Sunday 18 February 2018

DLS bolt to top of table

De La Salle Palmerston have bolted to the top of the Leinster League Division 1A with a second consecutive bonus-point win while perennial title contenders Enniscorthy find themselves pointless and joined in the basement by Monkstown. Photo: Getty Stock
De La Salle Palmerston have bolted to the top of the Leinster League Division 1A with a second consecutive bonus-point win while perennial title contenders Enniscorthy find themselves pointless and joined in the basement by Monkstown. Photo: Getty Stock

Dermot O'Mahony

De La Salle Palmerston have bolted to the top of the Leinster League Division 1A with a second consecutive bonus-point win while perennial title contenders Enniscorthy find themselves pointless and joined in the basement by Monkstown.

The south county Dublin club raced into a 24-0 half-time lead en route to a 36-22 victory when they visited Dundalk on Saturday in a game where both sides bagged four-try bonus points.

No 8 Sam Blair, full-back Michael Nevin and centre James Wepener scored the tries that established control at the break for the visitors, and the bonus point was secured when Wepener touched down again on the resumption with winger Ross Duff completing their try-scoring before a flourish from the hosts.

Wicklow moved up to second place after their convincing 36-16 home win over Monkstown at Ashtown Lane in a performance that included wrapping up the four-try bonus point by half-time at which point they led 26-9.

Centre Ben Porter bagged a brace of tries in that dominant opening period during which winger Billy Ngawini and replacement winger Dean Leonard also dotted down. Leonard scored his second try late on as the hosts cruised to their first ever victory in Division 1A.

After sitting out the opening day, Gorey got off the mark in style when they won 34-18 away in Shamrock Lodge against Boyne.

The Wexford side led 17-6 at the interval helped by tries from lock forward Darragh O'Leary and winger Tommy New, and they kicked on after the break with three further five-pointers scored by prop forward William Rothwell, out-half Marty Swart and replacement scrum-half Stephen Horan.

Ashbourne also commenced their Division 1A campaign with a hard-earned 18-10 home victory at Milltown House against Enniscorthy with flanker Josef Szpara scoring their first-half try.

The crucial try in the second half was bagged by flanker Conor Hurley to give the home side the win ahead of their visit to Mill Road to face Dundalk tomorrow.

Leaders De La Salle Palmerston make the short trip to Sydney Parade for a Dublin derby with Monkstown, there's a South East derby in Clonattin when Gorey host Wicklow while Enniscorthy welcome Boyne to Ross Road.

On the opening day in Division 1B last Sunday there were bonus-point wins for Tullow away at Portlaoise (43-22), Longford at home to North Kildare (32-19) and Suttonians at home against Clondalkin (41-34).

This Sunday Tullow host Suttonians at Black Gates and the other opening day winners Kilkenny (23-11 at Coolmine) will enjoy the home comforts of Foulkstown when Longford come calling.

Irish Independent

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