A seven year win streak for Kilkenny over Carlow came to a halt at Oak Park on Saturday, writes John Shirley.
Former Kilkenny coach Steve Ashmore, having guided the Foulkstown men to successive Towns Cup Finals in recent years and promotion to Division 1A, oversaw Carlow’s 26-12 victory in the South East League.
There’s just two weekends to go before the Leinster League rugby season kicks off and the local derbies are always one to savour.
Carlow’s win also snaps a near seven year undefeated streak for Kilkenny against the Oak Park men.
Recap: Carlow 26-12 Kilkenny
“Early in the encounter it looked as if the visitors were using this game to practice their training pitch moves. Several kickable penalty chances were spurned in favour of scrums and corner lineouts.”
“Twice in the first half these Kilkenny moves came good with slick tries from winger Ian McLoughlin and centre Padraic Mahon. One was converted by fullback Liam Caddy but the second conversion attempt was blocked by speedy Carlow winger Seamus Curran.”
“This enabled Kilkenny to lead 12-6 at half time. Carlow’s scores came via two fine penalties kicked by centre Ritchie Whyte.”
“Within 2 minutes of the second half Whyte split the posts again to make it Carlow 9 Kilkenny 12.”
“As the game progressed the home side gained momentum. Kilkenny runners were given less space, their earlier cohesion had gone and it was the Carlow backs who began to sparkle. This enabled Carlow to run in three late tries without reply from the Noresiders.”
“The first came when prop Ross Byrne offloaded to Ritchie Whyte who scored out on the left. The second was scored by John Whyte in the same spot. A loose Kilkenny clearance was collected by the Carlow backs, recycled out wide to Whyte who sold a dummy with two free men on his left and ran in untouched.”
“The third came in the dying moments. Carlow counter attacked after a disjointed Kilkenny effort was repulsed. Sub Fiach Milliard and Wes Shirley made a lot of ground before passing to another sub, Gearoid Dunbar who ran in at the corner.”
Carlow J1 XV
Graham Brennan, Seamus Curran, Dave McDermott, Ritchie Whyte, Stuart O Malley, John Whyte, Alex Crossley, Larry McGrath, John Farrell, Ross Byrne, Wes Shirley, Thomas Whitney, John Murphy, Barra Farrell, Ed Keating.
Subs; Joe Gorman, Tim O Donoghue, John Lyons, Martin Mullins, Al Wieberge, Fiach Milliard, Sam Cullen, Dominic Rice, Gearoid Dunbar.
Kilkenny J1 XV
Liam Caddy, Ian McLoughlin, Padraic Mahon, Joe Manual, Cormac Connelly, Jake McDonald, Dara McGrath, Connor Dempsey, Ossie Aro, Shane Roche, Kyle Roche, Liam Phelan, Ronnie Moran, Jason Connolly, Wes Carter.
Sub Jack Walsh replaced number 10 Jake McDonald after 12 minutes