Sunday 20 January 2019

Tullow and Enniscorthy set for Towns Cup showdown

Stock photo: Sportsfile
Stock photo: Sportsfile

Dermot O’Mahony

The blue-riband event of the Leinster club rugby season takes place in Wicklow Rugby Club's grounds in Ashtown Lane on Sunday when holders Tullow lock horns with seven-time winners Enniscorthy in the 93rd Bank of Ireland Provincial Towns Cup final.

For the first time the final will be broadcast live on TV with eir Sport airing it at 4.15; and it will also be available free-to-air on the Bank of Ireland Facebook page.

After a successful semi-final double-header in Cill Dara Rugby Club last Sunday week in which Tullow defended superbly before they got past Wicklow and then Enniscorthy convincingly beat Ashbourne, the stage is set for an entertaining finale to the 2017-2018 club rugby season.

Ashbourne's dreams of playing in the Ulster Bank League next season are receding following their 55-26 defeat away to Bandon in the AIL round-robin and to have any hope they must win their final game at home in Milltown House against leaders Ballina tomorrow and hope that Instonians upset Bandon in Cork.

Should Ashbourne fail to gain promotion to the AIL, the knock-on effect would be felt by the four clubs that won the divisional promotion/relegation play-offs in the Leinster League and who would now play in the lower divisions.

Suttonians would remain in Division 1B, Clondalkin would be relegated to Division 2A, Athy would remain in Division 2B, while Roscrea would be relegated to Division 3.

Wanderers had reason to celebrate on Friday night as their 2nd XV won the Albert O'Connell Cup (J2) for the first time in more than 50 years when they beat Clontarf 23-16 at Donnybrook.

Dublin University won the All-Ireland U-20 Fraser McMullen Trophy on Sunday when they beat Clontarf 41-21 at Merrion Road, while the same afternoon Old Belvedere beat Navan 15-3 in Donnybrook to win the Purcell Cup, the second-tier U-20 Cup in Leinster.

The main U-20 Cup, the McCorry Cup, has reached the penultimate round and in Sunday's semi-finals Terenure play Clontarf in Parsonstown while in Lakelands MU Barnhall take on UCD.

The Harry Gale Cup final, which is the third U-20 Cup, is down for decision on Sunday when Bective are up against Tullamore in North Kildare.

Edenderry is the venue for the Provincial Towns Plate final which is also on Sunday and features Longford against Naas, while the Seconds Plate between Ashbourne and Enniscorthy will most likely be played in the middle of next week.

Another final not fixed at the time of writing is the Provincial Towns Seconds Cup between Gorey and Tullow, and that's likely to go ahead before the May Bank Holiday.

Suttonians  match to raise funds for CRY

Suttonians RFC will once again host the annual charity match on Friday next, May 4 (7.30pm) in aid of CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) which is played between a Suttonians Presidents XV and a St Fintan's Past Pupils XV.

The game is played in memory of St Fintan's past pupil, Suttonians /UCD player and former Leinster U-18 Youths player Eoin Fennessy who died of SADS in December 2013 aged 31.

This year St Fintan's will be able to call on a host of players from their SCT of last season which came so close to causing a massive upset on their debut in the first round of the Senior Cup. The school continues to play at the highest level in Leinster and qualified for the Cup again this season losing to St Gerard's in the first round. They went on to capture the Leinster Schools Senior Plate just before Easter, beating Pres Bray 8-5 in the final .

Commenting on the game, St Fintan's director of rugby and SCT head coach Bru Amerlynck said that the game will "showcase the best young talent coming through from the school over the last few years as well as bringing the local rugby community together to raise funds for a great cause and celebrating Eoin's memory."

He added that 'the fixture is indicative of the strong relationship between Suttonians and St Fintan's, one that both sides can benefit from moving forward'. Anyone who would like to donate a prize for the raffle is asked to contact the school or CRY directly.

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