A last gasp try by visitors Kilkenny deprived the Carlow Junior 2 side of victory in the first game of the new season at Oakpark on Sunday.
The game played, under the banner of the new Leinster League Cup, boiled down to a contest between the heavier Kilkenny pack and the speedier Carlow backs. While the bulk of the Kilkenny scoring came through close in forward mauls the Carlow total came from the backs Caoimhean Brennan (3 tries) and Johnny Crossley (1 try). All four Carlow tries were converted by Liam Slater.
After a lively first half played in ideal conditions the game was tied at 14 points each.
Carlow then scored two well-worked converted tries to lead 28 – 14 and this score continued up to 10 minutes from full time.
However, Kilkenny started playing tight forward rugby and added a penalty and two tries with the final try coming in the final play of the game.
While the defeat was heartbreaking for the home side, the coach and management were happy with the first outing of the season.
Players such as three try-scorer Brennan, Fionnan Burke, Scott Neale, Matt Keogh, and Cormac Murray all had good games.
Both Kilkenny and Carlow agreed to use the game to give runouts to extra subs. Carlow had four young players on the field who had featured in an under 18 cup final win against Kilkenny last season.
Carlow players featured strongly last week in the South East Leinster under 16 team which won their second match 24 – 5 over a Midlands team in the Shane Horgan Cup.
The Carlow players included Noah Cope, Brian Broderick, Cian Cashman, Cillian Moore Tadgh Ronan, and Jack Doyle.
The remaining games against Leinster North East and North Midlands are due to be played at the end of October.
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