Stirring finish seals success
ENNISCORTHY PRODUCED a stirring finish to secure a priceless Leinster League Division 1A win at Ross Road on Saturday last.
They were completely on top in the opening 25 minutes and although they did score two tries they wasted a bag-full of chances. The first try came 15 minutes in after good play from out-half Jack Kelly set up David O'Dwyer who used his strength and speed to cross in the corner for a five-pointer.
Ivan Poole missed the conversion and he had also missed two kickable penalties before that.
Enniscorthy still squandered a number of scoring opportunities by generally being over-elaborate with the ball in hand, but the second try did eventually come. It was the captain, Seán Wall, who got the touchdown and again the conversion was missed by Ivan Poole. Ciarán Murphy was replaced by Angelo Todisco after picking up a leg injury.
Enniscorthy were leading 10-0 at the interval and the visitors grew in confidence as the second-half wore on, being rewarded with a converted try after 20 minutes. Enniscorthy lost Declan O'Brien to a yellow card just before the score and also lost their captain, Seán Wall, through injury.
Clondalkin now had the advantage and a stumbling home side almost conceded another try. They recovered the wobble however as O'Brien came back on the field and full-back Ross Barbour finished off a super move to calm the nerves. This time Poole added the conversion in front of the posts to make it 17-7 with ten minutes remaining.
That crucial score knocked the stuffing out of the visitors and Damien McCabe scored the fourth try in the last play which was converted to give Enniscorthy the bonus point win.
Apart from Wanderers who are almost certain of finishing top and Dundalk who will probably finish second, the relegation battle is interesting. Cill Dara and Coolmine are both on 21 points, Newbridge and Enniscorthy are on 20, and below them are Clondalkin and Tullow who are on the bottom on 15 points. The bottom team gets relegated.
Enniscorthy are away to Wanderers next weekend and that will be difficult. They then have Tullow at home, Coolmine away and finish off on March 1 at home to Newbridge.
Manager David Wrafter said: 'It was vital we got the win and we are starting to come together, but we still have an infuriating habit of complicating things at times.
'We have the Irish Junior Cup final coming up on February 1 which we would like to win of course, but we can't afford to get side-tracked as the league is our bread and butter'..
Team: Paddy Waters, John Howe, Ciarán Murphy (Angelo Todisco), Declan O'Brien, Thomas Stamp, Damien McCabe, Peadar O'Mahoney, Seán Wall (capt., Ronnie White), Evan Lett, Jack Kelly, Daniel Pim, Ivan Poole, Hughie O'Neill, Ross Barbour. Subs. - Fiacre Ryan, Paul Byrne, David Murphy.