Kilkenny Seconds crashed out of the Provincial Towns Cup on Sunday which ended their dreams of glory this season. In what was a closely contested game, Kilkenny gave their all.
However, it was their defence that was the deciding factor in the end. Despite the beautiful weather conditions, a surprisingly small contingent of supporters turned out to lend support to the locals in what was a thrilling game, but disappointing result.
Enniscorthy kicked off into the waiting and eager hands of Kilkenny flanker Rod O’Donoghue, who drove straight at the visitors and set up a ruck. Kilkenny quickly reproduced the ball and out-half Gerry Callanan tested the Enniscorthy defence with a Garryowen.
Kilkenny captain, Vinnie O’Shea was on hand to regain possession. The ball was flashed quickly out to the backs and Kilkenny looked in position to open the scoring. Full-back Eamon Carroll, with the ball in hand, passed back inside to winger Rod Hogan. However an Enniscorthy defender read the situation perfectly and intercepted the pass and raced for the line to open the scoring. Luckily for Kilkenny the conversion attempt was wide.
Kilkenny attacked again and lofted a ball deep into their opponents 22. They were up quickly and put the Enniscorthy defence under pressure, forcing them to make an error to concede a penalty directly in front of the posts. Gerry Callanan made no mistake with his kick. Kilkenny were back in the game.
The home side kept up the pressure from the restart. On 22 minutes, following some superb attacking play, winger Ger Flood broke through the defence and touched down just left of the posts. Callanan added the conversion.
Two minutes later Enniscorthy full-back David O’Dwyer broke through a rather lacklustre Kilkenny defence and touched down just right of the posts. His team mate, Daniel Shore added the conversion and in the 38th minute Shore stretched the lead with a fine kick.
The score at half-time was 15-10 in favour of Enniscorthy.
Having heard a few harsh words during the break, Kilkenny started the second half with more gusto. With just 40 seconds gone the ball was flashed out to winger, Paul O’Flynn, who was not to be stopped and he touched down in the corner. Callanan’s conversion narrowly missed the target.
Both teams battled for possession and took every opportunity to attack. In the 25th minute Kilkenny were again caught asleep. Enniscorthy’s strong full-back, O’Dwyer punished them for their complacency. He broke through some weak tackling and scored his second try.
Three minutes later Shore added a further three points and it looked as if Kilkenny were finished.
The locals finally woke up and pinned their opponents in their 22 for the remainder of the game. Enniscorthy defended superbly, and assisted by a number of poor decisions by Kilkenny’s behalf, they managed to keep their line intact.
With normal time played, Kilkenny kept up the pressure and finally flanker Lee Wilson broke through for a touch down. Callanan added the conversion. Following the kick, the referee blew time on the proceedings with Kilkenny trailing by a single point.
Despite losing by a single point, Kilkenny showed real flair in attack. Their defence was shaky at times. This aspect of their game let them down in the end.
Best for Kilkenny were flanker, Ronan O’Donohue, who was ever present and showed true strength in defence and attack. He was closely followed by full-back Eamon Carroll and Conor Bass, who gave everything for their team mates.
Kilkenny 2nds - Eamon Carroll, Rod Hogan, Richie Connolly, Vinnie O’Shea (C), Ger Flood, Gerry Callanan, Victor Harper, Conor Bass, Lee Wilson, Ronan O’Donohue, John Madden, James Blanchfield, Eddie Brennan, Emmet Lynch, Darren Bawle.
Subs - Sean Fox, Mick Dunne, Ger Costello, Ronnie Moran, Paul O’Flynn.
Thirds in Cup
The Kilkenny Thirds begin their quest for Towns Cup glory on Sunday against Enniscorthy. With both the Firsts and Seconds out of their respective competitions, the baton has been handed to Dave Matthews and his players to try and bring the cup home. Kick off in Foulkstown is at 1pm.
To host semi-final
The Kilkenny grounds at Foulkstown has been chosen to host the J1 Provincial Towns Cup semi-final between Enniscorthy and Newbridge. The game will be played on Sunday (3pm).
A large crowd is expected for this game. The club appealed to all members to lend a hand as stewards. Anyone wishing to volunteer should contact Gary Brickell (086-4128811).