While Carlow’s winning form continued at the weekend, Kilkenny slumped to their third defeat in four in Division 1A on Saturday and county neighbours Tullow made it four losses on the trot as 1B newcomers Mullingar went back to the midlands with a 15-10 victory on Sunday afternoon.
Tullow, while they’ve yet to pick up a victory, have three losing bonus points to their name which is all that separates them from Longford at the foot of Division 1B this season.
They travel to CPL Park next Sunday for a 2.30pm kick off where they’ll be hoping to get the better of a Longford side who have shipped 142 points in total this season, conceding 19 tries in 4 games to prop up the Division 1B. While Longford’s record wasn’t great last season, they still managed to cling on but their current form would suggest that even at this stage they’re in danger of relegation if they can’t pick up points before Christmas. A win for Tullow this weekend would be a real kickstart to their season.
In 1A, Aiden McDonald opened the scoring for Kilkenny and added a second to his account before the break, sending Kilkenny in 21-13 to the good. Ashbourne had already turned up the heat in the second half and with five minutes to play trailed the visitors by a single point, before securing two converted tries at the death to complete the reverse and send Kilkenny home with a 34-21 loss.
Final nail in the coffin. Another converted try by Ashbourne. 34-21. 79 mins
The Kilkenny result means they’ve lost three of their opening four games in 1A this season and find themselves two points above bottom place Suttonians who provided them with a bonus point victory in Kilkenny a few weeks ago. Next up will be the hosting of Clondalkin at home, a side Kilkenny very much had the better of in the Provincial Towns Cup semi-finals this Spring and with Christmas looming they’ll be hoping to add more points to the board.
Kilkenny’s Joe Manuel spoke to Michael O’Leary this evening on The Way It Is, first about the Rugby World Cup win for New Zealand but also on the fortunes, or misfortune, of Kilkenny so far this season.
“It’s hard to put your finger on exactly what it is (that we’re) struggling with. I mean, with the three games that we’ve lost, we’ve been leading at half time but haven’t been able to close the game out.
Three away games to good teams, games we probably thought we should have won. (The results) we just weren’t able to hold up the last 20, 30 minutes.”