The general consensus is that when Kilkenny and Ennisorthy go head to head on the rugby pitch, they’ll never disappoint. Such was the case on Sunday afternoon at Ross Road as both sides served up a thrilling contest in their Provincial Towns Cup quarter-final fixture.
In terms of the ‘Towns Cup, history was on the side of Enniscorthy as last year’s winners going up against Kilkenny as last year’s beaten finalists. On that day in April it was a narrow 9-8 victory for the Wexford who already have the 1A title in their pocket this season.
Jack Kelly opened the scoring for Enniscorthy on the 9 minute mark, Ivan Poole converting successfully to put the home side 7-0 up in the opening stages. Ten minutes later and following two Kilkenny penalties to bring them back into the game, the Foulkstown men were holding a 13-7 lead.
The sides continues to trade scores, another Ivan Poole penalty, one for Kilkenny and two Enniscorthy tries pushed the hosts to a 22-16 heading into the break and a last minute Kilkenny penalty closed out the half with Enniscorthy ahead 22-19.
The one thing I had flagged on Friday for the weekend preview was that both sides would need to bring their A game when it came to kicking. Ten minutes into the second half and we had another handful of penalties, Enniscorthy 25-22 to the good. Another Enniscorthy penalty and a 70th minute try put daylight between the sides at 35-25 with just under ten minutes to play, but Kilkenny dug deep, tacked on another penalty from range before Podge Mahon crossed the line in the last play of the second half to force extra time at 35-35.
However, that looked like all Kilkenny could muster heading into two halves of extra time at Ross Road. Enniscorthy came out of the traps strong, picked up an early try and put the nail in the coffin with a second in the second half to clsoe the game out at 49-35.
Somewhat ironically, Enniscorthy take to Kilkenny again this coming Sunday to take on Naas in the semi-final while Wicklow and Clondalkin will do battle in Carlow on Sunday week. Both games kick off at 3pm.
Updates to follow.