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Enniscorthy out to topple Tullamore

SINCE its inception in 2005/06, the All-Ireland Junior Cup has proven to be a tremendous success, giving the best non-AIL teams a national platform on which to display their talents.

Many winners have gone on to make it to the AIL, including Leinster clubs Seapoint and Navan, while Tullamore are the only team to have won it twice.

Indeed the Offaly club are holders and they started the defence of their crown last Saturday with a 52-16 win over Ulster side Ballymoney at home.

Newbridge beat Richmond 27-21 at home in Rosetown and Enniscorthy won 26-10 in Skibbereen to ensure a healthy Leinster representation in next Wednesday's draw, but Coolmine bowed out following a narrow 39-37 defeat in Clogher Valley.

The opening half in Spollanstown was competitive as Cian Glennon's brace of tries helped Tullamore into a 15-10 interval lead before they cut loose after the break.



Torrid

They added five tries with Brian Geraghty notching a pair of touchdowns while David Milne, Adrian Hughes and replacement Kevin Brown all got on the score sheet along with out-half Aaron Deverell, who chipped in with 17 points from the boot.

For Newbridge, it was a first taste of the Junior Cup and they made a winning start but not before they endured a torrid finale, being reduced to 13 men at one stage -- as a result of over-lapping yellow cards -- and they were forced to survive a number of five-metre scrums near their own line from the powerful Limerick pack.

Sione Matangi and Mick Byrne scored tries that eased the hosts into a 17-7 half-time lead and when Padraig Mahon scored a third try within a minute of the restart (quickly followed by a conversion and penalty goal from out-half Collie Sheridan, who kicked 12 points in all), it looked as if it was going to be a straightforward day.

However, Richmond then showed their mettle with two final-quarter tries that applied the pressure that almost but not quite yielded a fruitful visit to Kildare.

Enniscorthy also made their debut and they also had to battle hard in West Cork with a pair of tries from winger Ivan Jacob proving to be significant.



Interception

The first five-pointer along with four penalty goals from out-half Ivan Poole ensured the Slaneysiders led 19-5 at half-time while the second, an 80-metre interception breakaway try midway through the second half, put paid to a home comeback.

Leinster League action resumes tomorrow with third-placed Enniscorthy heading to take on Division 1A leaders Tullamore in the day's big match, while second-placed Newbridge will be hoping to profit from any slip-up when they travel to Mill Road to play fourth-placed Dundalk.

In the remaining games, bottom club Garda host the team immediately above them, Coolmine, while Wanderers travel to Cill Dara. The unique link to more prosperous times for the Dublin 4 visitors is that their scrum-half from their first ever AIL campaign in 1989-90, Conor Byrne, is now president of the Kildare town club, an outfit which back then was a Junior 2 club in its infancy, having been founded in 1976.


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