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Sunday 24 September 2017

Fingal get job Dunne as curtain falls on super season

The curtain was brought down on the domestic season in Leinster Rugby last Wednesday evening when Fingal beat Offaly 7-5 in the Inter County Cup Final and in the process captured the Pa Dunne Trophy for the second time.

More than 50 adult competitions have been overseen by the Branch ranging from Senior to Junior 6 as well as U21s and Vets (over 35).

While all winners are special, pride of place must go to Seapoint who won the Leinster League and then backed it up by gaining promotion to the AIB League.

The Killiney-based club should thrive in the upper echelons of rugby across all four provinces but they should still feel more than at home as they'll have local derbies against Wanderers and Greystones, not to mention juicy clashes with the other four Leinster clubs in Division 3 next term.

St Mary's College came agonisingly close to securing a second AIB League Division 1 title last Saturday when going under to Cork Constitution after extra time in Athlone but the club did extremely well on the domestic front securing four trophies for the Temple-ville Road sideboard.

The senior team used its February success in the Leinster Senior League Cup Final as a springboard to rejuvenate its flagging AIL campaign while the club's U21s won the prestigious JP Fanagan Premier League.

There were Cup victories for the J2s and J3s in the Albert O'Connell and Moran Cups respectively, both squads having earlier finished runners-up in the league.

Lansdowne won Division 2 of the AIB league and the depth of their panel was reflected in a Metro J1 League and Cup double.

Two other teams managed league and cup doubles; Tullamore J2s in the Leinster Seconds League Division 1A and the Provincial Towns Seconds Cup, and Terenure College J5s in the J5 League and O'Connor Cup.

There were a number of clubs that recorded multiple trophy success including Terenure College, who also added the J3 League Section A as well as Section B of the JP Fanagan Premier League to their stockpile.

Coolmine's 1st XV won the Leinster League Division 1B as well as the inaugural Metro Plate while their J4s snapped up the Winters Cup.

Bective Rangers were successful in the marathon Metro J1 League Section B while their veterans triumphed in the Fox Cup.

Old Wesley completed a unique U21 double when they won the JP Fanagan Pennant and the Harry Gale Cup.

Also Old Belvedere were triumphant in the J4 League Section A and the Guilfoyle-James Cup at J6, while De La Salle Palmerston's work at grassroots level in recent years paid off with victories in the J3 League Section B and J4 League Section D.

Newbridge complete the list of multiple winners with their Leinster Seconds League Division 1B and Dunne Cup (J4) pennants.

To all the winners -- well done. And to those that failed to enter the winner's enclosure -- better luck next season.

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