Dundalk RFC will be playing senior rugby for the first time in their history next season following a 22-10 victory over De La Salle Palmerston in Dublin today.
Johnny Williams was the hero for the Mill Road men on the day with a hat-trick of wins in what was arguably the side’s most famous ever result.
The visitors got off to a dream start when Williams got in for his first try in the 12th minute after a good break through a ruck by player/coach Ene Fa’atau.
Ultan Murphy missed the resultant conversion but with De La Salle missing penalties either side of that score, Dundalk would have been happy with their early 5-0 lead.
Williams then added a second try in the 27th minute, running in from the scrum after the Mill Road men had initially been held up over the De La Salle line. Murphy did manage to convert on this occasion, giving his well-supported side a 12-0 advantage.
The home side did respond with a penalty before the break to cut the gap by to nine points but a further miss on the restart meant they failed to build any real momentum.
Their cause then went from bad to worse when they had a player yellow carded, with Murphy converting the penalty to leave it 15-3.
Williams then completed his hat-trick minutes later, with Murphy converting to leave it 22-3.
The dream day took a slight sour turn for Williams when he as yellow carded in the 57th minute, with Fa’atau joining him in the sin bin two minutes later.
That allowed De La Salle cut the deficit courtesy of a penalty try with 18 minutes to go, with their fly half converting to leave it 22-10.
Despite Murphy missing a penalty with 13 men on the field for the visitors, Dundalk held out well in the closing stages to earn an historic promotion and cap a dream year for the club, who also won the Leinster League, All-Ireland Junior Cup and McGowan Cup this season.
The biggest prize of all though is a place in the All-Ireland League.