It was smiles all round for rugby supporters in Carlow over the weekend, first with Carlow Rugby Club making up for their opening day defeat against Cill Dara with a bonus point 29-0 win over Portarlington at Oak Park, followed by the result coming in from Togher that Tullow had seen off Portlaoise, proving to be the best side on the field for the second weekend running.
“Our men made hard work of the opening 60 minutes of the game. Fitness played a big part in the change of result as our men dug deep and scored two well worked team try’s and put a tiring Portlaoise team away” was the summation of the game from Tullow on Facebook following the match.
The early exchanges of the game were tight enough, Portlaoise bagging a penalty to get the scoring underway after three minutes, Tullow opening their scoring with the first of three tries shortly after. A converted try for the hosts, followed by a William Canavan penalty closed the scores out at 10-8 at the break.
William Canavan struck his second of the day after the restart to edge the visitors ahead 11-10 before the sides traded penalties again with the score finely poised at 14-13 for Tullow heading into the final stages of the game. But Tullow dug deep, and two late tries (one converted) made sure of a three-try 26-13 victory to continue Tullow’s positive start to the season.
Dylan Leybourne, Ryan O’Neill and Paul Stephenson ran over the line for Tullow with William Canavan knocking over three penalties and a conversion in the win.
Tullow Team (J1)
Tom Cassell, Sam Corrigan, Louis Kilcoyne, Martin Cole, Frank Murphy, Kyle Hanbidge, James O’Brien, Scott Caldbeck, Dylan Leybourne, William Canavan, Richie Nicholas, William Cass O’Brien, Keiaho Bloomfield, Ryan O’Neill, Paul Stephenson,
John Roche (for James O’Brien), Sean Doyle (Ryan O’Neill).
Elsewhere in Division 1B Clondalkin claimed a home victory against Coolmine, Mullingar took a bonus point victory at home against North Kildare which Wicklow ran in comfortable winners in a 33-5 scalping of Suttonians.
Kilkenny 3 – 33 Enniscorthy
It was contrasting fortunes for Kilkenny in Saturday’s game in Division 1A.
Always a force to be reckoned with in the league, Enniscorthy showed their dominance early, picking up their first try of five for the day inside the opening five minutes of the game.
Despite conditions being good on Saturday and the wind light enough at Foulkstown, kicking on the day suffered, Enniscorthy missing their opening conversion attempt before Kilkenny left a penalty behind them on 13 minutes, Rory McInerney missing wide right. With 18 minutes gone, Kilkenny found themselves spread too thin at the back, allowing Enniscorthy through to the left corner, the left flank on Saturday ultimately giving up most of the points.
Another missed conversion and it was 10-0 with just shy of a quarter of the game played. A soft penalty surrendered by Kilkenny on the half hour mark teed up Enniscorthy for an Ivan Poole penalty under the posts on the half hour mark which is where the score would stay heading into the break.
Kilkenny started the second half on the good foot, Rory McInerney making up for his miss in the first half with a well stuck penalty to reduce the deficit to ten but from there out it was all Enniscorthy. The visitors second try produced a bit of melee under the posts with fists flying, but with a good conversion following, Enniscorthy pushed out to 20-3.
Another penalty on 55 minutes put daylight between the two sides but the last year’s division winners would add another two tries before the conclusion of the game to wrap things up at 33-3. But for some poor kicking, Enniscorthy would have broken the 40-point barrier for the second successive week in what was a dominant showing in all areas of the pitch.
With their next opponents Gorey also suffering back-to-back defeats, it should make the encounter at Foulkstown on Saturday week all the more interesting.
Also in Division 1A, DLSP claimed a 20-6 win on the road against Ashbourne, Dundalk made it two wins in a row with a 24-19 defeat of Gorey while Malahide continued to blaze a trail in the league by dominating Monkstown in a 49-3 win at Estuary Road.