of big surprises in Division 2B, particularly the 6-3 home defeat of leaders Mullingar by Swords and the 8-6 win for visitors Gorey in Athy.

These results allowed Railway Union move up to second place after they held off a late rally by hosts Balbriggan to win 18-17 while Edenderry picked up their first win of the campaign as they beat Wexford Wanderers 32-9 in Carbury.

First into action this weekend are Swords who tonight welcome Edenderry to the ALSAA Sports Complex for an 8pm kick off.

It's a top-of-the-table clash tomorrow when leaders Mullingar travel to Sandymount to play Railway Union, Athy will be hoping to stay in touch when they visit Wexford Wanderers while Gorey will be trying for their fourth win in a row at home to Balbriggan.

All Leinster League games are tomorrow to avoid a clash with the Leinster game on Sunday.


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