Enniscorthy 10 Wicklow 9
Enniscorthy added the Provincial Towns Cup to their Leinster League title and promotion to All-Ireland League with a win by the minimum margin against Wicklow in Navan on Sunday.
The Co Wexford club’s miracle season came to a scruffy conclusion as the spent most of game on the back foot but still emerged with the spoils.
Despite being long odds to win, Wicklow entered the fray as the only side to have defeated the cup holders during 2018/9, that coming in the first round of the league.
They also started Sunday’s fixture with seven of the squad that won cup medals at Enniscorthy’s expense in the 2016 decider.
The underdogs set the early pace with captain and penalty kicker Niall Earls landing a long-range penalty to claim the lead after five minutes.
He was on target again from close in as Enniscorthy's form deserted them and opposition midfielders Billy Ngawini and Shane Farrar kept them on the back foot.
They broke out briefly and decisively before the interval, however, when scrumhalf Arthur Dunne flopped over the line for the only try of the afternoon.
With Ivan Poole converting, the eventual winners were 7-6 ahead at the interval – and 9-7 down shortly afterwards as Earls sent a third penalty goal over the bar.
Wicklow continued to prosper only to be undone at the death as Enniscorthy belatedly began to show some attacking cohesion.
They extracted what proved the be the winning penalty on the opposition 22,with number eight Nick Doyle called up to take the kick in the absence of the injured outhalf Poole.
His mistimed effort with the boot summed up Enniscorthy’s afternoon as it wobbled on target – not very impressive but effective nonetheless.
The outcome means that the Ross Road outfit took the prized coffee pot for the ninth time since first capturing the cup in 1926.
ENNISCORTHY: R Dunne; I Jacob, K Lett, D Pim, D O'Dwyer; I Poole, A Dunne; A Todisco, D Murphy, P Waters; T Morrissey, T Ryan; A Jacob, B Bolger, N Doyle.
Subs: H O'Neill for Poole, S Hadley for Morrissey, C Kavanagh for Todisco.
WICKLOW: B Porter; A Cullen, B Ngawini, S Farrar, S Breen; N Earls, D Higgins; E Killeen, J McKenna, N Dickenson; G Naopu, J Jenkinson; L Gaffney, L Geresekowski, W Wojnar.
Subs: A Porter for Cullen; E Downes for Dickenson; PC Vinolo for J Jenkinson; M Nicholson for Killeen.
Referee: C Wardrop (Leinster).