Enniscorthy avoid upset
Monkstown 18 Enniscorthy 33
Enniscorthy had to battle hard for this Leinster League Division 1A victory over bottom-placed Monkstown in Dublin on Saturday.
With 20 minutes to go the home side led by three points and an upset looked likely, but Enniscorthy played their best rugby in the fourth quarter, scoring three tries to secure a bonus point win.
The game was only on five minutes when wing Ivan Jacob gathered a loose ball and ran almost the length of the pitch to score near the left corner. Unfortunately for the visitors, that was as good as it got for most of the first-half as Monkstown were dominant.
They scored two tries and were good value for their 12-5 lead.
On 38 minutes Enniscorthy struck again when out-half Ivan Poole chipped through near the opposition line for scrum-half Arthur Dunne to dive on for a try under the posts. Ivan Poole's conversation levelled matters.
When Nick Doyle replaced the injured Glen Deacon before half-time, Enniscorthy's pack got the boost it needed.
Their line-out began to function at last, and Doyle has a fine game in the loose. Although only on the pitch for 50 minutes, he was a serious contender for man of the match.
On the hour mark Monkstown scored a penalty to put them ahead again. This seemed to spark life into the Wexford men.
With their pack now in control, they began to attack the hosts' line. After a quick ball from a ruck on the right side, Ivan Poole skipped a pass to Ivan Jacob who joined the line.
His long pass found left wing David O'Dwyer who dived over in the left corner. Poole converted from the touchline.
Two minutes later centre Hughie O'Neill was yellow carded for a ruck infringement and Monkstown scored from the resultant penalty.
With 15 minutes left Enniscorthy began to pile on the pressure with some big carries from Tom Ryan, Jim White and Nick Doyle.
Arthur Dunne found a gap off the back of a ruck and raced over from ten metres for their fourth try. Minutes later captain Ivan Poole scored their fifth try with a wonderful break near the opposition line.
This bonus point win still leaves them three behind league leaders Ashbourne with two matches to go.
Next week is a free week for the team, with the seconds playing in the cup away to Carlow on Sunday. The seconds defeated Monkstown 48-14 in Dublin on Saturday.
Enniscorthy: Angelo Todisco, David Murphy, Paddy Waters, Joe Carley, Glen Deacon, Tom Ryan, Jim White, Timmy Morrissey, Arthur Dunne, Ivan Poole (capt.), David O'Dwyer, Hughie O'Neill, Daniel Pim, Ivan Jacob, Richard Dunne. Subs. - Nick Doyle for Deacon (30), John Daly for Morrissey (65), Jack Kelly for Jacob (70), Anthony White for Waters (75), Tom Farrar for Todisco (75).
Wanderers enjoy five-point league lead
WEXFORD WANDERERS 31, BIRR 12: Wexford Wanderers returned their focus to the Leinster League on Sunday following their defeat the previous week in round two of the Provincial Towns Cup to Tullow.
The first XV Senior men travelled to Birr in one of their final showdowns of the season and came home with a near certainty of silverware.
Despite Birr being one of the coldest towns in Ireland, Wexford didn't take long to warm up and racked up three converted tries in the first 30 minutes, wilfully provided by Colm O Corcora, Alex Ryan and Darragh Kehoe.
The kicks were followed through by the talented boot of Richie Waters.
Birr responded with a converted try, but the formidable Corey Carty showed his optimum form in the second-half, landing himself twice on the other side of the try line. Both attempts remained unconverted, bringing the score to 31-5.
With the bonus point in the bag, Wexford eased off just enough to let Birr in one more time, ending the game with a comfortable 31-12 victory and, more importantly, with a five-point lead at the top of the league table.
Meanwhile, the Wexford Vixens suffered an unfortunate loss at home to Wanderers.
An early break from the Wanderers scrum-half left them 7-0 ahead, but tight defence on both sides left the score unchanged for most of the game.
The final 15 minutes brought two more successful tries for Wanderers, but a very late try for Wexford's Cat Ryan reflected in some small way the mammoth effort of the home side. The game ended Wanderers 17, Wexford Vixens 5.
Wexford Senior men face North Meath at Park Lane next Sunday, February 25, kicking off at 3 p.m., while the Vixens will face off to Dublin University away at 11.30 a.m.