Monday 22 January 2018

Malahide lay down marker

The Gorey v Ashbourne tie was postponed due to a bereavement in the host club and the game will now be played tomorrow fortnight in Clonattin. Stock image
The Gorey v Ashbourne tie was postponed due to a bereavement in the host club and the game will now be played tomorrow fortnight in Clonattin. Stock image

Dermot O'Mahony

On a weekend when last year's Leinster League winners Malahide sent out a shrill signal to all and sundry about their ambitious Ulster Bank League intentions by hammering Bective Rangers 55-7 at home in Estuary Road the Division 1A race to succeed them got underway with wins for Boyne, Dundalk and De La Salle Palmerston.

The Gorey v Ashbourne tie was postponed due to a bereavement in the host club and the game will now be played tomorrow fortnight in Clonattin.

In a league awash with so many uncertainties surrounding the potential of the eight combatants at the outset of proceedings, the opening skirmishes were always going to be watched avidly by all concerned to ascertain pointers that could be gleaned for future predictions.

Boyne, relegated from the AIL in April, made the most impressive opening-day statement as they stormed into Sydney Parade and routed Monkstown 42-3.

Full-back Eoghan Duffy scored the visitors' first-half try as they led 10-3 at the break, then four further tries via Adam Brodigan (two), Kevin McCleery and centre Brian Howell ensured the Drogheda club left Dublin 4 with a maximum five points.

Their county Louth neighbours Dundalk successfully negotiated a tricky trip to Ross Road as they came from behind at the interval to overcome Enniscorthy 24-14.

Out-half Gearóid McDonald's try helped to keep the visitors in touch as they trailed 14-10 at half-time but a pair of tries on the resumption by prop Johnny Grey and second-row Enda Murphy ensured Dundalk returned home with four points.

De La Salle Palmerston edged a strong finishing Wicklow side 29-26 at home in Kirwan Park with a brace of tries from centre James Weepener and another scored by Michael Nevin ensuring the hosts were in control 22-8 at the break.

Flanker Conor McDougal's touchdown early in the second half snared the bonus point before two late Wicklow tries set up a grandstand finish that had the visitors knocking on the home line as the final whistle sounded.

Tomorrow Dundalk host De La Salle Palmerston in Mill Road in the battle of two impressive opening-day winners. Boyne welcome Gorey to Shamrock Lodge as the county Wexford side make their belated seasonal debut. Ashbourne take on Enniscorthy in Milltown House while Wicklow and Monkstown will both endeavour to get off the mark when the Dubliners make the trip to Ashtown Lane.

Action in the remaining four divisions of the Leinster League gets underway on Sunday

Irish Independent

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