Enniscorthy close gap on leaders
Leinster club rugby
Last Saturday witnessed the final piece of action in Division 1A of the Leinster League ahead of the Christmas break and there were two results that vied for the lead story - Enniscorthy's top-of-the-table victory over leaders Ashbourne and Monkstown's first win of the campaign against Wicklow.
Monkstown had to wait until the ninth game before tasting victory and while many will see it as too little, too late, the Dublin 4 club has been threatening this triumph for some weeks now.
There is no doubt that this is the most competitive Division 1A in some years with every team capable of beating any other team on any given day, something that wasn't always the case in recent seasons.
Enniscorthy have recovered from losing their opening two games to go on a seven-game winning streak that was solidified with an impressive 18-13 win at home in Ross Road that reduced the gap to Ashbourne down to three points.
The home side edged a tight first half 6-3 but the key score arrived shortly after the resumption when impressive winger Dave O'Dwyer scored a try in the left corner.
Soon after flank forward Jim White benefited from an Ashbourne fielding error to establish a lead that the home side was able to withstand despite an injury-time penalty try awarded to the visitors.
Tomorrow Ashbourne, the holders and the only remaining Leinster club left in the competition, will be in All-Ireland Junior Cup action when they host Ballina in a semi-final at Milltown House.
Monkstown beat Wicklow 11-8 at home in Sydney Parade scoring all their points in the first half via an early try dotted down by winger Bill Connors and a pair of penalty goals by out-half Bill Duggan.
The hosts then had to survive a second-half onslaught from the visitors that only yielded a try from winger Dean Leonard before they could celebrate their first victory of the season, albeit they still trail seventh-placed Wicklow by a whopping 13 points.
Dundalk remain in serious contention in third place after No 8 David Whately grabbed a last minute try to snatch a 25-22 away win against De La Salle Palmerston at Kirwan Park to move within five points of the leaders.