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Glory for Enniscorthy as Skerries seal promotion

ENNISCORTHY won the Provincial Towns Cup and Skerries won promotion to the Ulster Bank League Division 2B on one of club rugby's biggest weekends.

There was a huge crowd in Portarlington Rugby Club to witness Enniscorthy beating Tullow 23-17 to record a sixth Towns Cup success as the hosts did an outstanding job staging the final for the first time.

First-half tries by centre Ross Barbour and winger Hugh O'Neill laid the foundation for the Wexford club's success.

Despite a desperate last charge by the Carlovians, it was Enniscorthy that prevailed in a fine game.

Enniscorthy flank forward Tony Ryan was awarded the man of the match prior to skipper Barbour being presented with the much-coveted trophy by Leinster Branch President Stuart Batley.

Skerries' biggest crowd of the season was on hand in Holmpatrick to witness the north county Dubliners return to the big time after a six-year absence.

They beat Connacht champions Monivea 27-20 to impressively top the Round Robin with three wins out of three and they will now replace Wanderers in Division 2B.

Skerries started nervously at the weekend and trailed 13-3 after half an hour but a Chris Keane try on the stroke of half time settled them and they subsequently moved up through the gears on the resumption with further touchdowns from hooker Chris Tonge and winger Kevin McGrath.

They spent the final quarter comfortably containing their opponents before the final whistle cued a massive celebration from the crowd. The visitors have to make do with a play-off against Ards tomorrow for the final place in the AIL.

The Leinster League fallout from Skerries' promotion and Wanderers' relegation is that Dundalk will play in Division 1A next season, Wicklow and Tullow will be in Division 1B while Roscrea and Mullingar will be in Division 2A.

The four Leinster qualifiers for next season's All Ireland Junior Cup are Tullamore, Enniscorthy, Newbridge and Coolmine.


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