Sunday 20 October 2019

Enniscorthy in last four

Rugby: Enniscorthy 23 Dundalk 18

Enniscorthy’s Hughie O’Neill delivering a pass during Saturday’s success
Enniscorthy’s Hughie O’Neill delivering a pass during Saturday’s success

Enniscorthy had to work hard for this win at the Ross Road on Saturday which gives them an All-Ireland Junior Cup semi-final spot next month.

By and large it was an entertaining game where both teams spread the ball. Dundalk had a big, physical side but they were caught out wide twice in the second-half when Enniscorthy scored two of their tries. This was the difference.

Dundalk dominated early proceedings and their scrum-half, Conroy, kicked an early penalty. Out-half Jack Kelly kicked a penalty soon after to level matters.

But the visitors continue to dominate and scored an excellent try through their centre, Steen, which was converted.

They should have scored again on the 20-minute mark but failed to hold the pass. They did, however, kick a further penalty five minutes later which put them ten points ahead.

With lock Joe Carley now back on the pitch after a yellow card, and the introduction of Angelo Todisco and Davy Murphy, the home scrum began to settle.

After a penalty scrum near the line, centre Killian Lett off-loaded to Jack Kelly who dived over. His conversion was just wide and this left Enniscorthy trailing by 13-8 at the break.

Enniscorthy came out a different team after the interval and scored three tries within twelve minutes.

Tight head Paddy Waters was at the end of a well-executed line maul to score in the left corner.

They were now on the front foot, led by some excellent charges up the middle from captain Tom Ryan.

Slick passing found number 8 Nick Doyle on the wing and he sprinted 30 metres to score a wonderful try in the right corner.

Three minutes later they attacked down the left flank, and full-back Richie Dunne came into the line to pass to wing David O'Dwyer who dived over in the left corner.

Enniscorthy were now ten points ahead (none of the four tries were converted) and really should have driven on further.

With 15 minutes remaining and Dundalk coming back into the game, they scored a try in the right corner to set up a tight finish.

With less than ten minutes left, Killian Lett was harshly yellow-carded for a supposed high tackle. Enniscorthy held out although the Dundalk prop, Farrell, should have scored when he dropped the ball in a tackle near the line.

Next week it is back to the league when Enniscorthy travel to Gorey for a top of the table clash. Enniscorthy will need to be more clinical if they are to win this one. They expect to have some more of their squad back for this vtal tie.

Enniscorthy: James Doyle, Murt Kehoe, Paddy Waters, Tomás Stamp, Joe Carley, Tom Ryan (capt.), Liam Stamp, Nick Doyle, Arthur Dunne, Jack Kelly, David O'Dwyer, Killian Lett, Hughie O'Neill, Ivan Jacob, Richard Dunne. Subs. - David Murphy for Kehoe (35), Angelo Todisco for J. Doyle (35), Daniel Pim for Jacob (65), Billy Wickham, Andrew Redmond.

Wexford People