Club round up: Jacob hat-trick sets up top two for derby battle
The top two teams in Division 1A of the Leinster League recorded bonus-point wins last Saturday to set up perfectly tomorrow evening's visit of leaders Enniscorthy to second-placed Gorey.
De La Salle Palmerston also extracted a maximum haul of points from their visit to Monkstown to jump up to third place over Ashbourne whose visit to Kilkenny was postponed as a result of a bereavement in the Co Meath club.
Enniscorthy beat fifth-placed Clondalkin 31-5 at home in Ross Road as they maintained their 10-point lead at the summit but Gorey, who travelled to Station Road and beat Suttonians 42-0, have a game in hand which magnifies the importance of tomorrow evening's game at Clonattin.
Winger Ivan Jacob was on fire for Enniscorthy as he notched a hat trick of tries with his opening pair that arrived in a five-minute spell in the opening quarter establishing early control for the hosts.
Full-back Ross Barbour got his side's third try before half-time to put the home club 17-0 up at the break and the bonus point arrived courtesy of a penalty try midway through the second half before Jacob completed his try-scoring heroics late on.
Centre Matt Bater got Gorey off to flier with a third-minute try in Sutton and the visitors were in total control by half-time as they led 21-0 with further tries from No 8 JP Redmond and scrum-half Stephen Horan.
Bottom club Suttonians battled bravely but there was no way back and three further second-half touchdowns from winger Andrew Walsh, flank forward Willie Earle and full-back Garret Bater ensured Gorey won 42-0.
De La Salle Palmerston made the short journey to Sydney Parade a winning one as they beat hosts Monkstown 27-19, a result that keeps the Dublin 4 club hanging too close for comfort around the relegation play-off zone in sixth place.
Full-back Andrew Norton and flanker Shane Tynan scored the tries that helped the Kilternan club into 12-7 half-time lead.
Winger Gavin Beere scored a try early in the second half for Salmo but it required a late touchdown from out-half Ross O'Shaughnessy to quell the home comeback and ensure a bonus point for the visitors.
Aside from the big match, which kicks off in Gorey at 7.30pm, the other eye-catching game tomorrow afternoon is the visit of seventh- placed Kilkenny to fifth-placed Clondalkin with only a mere two points separating the teams as they both try desperately to avoid the relegation play-off position.
Suttonians travel across Dublin to Kirwan Park to take on De La Salle Palmerston haunted by the fact that if they lose they might be relegated tomorrow while Monkstown, also badly in need of points, face a tough encounter away at Milltown House against Ashbourne.
On Sunday, Division 1B leaders Malahide could win the title with a win away at the Maws, Kilcock against second-placed North Kildare.
In Division 2A leaders Portlaoise travel to second-placed Railway Union's home at Park Avenue.
Elsewhere, Division 2B pacesetters Roscrea play Midland Warriors away in Moate while Division 3 frontrunners Clane welcome Swords to Ballinagappa Road.