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Tullow second best in Carlow

LAST Sunday, while Seán O'Brien was recovering from his heroics at the World Cup and the disappointment of Ireland's exit the day before at the hands of the Welsh, his hometown club, Tullow, were involved in a top-of-the-table derby clash with Co Carlow.

It was the first time in 15 years that the two Carlovian clubs had met in the league or cup, and a huge crowd turned up as the club O'Brien helps to coach - along with fellow Tullow native Bernard Jackman - welcomed their one-time Ulster Bank League (AIL) neighbours to Black Gates for the Leinster League Division 1B tie.

Both teams had won their opening two league games, and it was the visitors who used a fast start to secure the points in a 25-23 success that included a late rally by Tullow that secured a losing point.

Carlow are joint top of Division 1B along with Cill Dara, the Kildare town club winning 19-16 in Longford thanks to out-half Paddy Behan kicking a game-winning drop goal with seven minutes left on the clock in a personal haul of 14 points.

Wicklow joined Tullow on the nine-point mark when they beat Portlaoise 27-3 at home to record their second win of the campaign, while Clondalkin, after a pair of near misses, got off the mark with a 15-0 win over visiting Ashbourne at Gordon Park.

Unbeaten

Malahide are setting a hot pace in Division 2A and, after winning 17-10 at previously unbeaten Kilkenny, the Dubs are two points clear of Portarlington (also with three wins from three), who won 20-0 in Ferbane against the West Offaly Lions.

Roscrea are level with Kilkenny in joint-third place, a further two points back, following their 19-3 home success over New Ross, while Clane won their bottom-of-the-table derby clash 22-8 in North Kildare against a team that is still searching for its first points, along with West Offaly Lions.

In Division 2B, Mullingar won another top-of-the-table encounter when they saw off visitors Athy 23-13.

They are now joint leaders with surprise package Railway Union.

The Sandymount club was only admitted into Division 2B after IT Carlow withdrew, and they made it three victories on the trot with a 16-12 home win against Gorey.

Arklow and Guinness are joint leaders in Division 3, following victories over Rathdrum (30-6 at home) and Birr (18-0 away) respectively, while North Meath won for the first time in Moate when they accounted for Midland Warriors 11-5.

The only Leinster League action this weekend is in Division 1A, with the pick of the crop surely tomorrow's game between Coolmine and league leaders Newbridge (KO 7.0) in Castleknock.