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Tullamore taking it to the maximum with Garda on road ahead

TULLAMORE opened a three-point gap at the top of the Leinster League Division 1A last week when they recorded their third four-try bonus win for a maximum 15-point total after three games while Enniscorthy are also unbeaten but have yet to notch a precious bonus point.

Cill Dara were the latest hapless victims of the Co Offaly steamrolling machine as they returned home empty handed from their trip to Spollenstown following a 32-10 hammering.

Tullamore's dynamic, aggressive well-drilled pack has been the cornerstone of their success and it was no different on a balmy Saturday evening as they man-handled their over-matched opponents.

They did a similar job a couple of weeks earlier in their opener against Wanderers and there are not many sets of forwards in the province that would last 80 minutes with them.

That said, for the amount of possession they enjoyed, a five-try haul would have been at the lower end of the satisfaction scale with prop forward Tomás Bennett getting the first touchdown and winger Conor Molloy's brace of tries helping to establish a 22-3 interval lead that was embellished by further five-pointers from scrum half Ritchie Hughes and replacement flanker Kevin Browne.

Tomorrow, Tullamore welcome Garda, who are struggling at the opposite end of the table.

Enniscorthy scraped over the line in their second-against-third clash with visitors Newbridge in Ross Road as out-half Ivan Poole kicked a late penalty goal for a 17-15 win.

In an absorbing game centre Ben Swindlehurst scored the opening try for the Co Kildare side before left winger Ivan Jacob got the home team's only touchdown.

Poole kept the scoreboard ticking over as the hosts edged 11-10 ahead at half time but despite Dave Hogan's try midway through the second half it was the home club's pivot that held his nerve late on to help secure the victory that allowed his team leapfrog their opponents.

Tomorrow, Enniscorthy travel to Merrion Road to tackle Wanderers who lost 33-23 at Coolmine last week.

The Lansdowne Road club (their home venue is out of commission tomorrow because of the Leinster v Munster game next door in the Aviva) would have hoped to have used this game as a means of re-launching their promotion bid but now that hope would appear to be forlorn unless they can put their visitors to the sword tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Coolmine, fresh off their first win, will travel to Dundalk with renewed optimism after tries from Liam Power, Alan Cousins, Donal Crotty and Jonny Lee yielded the Ashbrook team five points last week.

Probably the most intensely fought game of the weekend will be the local derby between Cill Dara and Newbridge at Beechpark. The visitors need to win to maintain their title challenge while the hosts have yet to win a game.

In Division 1B, Monkstown, Longford, Clondalkin and Tullow kicked off their campaigns with victories while Kilkenny, Roscrea, Gorey and Mullingar recorded opening day wins in Division 2A.

In Division 2B North Kildare, Railway Union and Arklow were victors while Birr, Wexford Wanderers and West Offaly Lions were the Division 3 winners.


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