Thursday 5 December 2019

Dundalk enjoy Coolmine cruise to maintain lead 39-0

Stephen McGee, Dundalk RFC, pictured getting tackled by Mick Brazil, Tullamore RFC, scored first-half tries that helped the visitors into a 15-0 lead at half time against Coolmine (Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE)
Stephen McGee, Dundalk RFC, pictured getting tackled by Mick Brazil, Tullamore RFC, scored first-half tries that helped the visitors into a 15-0 lead at half time against Coolmine (Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE)

Dundalk and Enniscorthy have turned Division 1A of the Leinster League into a two-horse race as they continued their winning ways on Saturday - a day in which all four games were won by the away teams.

Dundalk travelled to Ashbrook and comprehensively beat Coolmine 39-0 to stretch their lead over their county Wexford pursuers to five points and at the same time condemned their hosts to the basement slot.

Full-back Stephen McGee and wing-forward James McConnon scored first-half tries that helped the visitors into a 15-0 lead at half time.

Capped

After the break touchdowns from No 8 Ene Fa'Atau and centre MJ McKevitt secured the bonus point before prop Johnny Gray capped off a fine team performance with a pair of late tries.

Because of the intense flooding in the south east and in particular around the town where the Slaney burst its banks, Enniscorthy's game was changed at the 11th hour to Ashbourne.

This was a rematch of last season's Provincial Towns Cup semi-final when Ashbourne surprised Enniscorthy with a two-point victory and the Meath side proved every bit as stubborn on Saturday, leading early on and shading the set-pieces before out half Ivan Poole levelled matters at 3-3 with a penalty just before half time.

The visitors took charge after the break but it was a surprise that Poole's second penalty 15 minutes into the second half turned out to be the winning score as Enniscorthy hung tough for a 6-3 victory.

Monkstown also had a narrow low-scoring victory to savour as their 9-6 win at JJ McDowell grounds over Suttonians lifted the Dublin 4 club up to third place.

Centre Cillian McDonagh booted all the points for the visitors and it was his third penalty ten minutes into the second half which broke a 6-6 interval tie and delivered the precious win for Monkstown in what is effectively a six-team scramble to escape the relegation zone.

Clondalkin emerged from Cill Dara with maximum points in a topsy-turvy 32-25 victory in another game that went right down to the wire.

Full-back Barry Molloy kept the west Dublin side in touch at the break as the Kildare town club led 11-10.

However, after conceding an early try on the resumption the visitors rattled off 22 consecutive points in a stunning blitz that included a brace tries from out-half Chris Jebb sandwiched around scrum-half Mikey Russell's touchdown.

The All-Ireland Junior Cup takes centre stage tomorrow and three Leinster clubs are in quarter final action: Dundalk travel to Newcastle West in county Limerick, defending champions Enniscorthy also face into a long journey to county Down to face Bangor, while Coolmine will enjoy home advantage against CIYMS from Belfast.

There is Leinster League action on Sunday with Division 1B leaders Gorey at home in Clonattin to bottom club Co Carlow, Division 2A pacesetters Mullingar travel to Westmanstown to tackle basement boys Garda.

There's a top-of-the-table clash in Division 2B where kingpins Edenderry are away at Townspark against Athboy and Division 3 table toppers Balbriggan are in Moate to play Midland Warriors.

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