Despite the late scheduled kick-off, a good crowd travelled to Gorey on Saturday from Kilkenny and witnessed one of the tightest games between these two teams in the Leinster Rugby League for many a year. Kilkneny won 24-22, writes Padraic Treacy.
Kilkenny trailed for most of the game and it looked like Gorey would prove to be Kilkenny’s nemesis this season. However, the Noresiders kept plugging away and they managed to pull the game out of the bag in the nick of time.
With tries from Willie Duggan and Killian Everard, and with Julian Hughes continuing his great kicking form, Gorey went very close to stopping the Kilkenny machine from harvesting the goods. Kilkenny’s never give up attitude served them well and brought them across the finish line as victors.
Kilkenny welcomed newly signed Kiwi out-half Willie Wright to the team, and what a great start the youngster made on his debut. He kicked two penalties and one conversion for his new found home. Wright arrived in Kilkenny on Thursday from New Zealand and is already a big hit with the local rugby fraternity.
The 20-year-old hails from Timaru and has played in the 2nd Division NPC Heartland Championship for South Canterbury. He comes with some great credentials and Kilkenny are certainly hoping he will be a huge asset in their efforts to gain promotion this season.
Kilkenny Seconds were not so lucky on Saturday, however. They were narrowly beaten by Gorey, 17-16. Following on from the heavy defeat at the hands of Malahide the week previous, things are not going according to plan for head coach Nigel Daly.
Still awaiting the return of a number of key players, Daly was nevertheless happy with his side’s performance and is confident they will make amends in the coming weeks.
Kilkenny First’s play Clane in Foulkstown on Sunday. The Seconds have a free weekend as Clane are unable to field a team this season.
With Roscrea having beaten Clane 62-12 on Sunday, Kilkenny will be hoping to match this scoreline and bring forward the dedication and fighting spirit displayed against Gorey, thus reinforcing there position at the top of the table. Kick-off is at 3pm.
Kilkenny Firsts - Clive Grehan, Alan O’Donovan, Julian Hughes, Alan Pembroke, Killian Everard, Stephen Brennan, Clive Kavanagh, Willie Duggan, John Harper, Ray Pembroke, Gerry Clarke, Victor Ryan, Eddie Brennan, Tom Massey, Simon O’Shea. Subs - Martin Leahy, Alan McIntyre, Richie Devane, Willie Wright, Victor Harper.
Kilkenny Seconds - Vinnie O’Shea, Rory O’Brien, Lewis Bel Maguire, Kevin O’Toole, Cian O’Mahony, Richie Devane, Victor Harper, Ger Costello, Alan McIntyre, Ronan O’Donoghue, Leon Madigan, Eamon O’Mahony, Mick Hannigan, Dave Matthews, Martin Leahy. Subs - Brian Howe, Ben Dyer, Sean Meany, Barry Daly, Mick Meany.