The Leinster Provincial Towns Cup bandwagon will roll into Foulkstown on Sunday when Kilkenny host Division 1A team Clondalkin in the second round, writes Padraic Treacy.
Kilkenny are no strangers to this competition having brought the cup to Noreside on no less than five occasions – 1955, 1959, 1986, 2001 and 2002. They were beaten finalists in 1987 and 1998.
Kilkenny beat last season’s finalists, Longford, comfortably in the opening round of this competition on January 26 (20-12) thus advancing to the second round.
In preparation for Sunday’s big game, Kilkenny travelled to Waterford at the weekend for a warm-up tie. They were narrowly beaten 28-25 by Munster senior squad, Waterpark.
However, winning this friendly tie was not on Kilkenny’s agenda. The final score was not an important factor. The real issue was to get the players into the mood for Sunday’s do-or-die ’Cup tie.
What was most helpful was Kilkenny’s performance. The team did really well. It is hoped that the level of skill and physicality demonstrated in Waterford will be brought forward to Sunday’s clash against Clondalkin.
The half-back pairing of Robbie Walsh and Willie Wright controlled every aspect of the game, while the Kilkenny backline of Sean Moran, Conor Phelan, Joe Manuel and Podge Mahon showed inventiveness and speed in the delivery of their game.
The Kilkenny pack were without doubt the stronger and more physical of both sets of forwards and demonstrated an eagerness to control and harass their opponents at every opportunity. Kilkenny ran in five tries in all with both sides failing to convert these scores due to the high winds.
Kilkenny have gone from strength to strength this season. They currently hold a commanding position in the Leinster League competition.
Each and every player has given his all this season for the club. With this in mind, Sunday will be an enormous day for the Foulkstown squad and a big crowd is expected to attend.
It is hoped that every player, member, ex-player and ex-member, junior or senior, will come out to support the Kilkenny Firsts in their endeavour to recapture the Towns Cup and give the players who do battle week in and week out in all weathers for the club the respect and support they deserve.
Kick-off is at 3pm.
Kilkenny Firsts v Waterpark - Joey Manuel (capt), Podge Mahon, Conor Phelan, Sean Moran, Denis Hogan, Willie Wright, Robby Walsh, David O’Connor, Ray Pembroke, John Phelan, Darragh Farragher, Victor Ryan, Hugh O’Brien, Martin Leahy, Wayne Kavanagh. Subs - Darren Bawle, Pete Rodgers, Sean Moran, Tom Massey, Philly Walsh, John McGuinness, Clive Grehan, Darren O’Brien, Jerry Callinan.