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Tullamore Retain All-Ireland Junior Cup

Tullamore Retain All-Ireland Junior Cup

Tullamore won the battle of the Leinster clubs, running four tries past challengers Enniscorthy as they became the first ever team to win back-to-back Ulster Bank All-Ireland Junior Cup titles.

Ivan Poole kicked first-time finalists Enniscorthy into an early lead on the splendid pitch at Cill Dara RFC, but a strong finish to the first half saw Tullamore take control at 15-3.

Having opened the scoring, Poole then missed a long range penalty. The Offaly men then took advantage of Richard Dunne's 25th-minute sin-binning, following a storming break from Brian Geraghty.

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Geraghty was involved in the build-up to Tullamore's first try as he gathered an Enniscorthy clearance kick and spearheaded a counter which finished with Conor Molloy crossing in the corner. Aaron Deverell deftly added the conversion from near the right touchline.

Deverell, the Tullamore captain and eventual man-of-the-match, landed a 38th minute penalty after Poole had suffered his second miss at the other end.

John Moylan's men struck for a timely second try on the stroke of half-time with influential centre Ivor Scully swooping to score out wide.

'Scorthy fell further behind when Clavin made a break and young prop Ger Molloy, who had an excellent all-round game, supplied the finishing touch with a strong burst from close range. Deverell's conversion put 19 points between the sides.

With 16 minutes left, the defending champions burst through for try number four – lively full-back Geraghty was the scorer with Deverell again converting.

The Wexford side battled on and gained some late consolation in the form of a converted try from Paddy Waters, the score coming while Geraghty was in the sin-bin.

Tullamore proved too strong though as they were crowned All-Ireland Junior Cup champions for the third time, adding to their previous wins in 2009 and 2012.

Moylan's charges, in the club's 75th year, have further ambitions this season with the Provincial Towns Cup still to aim for as well as qualification for the Ulster Bank League via the fiercely-contested Round Robin series.