Enniscorthy advance in Irish Junior Cup
Enniscorthy kept their unbeaten run this season intact when they beat fellow Division 1A side Ashbourne 32-30 in Ross Road on Saturday to qualify for the Irish Junior Cup semi-final.
Enniscorthy 32 Ashbourne 20
It was a competitive match with some terrific scores on a good pitch but it was bitterly cold. Enniscorthy rested a few players and had a new half-back pairing of Jack Kelly and Arthur Dunne who both did well.
Seán Kent had an early penalty opportunity for the visitors but he pulled the ball to the left.
Enniscorthy scored the first of their five tries five minutes in. They won a line-out on the Ashbourne '22 and created a maul which was controlled by Tom Ryan at the back, and he moved it to Jack Kelly who broke through the cover before his switch pass sent full-back Ross Barbour in under the posts. Ivan Poole converted.
Ten minutes later the second try came and it was a superb team effort. Again Ross Barbour was involved twice after Arthur Dunne made an excellent break and set Jack Kelly free. He had Ross Barbour in support and Barbour exchanged passes with Hughie O'Neill before Arthur Dunne was on hand to finish again under the posts. Poole added the conversion.
It was all Enniscorthy and Poole added a penalty for a 17-point lead after 20 minutes.
It looked ominous for the visitors but to be fair they responded with three Seán Kent penalty kicks to reduce the lead to 17-9 at the interval.
There was no doubt that Ashbourne were in the ascendency at the end of the first-half, but crucially five minutes into the re-start Enniscorthy scored their third try. Timmy Morrissey did fine work in turning over an opposition ball and he slipped it to left wing David O'Dwyer on the halfway line who still had work to do, but he beat the cover to score in the corner. The conversion was missed.
Ashbourne refused to lie down and Kent added two further penalties. Enniscorthy made a few changes and introduced the Lett brothers who were quickly involved as Killian made the space for the most popular touchdown of the day when Angelo Todisco scored.
That scored pushed the lead out to 27-15 but the best wine came last when again full-back Ross Barbour was very much involved. Evan Lett broke through and when tackled he set Barbour free down the right. When stopped, Barbour popped the ball off to Hughie O'Neill who was flying outside him and he wasn't stopped.
Ashbourne did get a consolation try at the end with number 8 Simon Deevy touching down. Enniscorthy were best served by Greg Jacob, Paddy Waters, Angleo Todisco, Joe Bulmer, Arthur Dunne, David O'Dwyer, Hughie O'Neill and Ross Barbour who is playing out of his skin this season.
The semi-final draw will be made this week and Bangor, Instonians, Clogher Valley and Enniscorthy are the four participants. The semi-final is scheduled to take place on December 12.
Team: Paddy Waters, Davy Murphy, Angelo Todisco, Johnny Leech, Joseph Bulmer, Greg Jacob, Tom Ryan (Peadar O'Mahoney, 60), Timmy Morrissey (John Daly, 60), Arthur Dunne (Evan Lett, 65), Jack Kelly (Killian Lett, 65), Ivan Poole, Damian McCabe, Hughie O'Neill, David O'Dwyer, Ross Barbour.
The next match is in Division 1A on Saturday, November 27, versus Monkstown at Ross Road at 2.30 p.m.