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Enniscorthy Show Clinical Edge In Regaining Junior Cup Crown
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Enniscorthy Show Clinical Edge In Regaining Junior Cup Crown

Enniscorthy Show Clinical Edge In Regaining Junior Cup Crown

Enniscorthy made the most of their scoring opportunities as they got the better of Instonians (23-7) in a well-contested Ulster Bank Junior Cup final at Ashbourne RFC.

Four tries, including David O'Dwyer's opportunist first half effort, steered Enniscorthy to their second All-Ireland Junior Cup title in three years, as they joined Tullamore as the only other double winners in the competition's history.

First-time finalists Instonians trailed 5-0 at the break in windy conditions, and will be kicking themselves as they failed to take advantage of the possession and territory they enjoyed in both halves.

There was little between the sides on a rain-soaked pitch before Enniscorthy struck for a timely 33rd minute try. O'Dwyer seized on an Inst handling error, hacking the ball on from his own half and controlling it with two more kicks to touch down in impressive fashion to the left of the posts.

The try went unconverted and Instonians' lively out-half Fraser Wright, one of their best players on the day, sent a difficult penalty wide approaching half-time.

'Scorthy, whose rock solid defence continued to frustrate Inst, widened the margin early in the second period with another grubber kick bouncing in their favour and second row Joe Bulmer following up with a well-taken try.

With Inst not clearing their lines again in their 22, the Wexford men forced a penalty which Ivan Poole dispatched through the posts with 47 minutes on the clock.

Now trailing 13-0 and facing into the wind, Wilbur Leacock's charges had to react and they did just that despite losing influential number 8 Rory McCurry to injury. They enjoyed a couple of promising spells in attack, increasing the pressure on the Enniscorthy defence with a block down by flanker Lewis McNamara.

Inst retained possession, kicking a penalty to the corner and sucking in enough defenders for Wright to weave his way over from close range for a 53rd minute try which he converted himself.

Nonetheless, Enniscorthy used all of their knockout rugby experience to shut the door on Instonians' comeback bid. Inst allowed the restart kick to bounce, an attempted clearance was charged down and 'Scorthy duly got back on top as they continued to punish errors from their opponents.

Two unconverted tries in the space of four minutes showed the winners' clinical edge as Greg Jacob and Ivan Jacob both crossed the Belfast club's whitewash, with the latter racing onto a kick through from Enniscorthy captain Killian Lett.

Despite those setbacks, Instonians kept their heads up and kept probing for scores late on, using their reliable lineout as a platform and winning a series of penalties. Enniscorthy's determined defence kept them out, though, and it was a vital factor in Damien McCabe's side winning a game that was very well handled by referee Helen O'Reilly.

Referee: Helen O'Reilly (IRFU)

Lineups Scorers

Match Lineups

Home Team

No Lineups Available

Away Team

No Lineups Available

Match Scorers

Home Team

Tries: David O'Dwyer, Joe Bulmer, Greg Jacob, Ivan Jacob; Pen: Ivan Poole

Away Team

Try: Fraser Wright; Con: Fraser Wright