Wednesday 13 December 2017

Clonmel to offer stiff test

Enniscorthy begin their A.I.L. round robin qualifier with an away trip to Clonmel next Saturday.

Clonmel had an impressive season, winning the Munster Junior League by securing eleven wins, just one loss and a drawn match.

Enniscorthy were equally impressive winning in Leinster, losing just two matches to Monkstown and Gorey. There is no question that the Wexford men's ability to score tries has been their biggest asset, and whilst it is acknowledged that their forwards might be light, they have a very effective back row led by Greg Jacob.

It is the back division led by Ivan Poole that has done most of the damage. Killian Lett has led by example and full-back Ross Barbour is playing out of his skin.

The Munster men played in last year's round robin and were beaten by Dundalk. They are coached by former Munster and Ireland back row forward, Denis Leamy. He had to retire from injury when he was just 30 in 2012 with a hip problem.

Since he has come to Clonmel they have dominated the Junior scene in Munster although they did lose the Junior Cup quarter-final last Sunday when beaten by Bandon at home 23-10.

Bandon actually finished runners-up to them in the League. They were impressive in their final league match, winning 34-6 against Muskerry.

Their tries were scored by Martin Corby, Luke Hogan, Martin Melburn and Tony Cantwell.

They are a well-drilled side with a very good front five and, although Munster teams are renowned for their forward power, Clonmel do like to run the ball and their haul of tries this year proves that.

Enniscorthy have two home matches to come against Westport and Bangor but this is the vital one as it appears that Clonmel and Enniscorthy are on paper the two strongest teams.

Enniscorthy have produced some Jekyl and Hyde performances this season and next Saturday they will have to be at their best to win this one. Kick-off is at 2.30 p.m.

Enniscorthy 24, Balbriggan 8: The seconds cup holders from Enniscorthy produced a winning performance against Balbriggan's first team on Saturday night in Ross Road.

It wasn't a perfect performance on a bitterly cold evening but they scored two superb tries.

Out-half Jack Kelly finished off a quick pass from Arthur Dunne while James Doyle added a second try, but the visitors replied with a try before the break.

Enniscorthy had enough in the tank and Jack Kelly added four penalty kicks to secure the win. They are away next Sunday to Cill Dara in the quarter-final.

Team: James Ruth, Peadar O'Mahoney , James Doyle, John Daly, Johnny Leech, Ronnie White, Cathal Mernagh, Adam Coppen, Arthur Dunne, Jack Kelly, Jim White, Fiacre Ryan, Nick Doyle, John Clare, Arron Coleman. Subs. used - David Shore, Ronan Doyle, Andrew Kelly, Tony White, Joe Carley.

Wexford People

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