Monday 16 September 2019

Comeback win keeps unbeaten record intact

Leinster's Jonathan Sexton, right, Luke Fitzgerald, left, and Sean Cronin during squad training. Rosemount, UCD, Belfield, Dublin
Leinster's Jonathan Sexton, right, Luke Fitzgerald, left, and Sean Cronin during squad training. Rosemount, UCD, Belfield, Dublin

Dermot O'Mahony

Enniscorthy maintained their unbeaten start to Division 1A of the Leinster League when they travelled to Kirwan Park in Kilternan on Saturday and came from behind to beat second-placed De La Salle Palmerston 21-14.

On a day when you wouldn't put the cat out, both sides overcame the wet and slippery conditions to put on an entertaining show for the large attendance.

Out-half Ross O'Shaughnessy and No 8 Josh Eden-Whaitiri scored first-half tries for the home side that edged them 14-8 ahead at the break with scrum-half Evan Lett dotting down in between for the visitors.

The boot of out-half Ivan Poole kept the league leaders in touch but they still trailed by three points entering the final 10 minutes.

Another Poole penalty levelled matters before centre Hugh O'Neill scored the late winning try after an exchange of passes with fullback Ross Barbour that sealed Enniscorthy's sixth win from six attempts.

Gorey are back up to second place, five points behind Enniscorthy, after impressively seeing off the challenge of Kilkenny 24-6 at home in Clonattin.

Centre Andrew Holland scored the opening try after five minutes and the hosts were firmly in charge by the interval as they led 17-3 thanks to further touchdowns from No 8 Jordan Ahern and winger Andrew Walsh.

Despite spirited resistance after the break from the visitors, the bonus point eventually arrived via a penalty try five minutes from the end.

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Ashbourne lie in fourth place, a point behind De La Salle Palmerston after their 24-11 victory at home in Milltown House against Clondalkin and it was the reliable boot of out-half Donal Crotty that steered the Meath side home, as his eight penalty goals helped deliver the four points.

Monkstown made it three out of four for the home clubs in Division 1A when they moved up to fifth place after bagging five tries in beating bottom team Suttonians 39-25 at Sydney Parade.

Centre Bill Duggan added a five-pointer to an earlier penalty try as the Dublin 4 club led 14-6 at half-time and despite a fightback by the northsiders on the resumption, when they pulled to within four points at one stage, late tries from replacement fullback Mick Nevin, who netted a pair, and flanker Rodrigo Stuven, ensured the Monkstown win.

North Kildare lead Malahide by a point in Division 1B as both clubs enjoyed bonus-point wins away at Cill Dara and Coolmine respectively over the weekend.

Co Carlow have vaulted to the top of Division 2A after a 20-5 win at bottom side Athboy. The former AIL club lead Portarlington by a point with Portlaoise another point further back.

Tomorrow, the focus switches to the All Ireland Junior Cup where the clash of the day in the second round is the visit of Ashbourne to Enniscorthy.

The 2014 Towns Cup winners have rediscovered their mojo of late and will hope to improve on their early season 38-3 defeat on their last visit to Ross Road. It won't be easy though, as their successors as Bank of Ireland Towns champions have turned the venue in to an almost impregnable fortress over the last few years.

Monkstown are the other Leinster team in Junior Cup action tomorrow and they face a daunting trip to Bangor to take on last year's runners-up, who are the current Ulster Kukri Qualifying League 1 leaders.

Irish Independent

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