The Bank of Ireland Provincial Towns Cup produced yet another exciting weekend of rugby as seven teams booked their places in the quarter-finals.
The game between Gorey and Naas was postponed and will be played on Saturday, 23 February (KO 3pm), at Forenaughts.
The most notable results came from Midlands teams with Tullamore’s seconds going to Arklow and winning after extra time while Longford upset Division 1A side, Boyne.
Arklow RFC 15 Tullamore RFC 2nd XV 18 (after extra time)
Extra time was needed to separate Arklow and Tullamore with the away side coming good in the end.
The sides finished level on eight points each after normal time and it was Arklow who scored first after play resumed.
The Wicklow club led 15-8 midway through extra time but Tullamore showed tremendous resolve to finish strong scoring 10 points in the second period of extra-time to advance.
Boyne RFC 7 Longford RFC 14
Longford had the most notable win of the weekend turning over Division 1A side Boyne on their own doorstep.
A low-scoring but full-blooded affair, Longford played against the wind in the opening half but were only 7-5 down thanks to a late Joe McGowan try that gave them the edge with a wind-assisted second half to come.
While they didn’t cross the try line in the second half, Longford held Boyne scoreless and three Ryan McHugh penalties ensured their passage to the quarter-finals.
Dundalk RFC 10 Wexford Wanderers RFC 3
Wexford Wanderers were big underdogs going into their clash with Dundalk but they gave an excellent account of themselves only going down by a score.
Again, the elements played their part but both sides left it all on the field as Dundalk just had that extra bit of class and guile on the day to get over the line.
Dundalk will be relieved to come through as it could have been a real banana skin coming up against a Wexford club who are on the crest of a wave.
Edenderry RFC 0 Ashbourne RFC 51
Ashbourne had the biggest winning margin of the weekend as they travelled to Edenderry and kept their hosts scoreless while racking up 51 points.
The result was never in doubt as they ran in six tries, three in each half with Andrew Gibson grabbing a brace.
Ashbourne led 25-0 at half-time and had the result put to bed while the icing was put on the cake by Keelan Toolan who grabbed the last try.
Edenderry fought valiantly but they were competing against a team on a different level as Ashbourne backed up their recent All-Ireland Junior Cup win by moving one step further in the Towns Cup.
Kilkenny RFC 39 Clondalkin RFC 10
Division 1A side Kilkenny safely navigated their way past Clondalkin in front of their home crowd scoring six tries in the process.
Kilkenny started well and didn’t allow Clondalkin to get a foothold in the game.
The game was over by the break with Kilkenny leading 29-10, tagging on 10 more points in the second half and keeping Clondalkin scoreless.
Hugh Lane, Lyndon Brannigan, Podge Mahon (two), Jack Walsh and Andy Nyenhuis all bagged tries while Liam Caddy added nine points with the boot.
Skerries RFC 2nd XV 6 Enniscorthy RFC 35
Reigning champions Enniscorthy recorded a win on the road as they accounted for Skerries seconds 35-6.
The scoreline was harsh on Skerries as the game stood at 6-6 with 60 minutes on the clock.
Enniscorthy played with the wind in the opening half but only led 3-0 at the break thanks to an Ivan Poole penalty.
Enniscorthy went on to dominate the final quarter of the game and two tries in three minutes put some daylight between the sides. Davy Murphy and Angelo Todisco got the scores as Skerries began to tire.
Timmy Morrissey, Tom Ryan and David O’Dwyer all got in on the try-scoring act in the closing stages as Enniscorthy marched on.
Tullow RFC 24 Wicklow RFC 26
The game of the weekend, as expected, was between Tullow and Wicklow. A game that went down to the wire as a Tullow try in injury time left them with a conversion to tie it up and bring the game to extra time but it wasn’t to be as it drifted wide.
Tullow played with the strong wind in the opening half but it was Wicklow who struck first for the opening try of the game. Tullow hit back with four penalties from William Canavan to lead 12-5 but two tries late in the first-half from Shane Farrar and Ben Porter left the Wicklow men 15-12 up at half-time.
The next score didn’t arrive until the 60th minute when Alex Porter went over for Wicklow’s fourth try. Niall Earls landed a drop goal but Tullow got their only try of the game against the run of play to leave it 23-19 and all to play for.
Niall Earls landed a penalty in injury time as it looked like Wicklow would close it out but Tullow had other ideas. Their late try left it 26-24 but the all important conversion was missed and Wicklow held on for an excellent away win.
Bank of Ireland Provincial Towns Cup – Quarter-final draw (ties to be played on Sunday, 17 March)
Wicklow RFC v Dundalk RFC
Ashbourne RFC V Naas RFC 2nd XV or Gorey RFC
Enniscorthy RFC v Tullamore RFC 2nd XV
Longford RFC v Kilkenny RFC