Inst suffer big setback in bid for promotion
Instonians' 27-12 defeat by Enniscorthy in the AIL Qualifying round robin competition is a blow to their hopes of returning to the top layer of Irish rugby, especially as Clonmel gained a bonus point against Connemara 31-21 in the other game.
Inst now need bonus points against Connemara and Clonmel to keep in the promotion chase but the likelihood is that the winners of Saturday's clash between Enniscorthy and Clonmel will gain the automatic place in 2C next season.
The overall runners up will then face a play-off against either Bangor, Tullamore, City of Derry or Seapoint for 10th place in the division. Clonmel now have five points, Enniscorthy four and Connemara and Instonians zero.
Enniscorthy were more clinical at Shaw's Bridge and always dangerous with ball in hand. Their out-half Ivan Poole controlled the tie and his chip over the defence led to the first try by Richard Dunne. Following a line-out the centre crossed for his second before a knock-on allowed the visitors to counter-attack and Ivan Jacob touched down.
Poole converted all three and added a penalty to give the visitors a huge 24-0 interval lead.
Inst reduced the arrears when RBAI full back Bradley McNamara scored for Richard McCarthy to convert. Poole brought his tally to 12 points with a second penalty before winger Ross O'Donnell added their second try.
Inst are away to Connemara on Saturday and then home to Clonmel.