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Limerick put to the sword by Skerries

Another wonderful weekend of rugby was crowned by Tullow and Enniscorthy qualifying for Sunday week's Provincial Towns Cup Final, while Skerries took a gigantic step towards promotion to the AIL.

Skerries brought a massive following to Limerick last Saturday for the second game of the AIL round robin, winning a hard-fought encounter 19-7 to almost taste their prize.

The speed and width that the visitors put on the ball won the day against a much bigger pack, with tries in each half from prop Mark Nally and winger Kevin McGrath proving decisive.

Skerries now enjoy a healthy three-point advantage over second-placed Monivea, the Connacht champions surprisingly losing 22-21 to an injury-time drop goal at Clogher Valley.

A break in the AIL round robin this weekend will help Skerries get ready for their biggest game of the season next week, when they host Monivea at Holmpatrick.



drama

The weekend's drama was reserved for Foulkstown, home of Kilkenny Rugby Club, where Enniscorthy staged an 11th-hour raid against Newbridge.

Centre Darren McCabe scored a try for the Wexford club in the second minute of injury-time, allowing out-half Ivan Poole to level matters at 16-16 and send the pulsating Provincial Towns Cup semi-final into extra-time.

Enniscorthy had trailed 10-0 at half-time, with winger David Hogan scoring a 60m try midway through the opening period for Newbridge, which full-back Karl Darragh converted from the touchline to add to an earlier penalty from halfway.



nibbled

Poole gradually nibbled away at the 10-point advantage, reducing it to the bare minimum with a little over 10 minutes remaining, before a brace of Darragh penalty goals re-established what looked like a winning position.

Cue the aforementioned last-gasp escape before Poole broke Newbridge hearts in extra-time, slotting home a brace of penalty goals for a 22-16 victory, sending Enniscorthy through to their first Provincial Towns Cup decider since their 1995 loss to Naas.

Tullow are also back in the province's showpiece final following a comprehensive 17-3 win over Ashbourne at Cill Dara Rugby Club on Sunday.

Tullow out-half Willie Canavan and opposite number Paul Morris exchanged early penalty goals before the winners' pivot nudged his side 6-3 ahead at the break.

Canavan kept the scoreboard ticking over on the resumption with two further penalty goals.

Sean McCarthy then scored a late try to give Tullow the opportunity to avenge their only previous final appearance, a loss to Navan four years ago.


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