Monday 26 February 2018

Royals' rally stuns Dundalk

Leinster club rugby

Ashbourne trailed Dundalk by 20 points with less than ten minutes to play at Mill Road but scored three converted tries to head home with a maximum haul of five points. Photo: Getty Stock
Ashbourne trailed Dundalk by 20 points with less than ten minutes to play at Mill Road but scored three converted tries to head home with a maximum haul of five points. Photo: Getty Stock

Dermot O'Mahony

De La Salle Palmerston maintained their position at the top of Leinster League Division 1A on Saturday with a third straight victory but the result of the day was Ashbourne's stunning 33-32 extraordinary late comeback win in Dundalk, a result that preserves the Co Meath club's unbeaten start.

Ashbourne trailed Dundalk by 20 points with less than ten minutes to play at Mill Road but stunned their hosts with a barnstorming finish that yielded three converted tries to head home with a maximum haul of five points.

Flank forward Seán McKeon scored the visitors' only try of the opening period as they trailed 10-5 at the interval and despite replacement prop Ciarán Roche's try midway through the second half, it looked like a bad day at the office for Ashbourne when Dundalk scored their fourth try for a 32-12 lead with ten minutes to play.

But Ashbourne astounded all present (as well as those following on social media) as firstly prop forward Alan Wall, then centre Adam Martin and finally in injury time No 8 Jake Wall scored tries, all three of which scrum-half Gavin Kennedy converted to steal the precious points from under the noses of their hosts.

Ashbourne lie in third place but have played a game less than the duo ahead of them and tomorrow they have a rearranged fixture away in Clonattin against Gorey as they attempt to nudge De La Salle off the top perch.

The Kilternan-based club won their third game in a row but had to rely on a late try scored by No 8 Sam Blair to win 13-6 away in Sydney Parade against winless Monkstown and now lead second-placed Wicklow by four points.

Last season's Division 1B winners have recovered from their narrow opening day loss away to the leaders by toughing out a hard earned 17-7 win in Gorey.

After commencing their campaign with a pair of losses, Enniscorthy got off the mark when they bagged six tries in emphatically beating visitors Boyne 36-0 at home in Ross Road.

Out-half Killian Lett and winger Ivan Jacob notched a pair of touchdowns apiece while No 8 Nick Doyle and winger David O'Dwyer each scored a try as the hosts built on a 17-0 interval lead to romp home in style.

Tullow are the early pacesetters in Division 1B as they made it two wins from two in beating Suttonians 36-24 at home in Black Gates and gleaned their second bonus point en route.

A point adrift in second place are Longford who won a dramatic contest against Kilkenny 33-30 away in Foulkstown with a last-minute try, while there were also first wins for Coolmine and North Kildare.

Cill Dara lead a tightly-packed race in Division 2A.

Irish Independent

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