Sunday 17 December 2017

Bold New' boys 'Bridge the gap

Tullamore shocked at Rosetown

Boyne duly made their way to the top of Division 1A of the Leinster League with a powerful 33-22 home victory against Skerries on Saturday but the result that grabbed all the attention was Newbridge's dramatic 25-23 victory over visiting Tullamore.

The Co Kildare club were promoted from Division 1B following a four-point play-off win over Monkstown last March and not many would have forecast that their first scalp in the Big League would be that of the Towns Cup runners-up of the past two years.

Karl Darragh slotted home the winning penalty goal as the clock ticked towards injury time in Rosetown.

No8 Johnny Downey, prop forward Cillian O'Shea and scrum-half Peter Sutton had earlier scored tries for the hosts in reply to a pair by winger Colin Hughes and No8 Adrian Hanley for Tullamore.

The Co Offaly side, who'd excelled in pre-season in the Leinster Senior League Cup, are now seven points adrift of the leaders and need to win in Skerries tomorrow if they are to resuscitate their title dreams.

Newbridge, meanwhile, can look forward with a degree of confidence to the visit of fellow promoted side Coolmine tomorrow, and the Dubliners will be anxious to get off the mark after a second defeat, this time 30-25 at the hands of Dundalk.

The Co Louth side are level on points at the top of the table with neighbours Boyne thanks to wingers Gareth Lynch (two tries) and Chris Scully who outscored their hosts by three tries to one despite being under severe pressure for long stretches.

Coolmine have looked good at times in both of their opening fixtures but with only a bonus point they'll be keen to repeat last season's win in Newbridge that was achieved en route to the Division 1B title. They now face Tullamore in a game that neither can afford to lose if they are to remain in touch with the leaders.


Boyne travel to Co Carlow in buoyant form. But for a late penalty goal at Beechpark, the former AIL club could have been topping the table themselves. Out-half Paddy Behan came to the rescue for Cill Dara in the battle between the former Leinster League Division 1 champions when his late kick rescued the hosts as they prevailed 8-7.

Cill Dara head to Dundalk tomorrow and the home side will fancy their chances of repeating last season's Mill Road success over their visitors.

Division 1B's Enniscorthy are the only club in the entire Leinster League to have two wins and two bonus points following their 31-20 home victory over Portarlington and they will expect to maintain that form when they head to Ferbane on Sunday to take on the West Offaly Lions.

Wicklow's unbeaten record will be put to the test in Monkstown as the Dublin 4 club returned from New Ross with an excellent 15-6 win.

Garda, who a had a bye on the opening week, laid down a marker with a stunning 39-3 victory at home against Tullow. Portlaoise were the idle team last Sunday and this week they host New Ross as both sides chase their second win.

Clane convincingly beat Clondalkin 29-17 at home as they set the early pace in Division 2 while second wins were also recorded by Mullingar (15-6 at home over Gorey) and Longford (23-16 in Edenderry). Ashbourne edged Roscrea 18-13 but Wexford Wanderers are bottom following their 47-0 defeat in Kilkenny.

The game of the day in Division 2 is Clane's visit to Longford while bookies' favourites Clondalkin will attempt to get back to winning ways at home to unbeaten Mullingar.

Athy got the better of students away in IT Carlow by 30-23 and are narrow leaders in Division 3 Pool 1 from North Meath who won 48-17 in Rathdrum. Athy host Birr on Sunday while North Meath face a stern test away to third-placed Railway Union.

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