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Ashbourne And DLSP Have Home Advantage In Junior Cup Semi-Finals

Ashbourne And DLSP Have Home Advantage In Junior Cup Semi-Finals

The draw for the Ulster Bank All-Ireland Junior Cup semi-finals has taken place in the IRFU offices. Ashbourne will host Clogher Valley, the only non-Leinster club left, and defending champions Enniscorthy must travel to De La Salle Palmerston.

Bandon put up a tough fight against Ashbourne, an early try from Jack Murphy signalling their intent to win Saturday’s quarter-final clash at Milltown House and reach the last-four for the first time.

However, the home side gradually got to grips with the fiercely competitive Corkmen, holding them scoreless in the second half while running in three tries for a 33-8 victory and an historic semi-final place for the Co. Meath club.

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A timely try on the half hour mark by number 8 Simon Deevy had Ashbourne leading 14-8 at half-time, and the man they call ‘Dippy’ went on to have a big influence, touching down two more times to take his tally in this season’s competition to four.

Ashbourne’s well-drilled pack, strong in the set piece and the loose, pointed the way with some cohesive, ground-gaining play. Captain Gavin Kennedy notched try number four in the 78th minute before Deevy completed his hat-trick.

Ashbourne will be at home for the second successive round when they entertain semi-final opponents Clogher Valley, the 15-8 conquerors of Portadown in a tightly-contested Ulster derby at Chambers Park.

Given their domestic form, the Ports were expected to prevail but Valley, buoyed by their maiden success of the campaign in Monivea, produced a terrific first half display which saw them lead by 15 points at the turnaround.

The visitors hit the front inside five minutes, their lineout providing a very reliable platform whereas Portadown’s set piece game really let them down. Influential forward Eugene McKenna powered over for the opening try which scrum half Neil Trotter converted.

The Clogher pack continued to dictate, a 30-metre maul being spoiled by a knock on over the try-line, but Trotter’s 25th-minute penalty added to their lead before his half-back partner Fleming Agnew’s garryowen was recovered by McKenna’s second row partner Matty Robinson for try number two.

The Fivemiletown men let their intensity drop on the restart, with errors creeping into their game and Portadown visibly improving. A Craig Woods penalty opened the hosts’ account and then a brilliant break by Andrew Morton set up a five-pointer for fellow winger Andrew Chambers, despite Clogher’s calls for obstruction.

The Ports’ decision-making let them down at crucial stages, though, and they were unable to take full advantage of two Valley yellow cards, the second one coming three minutes from time for number 8 Ryan Wilson.

Meanwhile, the 31-13 scoreline suggests that title holders Enniscorthy had a relatively comfortable passage through to the semi-finals, but visitors Ballyclare deserved to be much closer by the end of an enthralling encounter at Ross Road.

Just as Ballyclare pressed for a possible match winner at 17-13 down, Enniscorthy stung them with two late converted tries through out-half Ivan Poole and winger Ivan Jacob. A James Greer score, adding to two Robbie Reid penalties, had set up a tense final eight minutes, but ‘Scorthy really showed their cup-winning pedigree when it mattered most.

The Co. Wexford side will be away to Leinster League Division 1A rivals De La Palmerston in the December 10 semi-finals. ‘Scorthy were narrow 25-22 winners when they hosted DLSP in the league last month.

DLSP advanced the the last-four of the Junior Cup with a 39-22 triumph over Galbally. The Limerick men were very much in contention when they reduced the deficit to 22-17 on the back of two ‘Salmo yellow cards. Yet, their Kirwan Park hosts recovered well to score three of this exciting fixture’s final four tries.

2016/17 Ulster Bank Junior Cup Results/Fixtures


Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –

Ashbourne v Clogher Valley, Milltown House
De La Salle Palmerston v Enniscorthy, Kirwan Park

(i) If clubs are tied at full-time, extra-time of 10 minutes each way will be played

(ii) If still tied, the club which has scored most tries will be the winner

(iii) If still tied, the away team will be declared the winner

Rolling substitutions will apply in this competition and each club may tog out up to seven replacements


2016 – Enniscorthy
2015 – Dundalk
2014 – Enniscorthy
2013 – Tullamore
2012 – Tullamore
2011 – Crosshaven
2010 – City of Derry
2009 – Tullamore
2008 – Navan
2007 – Seapoint
2006 – Rainey Old Boys