Carlow and Tullow got much-needed wins on Sunday in the Leinster League.
Tullow ran in seven tries to beat Clondalkin 42-13 and was in control for all the game going in at halftime 20-6 up.
On Saturday, Kilkenny lost to Dublin side Seapoint 19-17 but got the losing bonus point.
The defeat drops them to second from the bottom of the Division 1A table, they will need to beat Ashbourne home and away and then Dundalk in the final game.
Carlow match report
Carlow 29 – Longford 5
Carlow had one of their best Leinster League wins of the season at Oakpark on Sunday when they dispatched Longford by 5 tries to one in a 29 – 5 scoreline. Ironically the win does a bigger favour for near neighbours Tullow as they try to escape relegation territory than it does for the Oakpark side who still lie third in the Division 1B Table.
Before the kick-off, Carlow lost veteran prop, Larry McGrath, in the warm-up and Scrumhalf Isaac Daly earlier. Owen Edgehill moved from the back row to prop instead of McGrath and did an effective job against the heavy Longford pack.
For a change, Carlow started with a flourish and had a try within 4 minutes. A maul, driven forward 25 metres was stopped deep inside the Longford 22. First, the ball was spread to the right and then back across the pitch where Caomhan Brennan on the left-wing ran in for a touchdown.
For most of the remaining 1st half the visitors dominated territory but made error after error in their attempts to cross the Carlow line. They missed a very kickable penalty in the 14th minute.
Carlow too were making costly frustrating mistakes including losing line outs on their own throw in in promising positions.
However in the closing minutes of the half, the home side broke upfield and Wes Shirley stole a line out on the Longford 22. This time the ball was whipped out to the left where Brennan was stopped.
But when the ball was recycled back across the field a long pass found right wing Calum Murphy in the clear and he ran in for Carlow’s second try. Neither of the first two tries were converted but Carlow went into the interval with a 10 to nil lead.
In the second half the Oakpark team cut down on the errors and took control of the game scoring three good tries. For the 1st try Wes Shirley got an intercept in the own half. Treacy and Moore and Johnny Murphy carried forward and fed Richard Whyte who ran in 25 metres for the try.
Three minutes later Shirley tried another intercept which was deemed a deliberate knock-on and he received a yellow card.
For the second try Richard Whyte made ground up the middle. The ball was recycled to the left where Sam Cullen got the touchdown after breaking a couple of attempted tackles.
Shirley was hardly back from the sin bin when then referee yellow carded sub prop Cian Clarke for not allowing a tap penalty player to travel 10 metres.
In spite of being down to 14 men Carlow scored another good try. Good work by sub hooker Evan Gordon was helped further by the McDermott brothers before the ball went to Caomhan Brennan for his second try. Richard Whyte converted two of the three Carlow second half tries to put his side 29 – 0 ahead.
Longford did manage to cross the Carlow line after getting a succession of penalties in the Carlow 22 in what turned out to be the last play of the match.
Speaking after the game coach Corey Carty said that this was the response that Carlow needed after last week’s defeat to Wicklow.
He was especially delighted with the performance of the younger players on the side.
“Players like Cian Clarke, Alan Owens, Connor Treacy and Connor Moore stepped up the mark. After our disappointing defeat in Longford we owed them one in this return game.”
Longford did not travel with a seconds team to Oakpark on Sunday so Carlow’s all conquering J2 side got walkover. Carlow’s next game away to league leaders Boyne is scheduled for 6 February.
The Carlow Clondalkin match postponed from 9 January 2022 has been rescheduled for 20 Feb 2022
Carlow J 1
Richard Whyte, Caomhan Brennan, David McDermott, Sam Cullen, Calum Murphy, Alan Owens, Jeff McDermott, Owen Edgehill, Conal Slater, Ross Byrne, John Lyons, Wes Shirley, Conor Moore, Johnny Murphy, Conor Treacy.
Subs: Evan Gordon, Cian Clarke, Anthony Mannion. Cormac Murray, John Whyte.
In Other News
Meanwhile, two Carlow natives had mixed results on the international stage at the weekend.
Charlie Ward was named to the bench for Connacht as they fell to Stade Francais in the Champions Cup.
Meanwhile, Tullow’s Cillian Redmond started and scored a try for London Irish against Saracens but his side ultimately fell to a 45-24 defeat.
Listen to our weekly rugby podcast featuring Kilkenny, Carlow and Tullow, last week’s episode is below: