Deevy to fore for leaders
This season's Leinster League Division 1A is without doubt the most competitive it's been in many a year and after another intriguing series of games last Saturday, Ashbourne have stretched their lead at the top to five points.
Ashbourne beat De La Salle Palmerston 42-13 at home in Milltown House with their late charge delivering another precious four-try bonus point.
When De La Salle Palmerston won the reverse fixture in mid-October they led Division 1A with four wins from four but Saturday's defeat was their seventh in succession since then and the Kilternan club is now embroiled in a relegation battle.
DLSP started the better and led 13-6 at the interval but they were undone by a five-try, second-half salvo from the hosts that was led by No 8 Simon Deevy, while there was one apiece for winger Colm Craigie, lock Sean Kent and replacement winger Casey Dunne.
Enniscorthy moved up to second place after their 20-12 win at home in Ross Road over Wicklow but their failure to garner a bonus point could come back to bite the County Wexford club.
Prop Tony White barged over for the opening try and full-back Richard Dunne put the finishing touches to a slick three-quarter line move that eased the home side into a 15-0, half-time lead.
When centre Ivan Poole scored his side's third try 10 minutes into the second half a bonus-point victory seemed inevitable but it was the visitors who dominated thereafter.
Dundalk were shocked at home in Mill Road by neighbours Boyne who returned to Drogheda with a 32-25 win that seriously damaged the hosts' title ambitions.
Dundalk seemed well on their way to retaining second place on the table when they led 17-3 at the interval but the visitors, badly in need of points to escape the relegation play-off spot. scored four second-half tries through winger Kevin McCleery(2), No 8 Karl Keogh, and a penalty try.
In the day's remaining game bottom club Monkstown beat Gorey 12-7 away in Clonattin as their mini revival continued with the gap to avoid the automatic drop now down to six points.
After a scoreless first half second-row Cameron Kenny opened the scoring just after the resumption with a try for the Dubliners and the victory was sealed when full-back Dan Costello's late touchdown proved a sufficient buffer to withstand Gorey's last-minute try.
There is a break in the Leinster League now for a month as attention switches to the Bank of Ireland Towns and Metropolitan Cups but there is one rearranged fixture tomorrow week when Enniscorthy travel to Boyne in a key encounter that has implications at both ends of the table.