By John Shirley
Carlow 47 Kilkenny 18
Carlow reached the final of the Provincial 2nds Plate on Sunday with a big win over Kilkenny at Oakpark.
The game was close enough in the first half and Carlow led by 13 – 3 at the interval. But in the second half Carlow backs cut loose and finished the game with 47 points to the visitors 18.
The game was only 5 minutes gone when Carlow’s Ross Elmes pounced on a Kilkenny error and ran in for the first try. Liam Slater converted and added two penalties to bring the home side to 13 points to Kilkenny’s 3 from a penalty by Ryan Hogg.
Another Hogg penalty early in the second half closed the gap to 13 – 6. Carlow replied almost immediately with a try by Paddy Mackey and another Slater penalty to lead 18 – 6. From the kick off following the Carlow try the Carlow clearance was blocked down and a try scored by Kilkenny’s Liam O Neill.
The conversion closed the gap to 13 – 18 but that was as close as the visitors came as Carlow backs went on a scoring spree in the final quarter.
Another Slater penalty was followed by tries from Sean Quinlan, Calum Murphy and Johathan Crossley. Quinlan’s score followed a break by substitute Ben Crotty who came on at fullback.
After a mazy run through Kilkenny players Calum Murphy was awarded a penalty try after being high tackled 4 metres from the tryline. Crossley’s try brought the biggest cheer of the day after the diminutive scrumhalf was chased 40 metres to the tryline by the rangy but out of puff, Kilkenny backs.
The Cats did get a late, late converted try to give a slightly better look to the scoreline but the day belonged to Carlow who extracted some small revenge for their loss to Kilkenny in the quarter final of this years Provincial Town Cup.
Calum Murphy, Rory Carbery, Sean Quinlan, Ross Elmes, Sam Dunne, Liam Slater, Johnny Crossley, Rhys Roberts, Evan Gordon, Williams Ganley, David Keppel, Anthony Mannion, Capt, Matthew Keogh, Steve Treacy, PaddyMackey
Subs from John Farrell, Ross Byrne, Darragh Brennan, Tom Bolger, Niall Finnegan, Tristan Groenwold, Ben Crotty, Bobby Cope
Ryan Hogg, Cian Butler, Sean Moran, Billy Walsh, Paddy Mullen, Robbie Boyd, Ciaran Sutton, David Graham, Shane O Connor, David Kennedy, Dara Morrissey, Alan McEntyre, Tadgh Butler, Liam McWey, Andrew Warner.
Subs from Liam O Neill, James Phelan, Brian Howe, Alex Walsh, Sean Flynn,