Towns Cup fever takes a grip

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Towns Cup fever takes a grip

Match balls for the Kilkenny v Wicklow game at Foulkstown on Sunday being presented by Deirdre Shine and Helen Nelson (Bank of Ireland) to Kilkenny officials Ed Donohue (director) and Padraic Treacy

Cup fever is about to grip Kilkenny rugby as the season gears up for a big finish.

The Bank of Ireland sponsored Provincial Towns Cup action  will hit  Foulkstown this weekend. 

On Sunday the Kilkenny First XV welcome 2016 champions and  cup holders, Wicklow RFC to Foulkstown in a first round  clash.

This promises to be a right good battle  for the chance to  advance to the second round of the oldest and most prestigious rugby competition in Ireland.

Kilkenny are no strangers to this competition, and taking a long road in it.

 They  have been very successful down through the years in bringing Leinster Cup glory to the City, having won it on no less than six occasions. 

The first was in 1920 when Kilkenny won the Leinster Junior Cup when they beat Enniscorthy 3-0 in a captivating final. 

The Leinster Junior Cup was the precursor to the current Leinster Provincial Towns Cup which Kilkenny have won five times - 1955, 1959, 1986, 2001 and 2002.  

The seasons  2001 to 2002 were without doubt the most memorable when Kilkenny enjoyed huge success, not only winning the Towns Cup but also the Leinster League Division One  in both years.

 Mahony record

Kilkenny also reached the final of the ’Cup in 1987 and 1998 but had to be content with second place. 

Former player and coach, Willie Mahony is in fact one of the few players in Leinster to have played in the Towns Cup final across three decades – 1986 and 1987, 1998, 2001 and 2002, winning in three of those years.

In more recent times Kilkenny were finalists in 2014 and 2015, playing Ashbourne and Enniscorthy respectively. 

Unfortunately, Lady Luck did not glance in their direction  on either  occasion and they were narrowly beaten.

Seconds

Kilkenny Seconds have also enjoyed huge success over the years, winning the Provincial Towns Seconds Cup seven times - 1983, 1984, 1998 and 2001.

They completing the three in-a-row in 2003, 2004 and 2005.

Kilkenny RFC sent out a  “welcome to all” invite to local sports fans to join  rugby fans in Foulkstown on Sunday to  shout on the  local heroes in what will be a massive test. 

Kick-off in Foulkstown on Sunday is at 2.30pm.

Past Presidents

In addition to the Towns Cup game on Sunday, the club  will be holding a past Presidents gathering prior to kick-off. 

So far 22 of the  26 past Presidents have confirmed their attendance. 

 As well as that,  current President Padraic Treacy will be presenting a special recognition award to one of the club’s youths players, Conan Dunne, after the game. 

Conan won his first cap for Ireland at under-18 level in October.

Results

J1 Leinster League - Kilkenny 29, Malahide 34; J2 Leinster League - Kilkenny 0, Malahide 61; J3 South East League - Kilkenny 26,  Athy 34.

Women’s Leinster League - Kilkenny 27, NM Falcons 22.