The Heineken Marble City 7s proved successful for Carlow in Kilkenny on Saturday.
Kilkenny Rugby Club’s annual sevens tournament was played out on one of the hottest days of the year with Carlow 1 taking the plate competition and a tidy €1,000 in prize money.
Carlow Rugby Club entered two teams this year, both sides doing the club proud.
Carlow 2 progressed to the Cup quarter final after wins over Buccaneers, Enniscorthy and UCC/Tullow. Their good run came to an end as a depleted team went down to Waterford Institute of Technology in the quarter final.
In the plate competition, Carlow had a 37-7 quarter final win over Railway Union. This was followed by a feisty affair with Enniscorthy in the semi final which saw Carlow prevail by 29-14.
In the final Carlow faced hosts Kilkenny who fielded a strong side.
A good start by Carlow saw a great break by Dan Grey being followed up by Johnny Murphy to take a offload and score under the posts. Ultimately this score would prove crucial. Both teams traded tries for the rest of the game until the scores were tied at 19-19 all at full time.
First score with extra time of five minutes would follow, with the first try scorer being deemed a winner if still level at that stage. With both teams out on their feet after a long day of 7s neither side could create many openings in a tense 5 minutes. Some tired passes deprived Carlow of capitalising on their advantages while some desperate last gasp tackling kept Kilkenny at bay. With the last 60 seconds on the clock Kilkenny knew they needed to score to stop Carlow winning.
The tension was finally lifted when Kilkenny were tackled into touch and the ref blew for full time to see Carlow as Plate Champions.
The Marble City 7s is an annual event which this year had an entry of 22 teams from across the country with a prize fund of €4,000 on offer.
CARLOW SQUAD: Alan Byrne, Ross Byrne, Barra Farrell, Ronan Farrell, John Farrell, Chris Chall, Johnny Murphy, Larry McGrath, Lorcan Gill, Mark McDermott, Jeff McDermott, Dave McDermott, Martin Mullins, Sam Dunne, Tamilore Anowusi, Yusef Ahmed, Zach Fitzhenry, Alex Crossley, Dan Crotty, Dan Grey, Dom Rice, James Nolan, Niall Birmingham, Ross Elmes, Tommy Dunne, Wes Shirley.
Reporting John Shirley, Carlow PRO