The celebrations in Tullow this week are likely going to continue for a few days – despite a Provincial Towns Cup semi-final on the horizon.
On Sunday, the Black Gates Club very much with destiny in their own hands, took to Cill Dara to see out their Leinster League campaign for 2022/23 knowing that a winning or losing bonus point from the game should be enough to claim a first league title in ten years. In the end, they got all the points needed and landed a Leinster League Division 1B title with ease, sealing promotion to Division 1A for next season in the process.
“It’s incredible feeling”, head coach Maurice Logue told KCLR at the final whistle.
“With relation to the game, we just wanted to play territory, we want to put a lot of pressure on them. We want to force them to chase the game rather than the other way around. So that’s why we took the wind and the first half and then it transpired the wind had changed and came with us in the second half. So I suppose somebody’s looking down on us, you know, maybe Ger O’Brien is up there someplace helping us out, you know.”
“We had to just win the game. We needed four points. We just needed to win the game, keep destiny in our own hands, force them to keep chasing.”
While Tullow carved out a 21-0 lead, a succession of penalty chances allowed Cill Dara back into the game before Tullow took over in the second half to close out with a 46-14 win on the last day of the league season.
“It was a great day for the club”, KCLR rugby analyst and Tullow club man Johnny Tobin told KCLR’s Full Time on Monday evening.
“It’s been ten years since we got promoted and we’ve been pulling out of the door of promotion for the last ten years. It’s been a good year all around. The result yesterday (Sunday) does flatter the game, 46-14 sounds like it was an easy day at the office but it was by no means. Cill Dara were very, very good, we just got a couple of rubs of the green. The win was all we needed.”
“Our fellow county men did us a favour beating Wicklow and it really took a lot of pressure off us where we could sit back knowing the result of that game. An incredible day for the club, incredible scenes. It’s just a great time to be involved in Tullow Rugby Club.”
Tullow’s next trip will be to Enniscorthy to take on Carlow in the semi-finals of this year’s Provincial Towns Cup. That game takes place on Easter Sunday, 9 April, with a 3pm kick-off.