Down they may be but Kilkenny are determined to bounce right back after a disappointing weekend in which they were big winners but also big losers.
Kilkenny Firsts rugby team did the business on the pitch when beating DLSP in the J1 Leinster League and claiming a bonus point.
However, results elsewhere went against them and their defiant last stand wasn't enough to avoid relegation back to Division 1B after two seasons in the top flight.
“Beating DLSP was a very good result, but it wasn't enough to save us from the drop,” explained manager, Pakie Hennebry.
“Now that it has happened we have to be positive going forward. The goal now is to bounce right back and win promotion next season,” he added.
Kilkenny ultimately paid the price for a poor start to the season when things were in disarray. Things have picked up since coach, Dermot Dunne, took over team affairs but Kilkenny found it hard to get a good rhythm going.
They lost games they shouldn't and injuries hurt the squad.
“We have to look ahead now. Dermot (Dunne) appealed to the players afterwards to stick together,” Mr Henebry continued.
“Next year we have to drive on and regain our position in Division IA,” he added.
The planning for next season has commenced already, he insisted.
“The work has started,” the manager assured. “We still have the South East League to play for and we are still in the Provincial Towns Cup Plate. In real terms the season is far from over.
“If we could win something, anything, it would boost confidence. Kilkenny is a big club and it has to think big.
“We were on the big stage in the early part of the decade. We want to get back there. Our President Padraig Treacy spoke to the players after the game too and he urged them to drive on.
“This is the time for unity, for sticking together,” Mr Henebry said. “Together we can become something, but divided we will achieve nothing.
“We have to turn the hurt of this moment into something big in the future,” he added.
DLSP were led all the way. Two early penalties landed by Jake McDonald gave Kilkenny a 6-nil lead to help them settle.
The winners hit the break showing 18-8 in front after Simon O'Shea and team captain, David O'Connor scored tries.
DLSP were hit for two more tries during the second half.
Andy Nyenheuis touched down for the third one before a quick tap penalty by Rory McInerney ended with Liam Caddy scoring.
Kilkenny roared on, and they added a bonus point to the win.
However, when Monkstown scored a bonus point win over Dundalk (22-18) they booked a place in the play-offs against Clondalkin and at the same time opened the trap door through which Kilkenny fell back to Division IB.
Kilkenny - Simon O'Shea, Murt Leahy, Hugh O'Brien, Andy Nyenheuis, Ronan Scott, Jay Leahy, David O'Conor (capt), Jason Connolly, Rory McInerney, Jake McDonald, Aidan McDonald, Podge Mahon, Liam Caddy, Ben O'Connor, Sean Moran.
J1 Leinster League - Kilkenny 28, DLSP 23.
J2 Leinster League - Kilkenny 26, DLSP 34.
Women Leinster Cup - Kilkenny 60, CYM 5.
J1 South East League final -
Kilkenny v Wicklow (h), April 2.
J1 Towns Plate - Kilkenny v Cill Dara/Portlaoise (h) at 3pm, March 26.
Women Leinster Cup quarter-final - Kilkenny v opponent to be decided at 3pm, April 9.