Longford 21, North Kildare 7

North Kildare Longford

Provincial Towns Cup

Longford 21
North Kildare 3

Alan Deegan at CPL Park

This game was the definition of a slow burner. The dank dreary day seemed to diminish the skill levels of both sides during a nervy, jittery first half that saw the game played between the two 22′s for the most part but a much improved second half saw the contest come to life and delivered an exciting finish.

Longford appeared to have the edge in the pack, but they struggled to penetrate the well organised North Kildare defense. The visitors on the other hand looked extremely dangerous when they moved the ball wide but stoic defending kept them scoreless until the last minute of the half when the only penalty of the first 40 minutes was converted with the last kick of the half. 

Connacht 1a Wrap

The Connacht Junior League title race will go down to the last day after both Connemara and Monivea won their penultimate games on Sunday.

Just one point separates the two sides going into the final round and if they finish level on points, the points differential will come into play with Monivea holding the slenderest of advantages (+ 180 compared with Connemara’s +179)

(PLEASE NOTE: This article was updated at midday to reflect the corrected scoreline in the Monivea v OLBC game. According to the Connacht Branch, Monivea won 24-0 not 22-0.)

On Sunday afternoon, leaders Connemara followed on from last week’s tremendous win at home to Monivea by beating Galwegians in a topsy turvy contest at Crowley Park.

Towns Cup Wrap

Longford North Kildare 480pix

The Leinster Towns Cup is up and running, Sunday’s first round action saw five one-score games with a sixth, the Wexford derby in New Ross, closer than the eight point margin might suggest.

Round one included a stunning comeback from Carlow that fell just short, a near miss in the upset department from Mullingar, four away wins from Enniscorthy, Clondalkin, Wicklow and Portlaoise respectively and just the one Division 1a side exiting the competition in the shape of Cill Dara.

Caption: Longford celebrate and North Kildare despair after a second half try in their Cup tie at CPL Park on Sunday. Pic: Adrienne Deegan.

Ulster Towns Cup Results

Bangor Armagh

Saturday’s Towns Cup action in Ulster had one or two notable results.

Armagh 2s win over All Ireland finalists Bangor was the stand out score. The visitors obviously with one eye on next week but still a surprise.

Portadown could be a real challenger this season and they dismissed a strong Dromore yesterday.

The main contenders all won outside of Bangor. Ballymena, Ballynahinch ad Clogher Valley all advance.

Caption: Action from Armagh 2s victory over Bangor. Pic: Bangor RFC

Towns Cup Results
Armagh 2nds 30, Bangor 24
Banbridge 6, Ballynahinch 2nds 42
Clogher Valley 25, Coleraine 0
Donagahdee 41, Holywood 17
Enniskillen 57, Ards 2nds 0
Larne 14, Ballymena 2nds 55
Portadown 35, Dromore 15.

UBL Results Round Up

Wanderers Old Crescent

UBL Division 2a

The mighty Old Wesley machine appears to be on course for Division 1b rugby after a fantastic away win in their top of the table clash with Blackrock College yesterday. the 18 point victory puts them ten points clear at the top of the table with six games remaining and the top two to go up.

The race for second is getting close now as NUM Barnhall and Skerries made up ground yesterday. Barnhall secured a valuable bonus point win at home to Seapoint to join Blackrock on second and Skerries snuck a huge win over City of Derry 19-17 to keep their good form going.

The other big winers included Cashel who scored 43 points in Donybrook, UCC who won at Rainey OB and Thomond who got back on track with a big win over Dungannon. While Naas secured a huge result at home to promotion chasing Queens 34-20.

Towns Cup Previews

Gorey Wicklow

The 90th edition of Leinster Provincial Towns Cup kicks off on Sunday and we have a full game by game preview here for you.

If you haven’t heard it already, listen to our podcast which goes into plenty of detail ahead of the opening weekend.

One game should not have been on the fixture list, Arklow were incorrectly included in the original draw but were not involved this year so Tullamore 2nds will join Dundalk, holders Ashbourne, Newbridge and Skerries 2nds in receiving first round byes leaving 22 teams contesting eleven fixtures this weekend.

The Previews (All games Sunday 2:30)

Naas 2nds v Portarlington

A huge battle in store here as Naas are strong in the Metro leagues and will target some progress in this competition yet the challenge from Portarlington will be strong, they started slowly this season but appear to be in much better shape.

Joander Brazon in the back row, James Hyland in the centre, Stephen Mulhall at full back could all provide a spark if available. Expect a high scoring dual with the laois side edging things.

Away by 4

UBL 2a Preview

Pic: Old Wesley RFC facebook,

UBL Division 2a

Banbridge v Nenagh Ormond, Rifle Park

For Banbridge the season hasn’t come together as much as they would have hoped for so far. Offensively they can’t be too disappointed with the league’s second most prolific offence after average 26 points per game while each and every one of their four defeats were by less than seven points. Yet they are ten points off promotion and just four points above the cut off point of tenth for next years Division 2a.

Nenagh have reasons to be happy too despite sitting just two points higher in the standings. As a first year in the third tier sixth place with four wins and a draw from eight is not bad going. Their defence is the league’s very best conceeding just over 11 points per game and again, all three of their defeats were by less than seven. Close game in store.

Home by 2

Bective Rangers v Cashel. Donnybrook

For Bective Rangers the target is top ten but they are seven points shy of that having won just two of six so far with just the one bonus point. Games like this are going to be vital in the next few weeks if they are to stage an unlikely surge up the table.

PODCAST: Towns Cup Preview

Ashbourne

The Leinster Towns Cup podcast returns for another season on KnockOn.ie as we preview the opening round of action taking place this Sunday across 12 different venues in the provinces from Longford to New Ross.

Host and KnockOn.ie editor Rob Murphy is joined by Monkstown FC Head Coach Dave Mahon to look ahead to the 2015 competition casting their eye on all 28 teams involved picking out the contenders and the outsiders.

There’s a game by game preview too for the 12 games taking place this weekend. We’ll be back next week with a review of the action but in the meantime follow @knockonrugby on twitter and visit KnockOn.ie for all the latest on the 90th edition of the Towns Cup.

Munster Round Up

St Mary's Clonemel

For the second week running the lead changed hands at the top of the table in the Munster Junior league but this alteration seems to be the more significant of the two.

Clonmel bounced back from their loss at St Senan’s to easily dispatch St Mary’s at the weekend while Newcastle West were comprehensively beaten in Kilfeacle by 33-15 and slip four points behind in the standings with three games to go.

Heading into this stretch it always looked like a tougher run-in for the Limerick side and they met an in-form force in Kilfeacle at the weekend. The Tipperary side from the Hill produced their best display of the season to move into the top four.

Leinster: Kilkenny Topple Gorey

Kilkenny Gorey

Leinster Division 1a

The big game in Leinster this weekend took place at Foulkestown where Kilkenny produced a stirlling effort at home to secure a massive home 9-6 win over promotion rivals Gorey and move into pole position in the compelling promotion race in Division 1b.

Only the winners gain automatic promotion, second offers a play off with seventh in Division 1a but the uncertainty accompanying that outcome surrounding the culmination of the AIL promotion race.

In that back drop, Gorey arrived in Kilkenny still smarting from a one point loss at Wicklow two week’s previously but safe in the knowledge that they were at least in control of their own destiny. That was also the case for last year’s Towns Cup runners up Kilkenny.

Incredibly the hosts lost two key players to injury in the opening three minutes, openside Dunne and winger Maunel were both forced off through injury in those opening exchanges and that stretched resources.

Caption: Action from Kilkenny v Gorey, for more shots visit sokilkenny.com

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