Skerries reach Towns Cup Final as champions Wicklow bow out
April 5, 2017 9:33 pm Site Editor
Reigning Bank of Ireland Provincial Towns Cup champions Wicklow RFC were knocked out on Sunday as a powerful and purposeful Skerries RFC 2nd XV came to Cill Dara RFC and left with the scalp of last year’s champions.
The County Dublin side were the better team throughout and built on an excellent first half display.
With wins over Roscrea, Portlaoise and Clondalkin in the lead up to the final, Skerries’ second string continued their run of form with out-half Billy Mulcahy once again in sensational form.
It brings an end to a whirlwind couple of years for Wicklow who won the Cup last year, while narrowly missing out on promotion to the top tier of Leinster Junior Rugby.
They put that right earlier this year by claiming the Division 1B crown but a league and cup double dream came to an end on Sunday.
Skerries will now contest their first Provincial Towns Cup final since 2007 on Easter Sunday when they take on Tullow, who grabbed a late try to beat Ashbourne by a point in the other semi final.
Wicklow had some early pressure and were off the mark after six minutes when Niall Earls landed his first penalty of the afternoon.
Skerries took a while to settle but on 17 minutes they were on level terms with Billy Mulcahy nailing a penalty.
Mulcahy went on to have a big bearing on the game, scoring 13 points, while also playing a key role in their second try.
Tied 3-3 after 17 minutes, it was the Skerries men who pushed on before half-time.
The first try wasn’t too far away and after Dave Goodman went over, Mulcahy added the extras to put Skerries in a commanding position, leading 10-3.
Their advantage was stretched just before the break when Mulcahy landed another penalty as the sides retired at half-time with Skerries leading 13-3.
Wicklow struggled to get into the game and lacked the fluency that had become associated with their play in the earlier rounds.
Skerries were there to capitalise, and after an early exchange of penalties from Earls and Mulcahy, the Dublin men got in for their second try of the game when Mulcahy did really well in the build up before Goodman touched down for his second try of the game.
Their main man Mulcahy added the conversion and at 23-6 the game was theirs unless Wicklow could make a miraculous recovery.
Wicklow kept looking for a way back into the game but they had to make do with a consolation try in the final minute from Ally Byrne as their cup and league double dream came to an end and Skerries advanced to the final.
Skerries RFC 2nd XV 23 Wicklow RFC 11
SKERRIES: 15. David Quirke; 14. Mark Oliver, 13. Michael Cauldwell, 12. Barry Caldwell, 11. Dave Goodman; 10. Billy Mulcahy, 9. Robbie Jenkinson; 1. Conor Ronayne, 2. Kieran Leonard, 3. Neil Martin; 4. AJ Sherlock, 5. Sean Attley; 6. Trevor Scuffil, 7. Ben Jenkinson, 8. Conn Marrey.
Replacements: Ross Halligan, Dean Harford, Eoin O’Byrne, Ruairi Woods and Ross Gordon.
WICKLOW: 15. Stephen Duffy; 14. Dean Leonard, 13. Ben Porter, 12. Shane Farrar, 11. Ben Armstrong; 10. Niall Earls, 9. Denis Higgins; 1. Eanna Kileen, 2. Jack McKenna, 3. Shane Byrne; 4. Fergal Walsh, 5. Barry Hurley; 6. Eoin O’Sullivan, 7. Andy Doyle, 8. Wes Wojnar.
Replacements: Ally Byrne, Timmy Donovan, Paddy Cullen, Seamus O’ Brien, James Stafford.