| 15.8°C Dublin

Derek Williams leads the way as Dundalk take command


With the Bank of Ireland Provincial Towns Cup looming on the horizon this coming weekend, Dundalk inched a point further clear of chasing Enniscorthy as a result of last weekend's games in Division 1A, while Kilkenny won the top-of-the-table Division 1B clash with Gorey and Edenderry secured the Division 2B title.

Dundalk beat Monkstown 37-8 at home in Mill Road to open up a four-point advantage at the top of the table with three games to play as tries from out-half Jonathan Williams, who bagged two, centre Michael John McKevitt, scrum-half Thomas Campbell and replacement centre Derek Williams ensured the win.

Enniscorthy came from behind at half-time to eventually beat bottom-of-the-table Coolmine 27-15 at home in Ross Road but scoring only three tries via winger Paul Bolger, who notched a pair, and lock forward Tomas Stamp meant the county Wexford club lost a crucial point in the championship race.

At the other end of the table, Suttonians were surprising 27-15 winners away to Clondalkin and the four-try bonus point achieved with the last play of the game moved them within touching distance of safety.

The northside Dubliners have moved six points clear of Coolmine, and are now a mere point behind Clondalkin and Cill Dara, the Kildare town club having been beaten 39-7 away to Ashbourne, whose place in Division 1A looks more secure for next season.

Kilkenny beat long-time leaders Gorey 9-6 at home in Foulkstown in Division 1B and are now three points clear of Malahide, who have jumped into second place following their 62-7 home win over bottom of the table Newbridge.

With two games remainin,g it's still all to play for but the late come-from-behind victory for the Noresiders could prove to be the pivotal result in deciding the destination of the title.

North Kildare continue to lead Division 2A by three points following their 17-11 home victory against Portarlington, while their nearest challengers Mullingar beat New Ross 10-5.

Edenderry sealed the Division 2B title when they beat second-placed Athboy at home in Carbury with tries from flank forward Evan Murphy, winger Jason Moore, out-half Andrew Munnelly and replacement centre Adrian Smith ensuring a 30-10 victory.

Edenderry host Enniscorthy in the first round of the Bank of Ireland Provincial Towns Cup on Sunday and they will be licking their lips at the prospect of an upset over the 2012 winners.

This is one of the standout ties of the opening round as the 90th renewal of the venerable old trophy commences with 11 matches across the province.

Games include the local derby between New Ross and Wexford Wanderers, while potential Division 1A casualties Cill Dara travel to Tullow and Clondalkin head to Boyne.

The unknown form of AIL 2nd XV's such as Naas, who host Portarlington, and Navan, who entertain Athy, add further intrigue to the programme - as does the minnows hoping for the chance to slay a Goliath when Midland Warriors welcome Wicklow to Moate.

The draw for the second round will take shortly after the Longford v North Kildare clash in CPL Park, with 5:0 set as the provisional time.

In the most wide open Towns Cup for years I'm going to go for a Division 1B winner for the second year in a row - my Cup tip is Wicklow.

Irish Independent