Enniscorthy must win by eight points for title
Enniscorthy knew they had to deliver on Saturday in their postponed penultimate Leinster League Division 1A match.
Enniscorthy 52 Monkstown 24
League leaders Malahide were nine points clear of Enniscorthy and it was essential that the Slaneysiders could secure a bonus point win which they duly did.
The home team are fighting for their lives at the bottom of the table and they showed terrific courage right from the kick-off, scoring two early tries from Graham Murray and Chad Johnson which were converted by Eric Flynn.
Enniscorthy were on the back foot for the opening 15 minutes but eventually they settled and number 8 Nick Doyle, who had a superb afternoon, found a gap and sailed through to touch down for the first of his three tries.
Enniscorthy added a second try to close the gap. Killian Lett's long pass set Ivan Jacob free down the right wing, and he had Daniel Pim inside to score the second try under the posts. Ivan Poole added the conversion before Flynn kicked a penalty to push the score to 17-12.
Straight from the drop out Monkstown allowed the ball to bounce and Nick Doyle reacted quicker than anyone else. He raced 40 metres unopposed to score and draw the sides level at 17-17 at half-time.
Ross Barbour replaced David O'Dwyer at the break and his impact was almost instant. He was immediately involved in the opening move of the second-half, breaking through the centre and almost putting Ivan Jacob in for a score.
Five minutes later he was on the end of a fine team move to score the fourth try and earn a vital bonus point. Ivan Poole added the conversion.
The bonus point score did seem to relax Enniscorthy, with out-half Poole now pulling the strings. A kick through from Poole went off Mick Carroll straight across the pitch to Nick Doyle who took the ball on.
It was recycled and eventually Barbour scored his second try, with Poole again adding the conversion.
As the match entered the final quarter Poole again produced more magic with one of his trademark breaks, and he had David O'Dwyer in support to score under the posts.
O'Dwyer had come back on for the injured Ivan Jacob. Poole added the conversion for a 38-17 lead.
Monkstown didn't lie down and they made a rare visit inside the Enniscorthy '22 count with sustained pressure before Mick Carroll scored in the corner. Flynn kicked an excellent conversion from the touch line.
They came back looking for another score but Enniscorthy's defence held strong although Ross Barbour was red-carded for an indiscretion.
Although down to 14 men, Enniscorthy added two further tries, with Nick Doyle once again getting in on the act with another mazy run that spilt the home defence. Ivan Poole added the conversion.
There was to be one final act from the visitors when Daniel Pim pounced on a hesitant Monkstown scrum-half and raced clear of the cover to score the eighthtry.
He drop kicked the conversion to the sound of the final whistle at the end of an impressive performance and a 52-24 win.
Nick Doyle was excellent with the 20-year-old grabbing three tries. Greg Jacob, Tomás Stamp, Tom Ryan and Paddy Waters were the pick of the forwards, while Ivan Poole, Killian Lett, Daniel Pim and Ross Barbour were excellent. To be fair it was eventually an excellent all-round team effort.
This bonus point win now sets up a winner-takes-all contest this coming Sunday when the league leaders Malahide come to Ross Road (3 p.m.).
Enniscorthy must beat them by eight points to secure the league title.
Player-coach Joe Bulmer was pleased with the result. 'It has been a long season and when we got going today we were good.
'It is down to the wire now for the league and it won't be easy but we know we are good enough to beat Malahide.
'It would be fantastic to see a big crowd at Ross Road. We are hoping that the few niggling injuries we have will heal.
'We have to careful on Sunday not to push too hard. We have to be patient and calculated in our approach.
'We are already looking forward to the challenge.'
Hopefully a big local support will turn out on this most important day.
Team: Paddy Waters (James Doyle), Davy Murphy, Angelo Todisco (Tony White), Tomás Stamp (John Daly), Joe Bulmer, Tom Ryan, Greg Jacob, Nick Doyle (three tries), Evan Lett (Arthur Dunne), Ivan Poole, Hughie O'Neill, Daniel Pim (capt., two tries), Killian Lett, Ivan Jacob (David O'Dwyer, one try), David O'Dwyer (Ross Barbour, two tries).