Ashbourne made it three All-Ireland Junior Cups in as many years on Saturday when they withstood a late charge from Enniscorthy to land the title in Edenderry.

While they tagged on the scores in the opening half while aided by the gale force wind, it was their defence that stood up to the test in the second half.

Ashbourne led 13-5 at half-time, with a try from Mark Rooney after five minutes setting them on their way.

Captain Gavin Kennedy landed the conversion and deftly sliced over two more penalties to give them a 13-point lead after 16 minutes.

Enniscorthy gave themselves hope when David O‘Dwyer went over in the corner at the end of the half, but it was the Ashbourne defence who stood up after the break.

The Wexford men did land two penalties to bring it back to 13-11, but Kennedy landed his third penalty, as Ashbourne really ground it out in the closing 10 minutes, with some heroic defending from the likes of Sean McKeon and Simon Deevy.

Ashbourne – P Murtagh; C Cragie, J O‘Brien, M Rooney, M Connolly; D Crotty, G Kennedy; M Behan, D Norton, C Roche; S Kent, C Hurley; J Whittaker, S McKeon, S Deevy.

Enniscorthy – R Dunne; I Jacob, D Pim, K Lett, D O‘Dwyer; I Poole, A Dunne; A Todisco, D Murphy, P Waters; N Doyle, T Ryan; L Cummins, B Bolger, T Morrissey.

Ref – Oisin Quinn (IRFU).

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Irish Independent

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