Back to business for Tullamore as leaders batter blunt Dundalk
After last week's blip at Lansdowne Road it was back to business for Tullamore in Division 1A as they dispatched Dundalk in Spollanstown, running in four tries in a thoroughly convincing 32-0 win.
Tullow now have a vice-like grip on the Division 1B trophy after their impressive 34-6 bonus point victory in Portarlington, which, coupled with second-placed Monkstown's 31-15 home defeat to Longford, has increased the County Carlow club's lead to a massive 13 points.
Prop forward Scott Calbeck got Tullow off the mark with a first-half try that helped them build a 13-0 interval lead at Lea Road. The leaders then marched on after the break with tries from centre Willie 'Cas' O'Brien, Massey Tuhakaraina and No 8 Willie 'Hollow' O'Brien.
Clondalkin have moved up to second after they won 36-13 at relegation-bound Co Carlow, while Wicklow are now third following their 24-13 home win against Ashbourne.
Malahide are the new leaders of Division 2A after they picked up a bonus point in their 32-22 victory in Mullingar. They shade Kilkenny courtesy of a better head-to-head record (the north Dubliners scored four tries against their opponents two over the two games) but, despite losing their top spot, the Noresiders will be content with their hard-earned 16-6 home win against third-placed Gorey.
Division 2B pacesetters Railway Union were involved in a thriller at North Kildare before emerging with a 31-27 win that keeps them eight points clear of Edenderry, who won 15-8 in Athy. Wexford Wanderers continued their advance through Division 3 as they hammered Tallaght 76-18.
Wanderers were in even meaner form when they travelled to Westmanstown and beat relegation-haunted Garda 97-3 to move up to third place in Division 1A, scoring 16 tries in the process.
Coolmine are the new occupiers of second place after they thwarted Newbridge's slender title ambitions with a convincing 34-10 home victory.
Cill Dara arrested their three game losing streak as they drew 15-15 at home in Beechpark with Enniscorthy. Back-row forwards Wayne Kerr and Chris Moore scored the tries that had the hosts all set for victory, only for winger Ivan Jacob and No 8 Sean Wall to score a pair of touchdowns for the visitors.
Tullamore's lead at the top is 13 points, and on Saturday No 8 Adrian Hanley and hooker Cathal Feighery scored first-half tries to establish a 15-0 lead at the break before touchdowns from full-back Brian Geraghty and out-half Aaron Deverell completed the job.
Tomorrow, holders Tullamore are in action in the second round of the All Ireland Junior Cup, and host Monivea in a repeat of last season's final. Enniscorthy are at home to Donaghadee while Newbridge tackle Clogher Valley.
The draw for the first round of the Provincial Towns Cup, this season sponsored by Cleaning Contractors, is being held in the Aviva Stadium tomorrow prior to the Leinster v Clermont-Auvergne Cup tie.