Tullow got their 2016 off to a flying start with a much needed victory in the Leinster League Division 1B.
On the road at Silken Thomas Park against Cill Dara, Tullow were two tries up to the good in the early stages of the game and never looked back, picking up their bonus point win in a 34-10 victory that cements their 6th spot in the league table.
It’s nearly a month on since their 11-7 home reverse against Coolmine but the Christmas break seems to have done the men in maroon and white much good. The win leaves them with 15 points, four ahead of Cill Dara though trailing their next opponents, Mullingar, by six. With Cill Dara facing league leaders Malahide next weekend, taking points from Mullingar and building on their strong start to the year will be a must for Tullow.
Meanwhile in Kilkenny on Saturday, the home side were made to pay a late penalty against Enniscorthy in extremely tough conditions.
The Wexford men, runaway leaders in Division 1A, started bright and were a try up inside 3 minutes of the first half but with the weather worsening across the remaining 77 minutes, they never looked like getting up another gear.
Both sides missed penalties in both halves, however, it was a strong second half performance from Kilkenny that produced a great Gary Dunne try to tie the game up at 7-7 with 20 minutes to play in the second half.
The draw was the very least Kilkenny deserved but when they had a chance of a late penalty, Enniscorthy weren’t to miss, throwing the game right back to 2015’s Provincial Towns Cup final. 10-7 the score at the final whistle, disappointment for Kilkenny who should have come away with a share of the spoils – or better – but it’s Enniscorthy that extend their lead at the top of Division 1A by 10 points over nearest rivals Gorey.
Kilkenny host Ashbourne at Foulkstown next weekend and with Clondalkin and Monkstown both facing tough opposition, a way against the third-placed side could lift them to fifth in the table. Suttonians stay rooted to the foot of 1A with 4 points, Kilkenny one place higher on 17.
For their own part, Carlow (who had their game this weekend called off due to an unplayable pitch) host Newbridge at Oak Park next weekend while Tullow Travel to Mullingar on Sunday.
Photos: Kilkenny v Enniscorthy
All photos copyright © Ken McGuire.