Saturday 17 August 2019

Club Round-up: Enniscorthy survive tough Wexford derby

Leinster's Luke McGrath during squad training. Leinster Rugby Squad Training, Greystones RFC, Greystones, Co. Wicklow
Leinster's Luke McGrath during squad training. Leinster Rugby Squad Training, Greystones RFC, Greystones, Co. Wicklow

Dermot O’Mahony

Pacesetters Enniscorthy withstood the stern challenge of their visiting neighbours Gorey in the Leinster League Division 1A top-of-the-table clash before a large crowd at Ross Road.

The hosts won 26-20 to remain unbeaten after five games but they trailed 15-13 at half-time, relying on a try by centre Killian Lett and the boot of out-half Ivan Poole to keep in touch.

After the break, the home side knuckled down to the task in hand and, after Poole had kicked a pair of penalty goals to regain the lead, Lett struck again ten minutes from the end with another try to secure the victory.

Gorey's bonus-point try arrived with the last play of the game.


De La Salle Palmerston travelled to Suttonians and returned to Kilternan with a maximum haul of points as they scored four tries in an impressive 29-13 win, moving up to second place in the process.

In fact, the bonus point was secured by half-time as winger David Beagon, centre Kimsah Matangi, flanker Fionn Dillon Kelly and lock forward Keith Taite all touched down to give the visitors an unassailable 26-3 half-time lead.

Suttonians fought back after the break but despite adding a pair of tries they were always facing an uphill battle and remain rooted to the bottom of the table, a worrying five points adrift of the field.

And just like a week ago we have another top-of-the-table clash tomorrow afternoon at Kirwan Park when De La Salle Palmerston welcome leaders Enniscorthy where there will be a renewal of old friends.

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Phil Werahiko, who enjoyed a successful spell in charge in the 1990s, is back as coaching co-ordinator with the home side, and of course the Kiwi first touched down in Ireland as player-coach with the Co Wexford club, leading them to a Provincial Towns Cup Final in 1995.

In was during that Cup run that Werahiko was accompanied by a young back-row forward named Declan O'Brien who went on to play with Salmo before returning to his native club via a professional spell with Leinster.

And another member of the coaching ticket with Enniscorthy, centre Damien McCabe, played for many years in Kilternan so there will be quite a reunion in Kirwan Park tomorrow.

Elsewhere, No 8 Simon Deevy scored a try in each half to help Ashbourne beat Monkstown 20-6 away in Sydney Parade, while Kilkenny had a big 28-19 home win in Foulkstown over Clondalkin to move away from the relegation zone.

Flanker Wes Carter, scrum-half Evan Dixon, prop Hugh O'Brien and centre Padraic Mahon all scored tries in the first half that vaulted the Marble City side up to fifth place in the table.

Tomorrow, Suttonians travel to Sydney Parade to take on Monkstown in a bottom-of-the-table clash, Gorey host Kilkenny, while Ashbourne will enjoy the fruits of home when Clondalkin visit Milltown House.

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