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Condren leaves it late to clinch win over Mullingar

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CBC Monkstown mascot 'Beef' kicks a penalty as he entertains the crowd at half-time

CBC Monkstown mascot 'Beef' kicks a penalty as he entertains the crowd at half-time

SPORTSFILE

CBC Monkstown mascot 'Beef' kicks a penalty as he entertains the crowd at half-time

The first round of the Bank of Ireland Provincial Towns Cup took centre stage on Sunday with 11 ties down for decision of which five were decided by one score.

The most dramatic game of the day was probably in Gorey where the hosts, challenging strongly for promotion from Division 1B of the Leinster League, seemed on their way out at home in Clonattin against Division 2A's Mullingar until winger John Condren crashed over in the corner with barely five minutes remaining to snatch the lead for the first time all day.

Cement

It was the third try of the day for Gorey and was enough to cement a 17-16 win but the crucial score in such a tight game was out-half Shane Luby's conversion of an earlier Condren try that landed on the crossbar and bounced over for a critical two points.

Tullow out-duelled Cill Dara 11-9 at home in their Black Gates fortress with the lead changing hands on five occasions and the key score came from scrum-half Dylan Leybourne's lone try early in the second half.

Portarlington travelled to Naas and won 18-13 at Forenaughts as tries from centre Ross Doyle and winger Kieran Hyland provided enough of a buffer to survive a late surge by the hosts that included being held up over the line.

There was a try-fest at Foulkstown as Kilkenny held off visitors Co Carlow, who came storming back in the second half having trailed 40-14 at the interval before losing the 11-try encounter 40-33.

Navan beat Athy 19-15 at home in Balreask Old where despite losing the try-count 2-1 their goal kicking kept the visitors' late drive at bay.

Elsewhere there was a big win for Clondalkin away to Boyne, Wicklow beat Midland Warriors in Moate while Enniscorthy dominated on their visit to Edenderry.

Longford trailed until late on at home to North Kildare before three rapid-fire tries gave them a 21-3 victory.

New Ross won their local derby 29-21 at home against Wexford Wanderers and Portlaoise proved to be too strong on their short journey down the M7 to Roscrea.

Tomorrow is a big day on the Junior rugby front with the final of the Ulster Bank All-Ireland Junior Cup being played between Dundalk and Bangor in Portadown.

The Louth side are top of Division 1A of the Leinster League and have made it to the decider with victories at home over Cobh Pirates, on the road against Newcastle West and dramatically with a penalty goal in injury-time of a replay at home to CIYMS.

Their Down opponents went to Clonmel for their opening win before a pair of impressive home successes against holders Enniscorthy and then last year's runners up Clogher Valley at the penultimate stage.

Leinster clubs have dominated this extremely popular competition in recent years and Dundalk will be hoping to make it four wins in a row for eastern province clubs tomorrow.

Irish Independent