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Wednesday 23 January 2019

Gap increases to nine points

Rugby, Leinster League: Dundalk 23 Enniscorthy 32

The Enniscorthy pack moves in as Dundalk’s Mike Walls releases the ball to his back line
The Enniscorthy pack moves in as Dundalk’s Mike Walls releases the ball to his back line

Enniscorthy moved nine points clear at the top of the Leinster League Division 1A table after a convincing bonus point win away to Dundalk on Saturday.

They had to work hard and it was only in the last quarter when they scored 20 points that victory was secured.

They started off well however, with centre Daniel Pim and wing Ivan Jacob making good ground up the right. The ball was then spread left to wing David O'Dwyer who crashed over in the corner.

Immediately after this score a loose kick out of defence had Enniscorthy scrambling. They held out but did concede a penalty which was converted.

The visitors continued to press. A least two scoring opportunities were wasted but they did manage to score midway through the half when lock Liam Stamp hacked ahead from a loose ball.

Out-half Ivan Poole out-ran the defence to pick up just short of the line and dive over for a fortunate try which he converted.

Ten minutes later, Dundalk's most influential player, out-half Sam Webber, made a great break in open play.

He eventually transferred to their right winger who scored an excellent try in the corner. This left the score 12-8 to the visitors at the break.

Enniscorthy were missing their two influential locks through injury and this affected the balance in the scrum. In the first-half they struggled as a result.

After a 'chat' from coach Declan O'Brien at half-time, this problem was rectified. The scrum was now providing a solid platform for the backs to attack.

Ivan Poole kicked a long-range penalty after 50 minutes and another one five minutes later to put Enniscorthy ten points clear.

With the Dundalk pack tiring, the visitors began to spread the ball and exploit the wide areas.

On 65 minutes they moved the ball swiftly from the scrum. Full-back Richie Dunne entered the line at speed and found wing Ivan Jacob with a brilliant pass.

Jacob had work to do but with pace he beat his man on the outside and sprinted in from 30 metres to score a wonderful try, which Poole converted.

Five minutes later Enniscorthy scored a similar try but this time they moved the ball from right to left for David O'Dwyer to score his second in the left corner.

Poole converted from the touchline to put his team 21 points clear and victory was secured. Dundalk, however, never gave up and scored two late tries which put a better look on the scoreboard for the home side.

'This was a huge result for us today,' manager David Wrafter said. 'We have always found it difficult up here and today was no exception.

'I thought the pack, led by Tom Ryan, got on top in the second-half and our backs responded. Both Ivan Poole and Killian Lett are natural leaders and made massive contributions today.'

Next week is a welcome break for the squad before their All-Ireland Junior Cup semi-final clash with Wicklow at the Ross Road on Saturday, December 15.

Enniscorthy: James Doyle, Angelo Todisco, Paddy Waters, Liam Stamp, Tom Ryan (capt.), Luke Cummins, Timmy Morrissey, Nick Doyle, Arthur Dunne, Ivan Poole, David O'Dwyer, Killian Lett, Daniel Pim, Ivan Jacob, Richard Dunne. Subs. - David Murphy for J. Doyle (35), Brian Bolger for Cummins (50), Billy Wickham for A. Dunne (75), Conal Kavanagh for Waters (75), Jack Kelly.

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