One local derby among Provincial Towns games
Rugby's Provincial Towns Cup will get under way on Sunday, with round one clashes featuring Enniscorthy away to Edenderry, Gorey home to Mullingar, and New Ross home to Wexford Wanderers in a local derby.
Enniscorthy, who are currently second in Division 1A, have a terrific up record, winning it on six occasion,s with the latest success in 2013 when they beat Tullow in Portarlington. On paper it looks an easy assignment although Edenderry won Division 2B on Sunday, winning their 12 matches and accumulating a massive 55 points, so it will be a match that Enniscorthy would not want to approach lightly even though there is a gap of three divisions.
Donal Milne is Edenderry's head coach and he knows that they have secured promotion and will give it a lash with nothing to lose. Enniscorthy, although winning matches, have been a little inconsistent but there is no doubt on their day they can beat anyone. It will simply depend on their attitude but they should win this after maybe a scare.
Gorey are home to Mullingar who are in second place in Division 2A which is one below Gorey who have had a great season and are still mathematically in with a shout of promotion, even though they may depend on the other teams around them to do them a favour.
Mullingar struggled to beat New Ross on Sunday, winning 10-5 at home, and Gorey need to be careful.
They are missing Neville Copeland through injury and he is a loss. Shane Luby is playing well at 10 and they should have too much for Mullingar especially given it's a home fixture.
Wexford Wanderers are having a fine season albeit that it is down in Division 3, and they will have to step up to meet their near neighbours who are playing in Division 2A. They are fielding a very young team and their director of rugby, John Hickey, must be delighted that the players from their under-age structure are coming through.
Mick Bolger, Seán O Corcora and Corey Carthy are really playing well. On the other hand New Ross are themselves in a rebuilding mould. Club captain Jamie Cullen is having a fine season too and although they are too far behind to gain promotion they have consolidated their position.
Home advantage here will be crucial as it is never easy to travel down there and get a result. Wanderers could surprise though as they will have nothing to lose.