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Enniscorthy celebrate Centenary in fine style

Enniscorthy celebrated their centenary year in tremendous style by outscoring Tullow by three tries to one to take the trophy in Portarlington yesterday.

The host club set the scene for a tremendous day and in beautiful, but slightly chilly weather both sides rose to the occasion to produce an excellent game of rugby.

The winners finished in third place in Division 1A of the Leinster League, in contrast to Tullow, who were lucky to avoid relegation from Division 1B.

Yet, a stranger to the game would not have known the difference as Tullow forced Enniscorthy into a series of errors early on.

Crucially, however, the Carlow side were unable to convert their advantage into scores.

When Tullow turned over possession on the halfway line, the Enniscorthy response, on the other hand, was swift and effective.

Sweeping the ball quickly from the breakdown Ross Barbour went over in the corner.

Out-half Ivan Poole added the conversion and landed a penalty three minutes later.

Hand

Three minutes before half-time, Enniscorthy put one hand on the cup when Poole and Barbour combined to put winger Hugh O'Neill in.

The Tullow response was admirable and the game was back in the melting pot when William Canavan kicked two penalties to leave his side trailing 6-15 at the break.

Canavan added another penalty immediately after the restart to set up the possibility of an upset.

However, Enniscorthy's experience told.

They seemed to have that ability to take possession when required.

Once more they stretched the Tullow defence and, with numbers to spare, Fiachra Ryan went over unopposed for a 48th-minute try.

In the final quarter Canavan and Poole exchanged penalties as Enniscorthy, with an 11-point lead, looked content to hold what they had.

Rob Porter did score a late Tullow try, but Enniscorthy comfortably saw out the final minutes to record a famous victory.

Enniscorthy -- R Dunne (D Dwyer 49); H O'Neill, R Barbour, D McCabe, F Ryan; I Poole, A Jacob; L Goff, J Howe, C Murphy, D O'Brien, J Leech (J Bracken h-t), T Ryan, M Dalton, G Murphy.

Tullow -- W Cas O'Brien; S McCarthy, D Dunne, A Deering, P Fitzgerald; W Canavan, K Bloomfield; S Hanbidge (A Burns 30), S Corrigan (J O'Connor 48) , K Hanbidge, J Hanbidge (J Fitzgerald 48) , F Murphy, J Roche (C Finnerty 55), R Porter (J Roche 81), W. O'Brien.

Ref -- E O'Dowd (Leinster Branch)

Irish Independent