They lost out to them twice in the league this season but at the third time of asking, it was all Kilkenny as the Foulkstown men claimed the Provincial Towns Plate in Naas on Wednesday night with a victory over Dundalk.
Looking back over the league standings, it has been a testing season for Kilkenny in Division 1A of the Leinster League and with results not going their way, they’ll be playing their rugby on Sundays in Division 1B come September. On Wednesday night, however, they signed off their season with a win that brings some nice silverware back to the Waterford Road.
Dundalk opened the scoring with an early penalty but from the 6th minute, it was all Kilkenny, immediately answering the penalty with a converted try.
Leading 10-6 at half time, both sides traded penalties and yellow cards in the early stages of the second half. With an hour gone, Kilkenny had picked up their second try of the game to push the score out to 18-9.
Where recent games against Portaoise and Longford have gone down to the wire, Kilkenny dug in for the final 20 minutes to close out the game at 18-9 and claim the J1 plate.
Kilkenny’s path to the Provincial Towns Plate final was certainly more positive than the league this year.
An away victory over Tullamore (12-5) was followed up with a 27-25 victory over Portlaoise at Foulkstown. The real crunch for Kilkenny came in their semi-final fixture last Sunday week against Longford.
With Kilkenny holding a first half lead, the second half turned into a real slugfest with a Jake McDonald penalty at the death separating the sides by a single point to progress to the final, 29-28 the final score.
If anything, the cup run shows Kilkenny are back into closing out games when it counts and bodes well as they welcome the summer break ahead of the 2017/18 season kick off in the autumn.