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Sunday 24 March 2019

Champions cruise

Rugby: Enniscorthy 26 Gorey 0

The Enniscorthy squad after the presentation of the Leinster League trophy.
The Enniscorthy squad after the presentation of the Leinster League trophy.

This local derby and final Leinster League Division 1A game of the season between Gorey and Enniscorthy was diluted by the fact that there was nothing at stake.

As a result it didn't have its usual bite because the home team had already won the league, and Gorey were certain of finishing in the top four.

Gorey are away to Ashbourne on St. Patrick's Day in the Provincial Towns Cup quarter-final, and their team selection on Saturday suggested that they had their eye on next weekend.

Stephen Gardiner, Jordan Ahern, James Nolan and Stephen Horan were all rested, whilst Enniscorthy started 19-year-old Stephen Hadley in the second row and another 19-year-old, Adam Gethings, got a run on the right wing.

It did take Enniscorthy a while to click into gear, but when they did they scored their opening try after 20 minutes when Killian Lett finished off a slick passing move to cross the line at the town side just right of the post. This handed Ivan Poole an easy conversion and a seven-point lead.

Enniscorthy dominated on the possession graph but were sloppy, spilling and knocking on a lot of ball.

Gorey finished the first-half strongly and young Henry Kennedy almost got in to score in the right corner but was bundled into touch as referee Sam Holt blew the interval whistle.

Enniscorthy did dominate the second-half and, ten minutes in, Timmy Morrissey finished off a driving maul to score and Ivan Poole added the conversion to stretch the lead to 14 points.

Ten minutes later an excellent swift ball from Poole found its way to David O'Dwyer, and the experienced winger touched down for the third try at a time when Gorey had two players in the sin-bin. The conversion was missed.

Gorey did almost score themselves ten minutes from the end after good combination play between backs and forwards presented Tom Jameson with a chance, but the Enniscorthy defence were in a mean mood.

The fourth and bonus point try came almost at the end when Ivan Poole made a superb break and a clever off-load sent Daniel Pim into space.

His deft left-footed kick bounced kindly for Ivan Jacob to keep his record of scoring a try in every game this season intact. Ivan Poole kicked the conversion for a 26-point win.

Leinster Rugby President Lorcan Balfe was on hand to present the Eddie Egan Cup to captain Tom Ryan in front of a terrific large home crowd.

Enniscorthy finished the season with 61 points which is one of the highest-ever tallies recorded in winning the Leinster League, and they now have a heavy schedule ahead of them in the next month.

Next weekend they continue the defence of the Provincial Towns Cup with a home game against Tullamore on St. Patrick's Day, and then they face into the round robin series as they travel to play the Ulster champions, Ballyclare, on March 30.

They face Munster champions Clonmel on April 6, and the final match is on April 13 away to Connemara.

'I am delighted for the players and of course our coaches, Kieron (Hurrell) and Declan (O'Brien), as the group have put in a brilliant effort to secure the league which we last won in 2016,' manager David Wrafter said.

'The players now have a chance of making history for themselves and the club as they take to the road to try to secure Senior status for the very first time ever.

'I know the match against our great friends Gorey wasn't that important apart from the bragging rights. Nevertheless, we produced some special moments.'

Enniscorthy: Angelo Todisco (Conal Kavanagh, 70), Davy Murphy, Paddy Waters, Timmy Morrissey, Stephen Hadley, Tom Ryan (capt.), Brian Bolger (Alan Jacob, 60), Nick Doyle, Arthur Dunne (Billy Wickham, 70), Ivan Poole, Killian Lett, Daniel Pim, David O'Dwyer, Adam Gethings (Ivan Jacob, 60), Richard Dunne.

Scorers: Killian Lett, Timmy Morrissey, David O'Dwyer, Ivan Jacob (one try each), Ivan Poole (three conversions).

Gorey: Ciarán Allen, Barry O'Connor, Kevin Browne, Tom Jameson, Killian Breen, Podge O'Leary, Stanley Hadden, Rob Harrington, Stephen Duke, Joe Naughton, James O'Neill, Jason Rothwell, Henry Kennedy, Michael Duke. Subs. Used - Stephen Horan, Lloyd Stephens, Seamus Tomkins.

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