Enniscorthy flex muscles to move further clear at the summit
Enniscorthy resumed where they left off before the Christmas break with a 40-8 bonus-point win against champions Ashbourne at home in Ross Road on Saturday, a result that extended their Division 1A lead to 10 points.
These two sides also meet in the final of the All Ireland Junior Cup in two weeks' time and it is the Co Wexford club that will be in better shape when they lock horns in Edenderry, with both clubs trying to win the title for the third time.
Winger Ivan Jacob opened the scoring for the home side with a try midway through the first half which helped them into an 11-3 interval lead and despite playing the entire second half with 14 players, after a red card, they dominated their visitors.
Gorey remain in second place after their 20-15 win at home in Clonattin against Bective Rangers but their failure to pick up a bonus point meant they dropped a further point adrift of the leaders.
Hooker Ethan Badham scored an early try for the home club to which the visitors replied before the break, leaving the teams deadlocked at 7-7 at half-time.
It was the Dubliners who started the second half the brighter, establishing an eight-point lead approaching the hour mark before centre Andrew Walsh crossed for two final-quarter tries to snatch the win for Gorey.
Wicklow remain a point further back in third place after their last-play-of-the-game, 24-19 victory at home in Ashtown Lane against Dundalk.
Full-back Ben Porter scored the precious game-winning try minutes after the visitors had completed a stunning comeback with a penalty try to edge two points clear.
Kilkenny continued with their recent revival and their 47-21 win away in Shamrock Lodge over bottom-of-the-table Boyne was their fourth in the last five outings.
Tomorrow Enniscorthy are away in Donnybrook against Bective Rangers, Kilkenny host Gorey in Foulkstown, Wicklow are the visitors to Boyne and Ashbourne welcome Dundalk to Milltown House.