Gorey face Portarlington in Sundays showpiece in Carlow FC…

The Provincial Towns Plate Competition was first run in 1963 when Navan defeated Arklow to claim the trophy. The trophy has now become an established part of the fabric that is the historic Provincial Towns Cup Competition which itself commenced in 1926.

Sir William Butlin of Butlins fame and a member and supporter of of Delvin Rugby Club presented the trophy to the Leinster Branch and to date 52 consecutive finals have been staged with 24 individual Leinster based clubs recording a win. Heading the winners table are Dundalk and Portlaoise on 5 wins followed by Co Carlow and Roscrea on 4 wins with Drogheda and Navan each on 3 wins. No club to date has won consecutive Plate Finals but 8 clubs have gone on to win the Provincial Towns Cup the following season having won the Plate.

This years finalists are Gorey (Winners of the Plate in 1988 beating Kilkenny and runner up to Tullow in 1996) and Portarlington (Winners of the Plate in 2009 beating Skerries and in 2012 beating Longford). The route to the final has seen Gorey defeat Tullow (63-7), Naas (40-35) and Co. Carlow (53-24) while Portarlington beat North Kildare (27-22), Clondalkin (22-20) and Mullingar (27-19) to reach what will be their fourth Plate Final.

Gorey (Established in 1968) have enjoyed an excellent season having won the Leinster League Division 2A Championship with an undefeated run them that saw them win 11 and draw 3 of their 14 League fixtures to top the League table. In the Provincial Towns Cup they defeated Mullingar 23-6 in Round 1 in Gorey but lost out to eventual Towns Cup winners Ashbourne by 21-16 in Ashbourne to enter the Plate competition. Gorey have enjoyed many successes including the Provincial 2nd XV Cup in 1985 (over Arklow), Anderson Cup in 1988 (Over Portlaoise) and Dunne Cup (in 1996 over Mullingar). They also won the Leinlster League 2B Division in 2011/2012.

Portarlington are celebrating 40 years in existence having been founded in 1974 and are one of the many successful Leinster clubs to have continued to developed their playing facilities in recent times. They won Leinster League Division A title in 2011/2012 and the Division 2 title in 2009/2010. Now competing in Leinster League Division 1B they won 4 of their 14 league fixtures this season and also exited to Provincial Towns Cup to holders Tullamore by 11-6 in Round 1 of this seasons Cup. They are past winners of the Provincial 2nd XV Cup in 1975 and 1990, the Dunne Cup in 1992 and 2001.