Wanderers extend lead after seeing off Cill Dara
As the Leinster League reached its midpoint last weekend, Wanderers strengthened their grip on Division 1A as they extended their lead at the top by a point following their hard-earned 28-17 bonus point victory over Cill Dara at home in Lansdowne Road.
And in the other Divisions, all the pacesetters prevailed – 1B leaders Ashbourne beat Kilkenny 26-5 at home in Milltown House, 2A table-toppers Gorey won 47-20 away in Ballinagappa Road against Clane, while Birr and Guinness are on top of Divisions 2B and 3 respectively as Phase 2 of these two leagues got under way on Sunday.
Second-placed Dundalk had cut the Wanderers lead at the summit to two points with a 27-23 Friday night victory away to Coolmine, but failure to get a four-try bonus point meant they had fallen seven points in arrears by Sunday night.
The day's thriller was in Tullow, where the home side came back from an early 26-point deficit to win a try fest 38-36 against Clondalkin with a last-kick-of-the-game penalty goal banged over by out-half Willie Canavan.
Each team scored five tries, with both No 8s notching hat-tricks; William O'Brien doing so for the hosts, while Karl Jebb matched his tally for the visitors.
In the remaining Division 1A fixture, Newbridge scored six tries as they moved off the bottom of the table by beating Enniscorthy 39-8 at home in Rosetown, and in the process leapfrogged their opponents who now occupy the basement spot.
Out-half Paul Morris scored a first half try and veteran lock forward Jeff Mahon sealed Ashbourne's victory with another touchdown late in the game against Kilkenny, but second-placed Monkstown moved to within two points of the lead as they snared a bonus point in scoring four tries in their 30-6 home victory over Malahide.
Gorey's lead is three points over North Kildare who are the new second-placed team in Division 2A following their 20-0 win at home in the Maws against Portlaoise. Birr beat Wexford Wanderers 14-0 at home in Riverside to lead Division 2B, while Guinness edged Arklow 14-13 away at the Oval to go to the top of Division 3.