Thursday 19 September 2019

Leinster Club Rugby: Martin seals key victory

(stock image)
(stock image)

Dermot O'Mahony

Ashbourne travelled to Gorey on Saturday for a rearranged Leinster League Division 1A fixture and returned home from Clonattin with a maximum haul of points as they beat their hosts 27-18, scoring four tries.

As a result, they have joined leaders De La Salle Palmerston at the summit on 14 points but are edged out of the top spot on points difference by the south county Dubliners.

The visitors led 15-13 at half-time as each side scored a pair of tries, the hosts through centre Eoin Walsh and prop forward James Mulligan, while the Co Meath club was awarded a penalty try and scrum-half Gavin Kennedy also dotted down on the stroke of half-time.

Ashbourne's second-row forward Joey Szpara and Gorey full-back David Shannon exchanged tries in the third quarter before centre Adam Martin, with a great solo effort five minutes from the end, sealed the victory as well as the bonus point for the visitors.

This catch-up game was the only game across the five divisions of the Leinster League last weekend but there is a full programme of games slated for this evening, tomorrow and Sunday.

And tomorrow it's a top-of-the-table clash in Division 1A when De La Salle Palmerston hosts Ashbourne at Kirwan Park in a battle between the only unbeaten teams in the league.

Third-placed Wicklow are enjoying their debut season in the top flight and they will be tested to the hilt when they welcome arch rivals Enniscorthy to Ashtown Lane. There is a Louth derby in Shamrock Lodge where Dundalk are the visitors to Boyne, while basement side Monkstown try for their maiden victory at home against Gorey.

Tullow are the early pacesetters in Division 1B with a 100pc record after two games and on Sunday they will enjoy home advantage in Black Gates against North Kildare.

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Newly-promoted Longford are a point adrift of the leaders having also won their opening two games and they will entertain Clondalkin at CPL Park on Sunday.

Elsewhere in Division 1B, bottom side Portlaoise host Kilkenny in Togher and this evening in Ashbrook there is a Dublin derby between Coolmine and visitors Suttonians.

Cill Dara are top of an extremely tight Division 2A and on Sunday the Kildare town club travels to Allianz Park Southknock to play New Ross, while second-placed Co Carlow are also on the road when they visit Edenderry in Carbury.

Railway Union are at home in Park Avenue against pointless Portarlington on Sunday and tomorrow evening Mullingar travel to Rosetown to take on Newbridge.

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