Epic Enniscorthy reach fourth final in five years
Rugby: All-Ireland Junior Cup Semi-final
Enniscorthy qualified for their fourth final appearance in five years after a highly entertaining contest in Kilternan last Saturday.
Enniscorthy 34 De la Salle 26
It wasn't until man of the match flanker Tom Ryan barged over for a try in the 80th minute that the victory was secure.
This was a game that had everything, including nine quality tries. It was an excellent advertisement for junior rugby in Leinster.
The visitor's pack, led by flanker Joe Bulmer, laid the foundation for this win.
His fellow back rowers Nick Doyle and Tom Ryan had big games.
The backs, with Ivan Poole back to his best, scored some excellent tries. He was given an excellent service by Arthur Dunne in the first half and Evan Lett after the interval. Overall it was probably the team's best performance this season.
De La Salle's speedy backs threatened all day. Their left winger scored under the posts after 10 minutes after a loose kick out of defence.
But the Wexford men's response was swift when right wing Ivan Jacob was at the end of some slick passing to score in the right corner. Ivan Poole's conversion levelled the game. Enniscorthy's pack now began to dominate and they went ahead after number 8 Nick Doyle grounded after a rolling maul from 15 metres out.
Five minutes later when left wing David O' Dwyer touched down Enniscorthy looked in full control.
Just before half-time De La Salle struck with a well taken try out wide to leave the score 21-12 at the interval.
After half-time the momentum began to turn with the hosts putting on a lot of pressure and eventually scoring an excellent try through their backs. The conversion left the margin at a mere two points.
De La Salle continued to press for most of the third quarter but Enniscorthy's defence held firm with some huge tackles from Joe Carley, Tom Ryan and Killian Lett.
With 10 minutes left the visitors struck a deadly blow when Ivan Poole dived over in the corner for his second try. Poole's conversion struck the woodwork but minutes later converted a penalty to put them 10 points ahead.
De La Salle claimed the restart and got a foothold deep in the visitor's territory.
Two minutes later after some missed tackles they scored under the posts.
The margin was now three points with just two minutes on the clock.
Enniscorthy with the aid of some fresh men in the pack, John Daly and Tony White in particular, finished the game on top with Tom Ryan barging over under the posts.
Poole's missed conversion was irrelevant as the ref blew the final whistle in what was a remarkable game.
To retain their title Enniscorthy now play Ashbourne in the final on the last Saturday in January.
Team: Angelo Todisco, David Murphy, Paddy Waters, Tomas Stamp, Joe Carley, Joe Bulmer, Tom Ryan, Nick Doyle, Arthur Dunne, Ivan Poole, David O'Dwyer, Daniel Pim (Capt), Killian Lett, Ivan Jacob, Ross Barbour. Subs: Evan Lett (for A Dunne H/T), Hugh O' Neill (for D Pim H/T), Anthony White (for P Waters 65 mins), John Daly (for J Carley 65 mins), D Pim (for D O'Dwyer 70 mins), Jack Kelly (for R Barbour 70 mins), James Doyle (for A Todisco 70 mins), Adam Coppen.