20 Jan 2022

Impressive Dundalk's final round win not enough to prevent stint in limbo

Dundalk RFC 27 Wicklow RFC 3

Impressive Dundalk's final round win not enough to prevent stint in limbo

Dundalk RFC's Derek Williams scored a try against Wicklow RFC at Mill Road on Saturday afternoon. (Pic: Ciarán Culligan)

Leinster League Division 1A

Dundalk RFC 27-3 Wicklow RFC

Dundalk RFC’s Leinster League Division 1A future remains hanging in the balance despite Saturday’s convincing victory at home to relegated Wicklow.

The home side scored four tries at Mill Road in recording their first win in seven matches, but triumphs for Kilkenny, over Suttonians, and Seapoint, against Bective, means Adam Doyle’s side await on a possible play-off.

Should title winners Ashbourne qualify for next year’s All-Ireland League, the locals will retain their top-flight status, with either Longford or Tullow coming up. But, before the Meath men battle for promotion, Dundalk face a play-off against whichever of the named pair secures second place in Division 1B.

When that potential clash takes place is anyone’s guess. Though, for now, Doyle must ready his troops for a Towns Cup rattle. Mind, their fate in that competition is also cloudy considering their first round bye.

Despite the mixed emotions at full-time, Dundalk’s performance was one to be proud of. They dominated a rugged battle involving the forwards early on, profiting via Robert Williams’ unconverted try in the seventh minute.

And when Patrick Reilly went under the posts subsequently, before out-half Ultan Murphy supplied the extras, the hosts’ lead was 12.

A penalty from Wicklow was their only score of the encounter and it reduced the deficit to nine points, but a Murphy three-pointer earned the winners a 15-3 interval cushion.

The Garden County natives improved in the second half, but Dundalk’s superiority was never meaningfully tested, before Conor Williams rubber-stamped the outcome in the closing quarter, touching down for another try, which went unconverted.

Derek Williams added a fourth maximum for the home team, with Murphy shooting over off the tee.

Dundalk RFC: Jonathan Gray, Seán Arrowsmith, Robert Farrell; Enda Murphy, Caoilin Traynor; Alistar McCormack, Laurence Steen, Tiernan Gonnelly; Ronan Reilly, Ultan Murphy; Ciarán Lennon, Jack Connolly; Derek Williams, Robert Williams, Patrick Reilly

Replacement: Stephen Murphy

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