Doyle heroics ensure cup returns to Enniscorthy
Enniscorthy won their seventh Bank of Ireland Provincial Towns Cup when they beat holders Tullow 20-13 before a full house at Wicklow Rugby Club on Sunday afternoon.
Enniscorthy were rewarded for their early pressure as tries from wingers David O'Dwyer and Ivan Jacob, along with out-half Ivan Poole's penalty goal and conversion, had the Wexford club leading comfortably as the interval approached.
However, prop Scott Caldbeck gave Tullow hope with a try at the foot of the post that out-half Willie Canavan converted to leave the score 15-7 at the break.
After withstanding long bouts of pressure and despite having a player in the bin, Canavan slotted over two penalty goals to reduce the deficit to two points before No 8 Nick Doyle dotted down for a crucial Enniscorthy try with five minutes remaining.
Despite working their way deep inside opposition territory Tullow ran out of time to rescue the game and at the final whistle Enniscorthy had won the fabled jug for the third time in seven seasons.
The day before Ashbourne lost 29-19 at home in Milltown House against Ballina in the final series of games in the AIL Round Robin, a result that means the Meath club failed to gain promotion to the Ulster Bank League.
Ballina are promoted to Division 2C of the AIL and they replace Bective Rangers who are relegated to the Leinster League and will line up next season in Division 1A.
The fallout for Leinster League clubs from Bective Rangers' relegation and Ashbourne's failure to gain promotion is that the winners of the four divisional play-offs will all play in the lower divisions next season; Suttonians will play in Division 1B, Clondalkin drop into 2A, Athy remain in 2B and Roscrea will be down in Division 3.
Division 1A Winners - Ashbourne Runners-up - Enniscorthy Relegated - Monkstown & De La Salle Palmerston
Division 1B Winners - Kilkenny Runners-up - Suttonians (not promoted) Relegated - Clondalkin and Portlaoise
Division 2A Winners - Co Carlow Runners-up - Railway Union (not promoted) Relegated - Edenderry and Portarlington
Division 2B Winners - Wexford Wanderers Runners-up - Athy (not promoted) Relegated - Roscrea and North Meath
Division 3 Winners - Garda Runners-up - Ardee (not promoted)