It was a weekend of upset for local rugby as Kilkenny, Tullow and Carlow all recorded losses in the Leinster League at the weekend.
Kilkenny v De La Salle Palmserston (DLSP)
You become accustomed to writing about home wins for Kilkenny but for the first time in 17 months, the Foulkstown men recorded a league loss at the weekend, throwing away a good half time lead to come out the wrong side of a 34-28 scoreline.
The league table for Kilkenny would look vastly different but for their second half performances this season. With two wins under their belts (both at home), Kilkenny have lead well at the break on three or four occasions only to let their opposition creep up from far behind and overtake them in the closing stages.
While DLSP opened the scoring, Kilkenny lead at the break through Podge Mahon (try) and Rory McInerney (two tries) to give the home side a 21-5 advantage. But, as has happened too often this season, that’s where Kilkenny’s scoring would stop until five minutes from the end.
Trailing DLSP 34-21, John McGuinness took matters into his own hands to conjure up a great try under the posts, McInerney adding a fourth conversion but the game was done at that stage. The late try pushed Kilkenny from a point-less game to picking up the try bonus and losing bonus points, leaving them 6th in the table on 12 points from 7 games.
Elsewhere in 1A, Gorey recorded an away victory against Clondalkin in Gordon Park Kingswood, Suttonians lost their 7th game on the trot at home to Ashbourne while leage leaders Enniscorthy were beaten by a single point at home to Monstown, that game finishing out 13-12.
Malahide v Tullow
Tullow’s slide in Division 1B continued as they notched up their sixth loss from seven at Estuary Road on Sunday.
With Tullow trailing from the six minute mark, Malahide lead 13-5 at the break but started to put up big numbers facing into the wind in the second half, at one stage leading Tullow 30-12. Two more tries would come, one for each side to wrap up the fixture 35-17 in favour of the Dubliners, handing Malahide the winning bonus point in the process.
Longford picked up their first win of the season to date, defeating Cill Dara 20-0 at home, the win there leaving Tullow now three points off the bottom.
In other games on Sunday, North Kildare (who Tullow face next weekend) got the better of Coolmin in Kilcock (19-5) while Wicklow beat Mullingar 18-6 at Ashtown Lane.
Carlow v Railway Union
A John Farrell try late in the second half, successfuly converted by Ritchie Whyte, was the only score for Carlow on Sunday at home to Railway Union, Portlaoise leap-frogging Carlow as a result at the top of 2A.
Carlow went into the break thanks 6-0 down thanks to 2 Railway penalties at went further behind just after the break with the Dubliners running in under the posts. Carlow could have had the game but missed three penalties of their own to leave Oak Park with only their second defeat of the season and their first in six games.
Portlaoise take top spot now in Division 2A thanks to a 3-point win over Newbridge, helped on by Portarlington’s 36-17 loss at the hands of New Ross while at Coolavacoose Carbury, Edenderry were 24-5 winners over Athboy.
Carlow will be looking to – and will need to – bounce back next weekend as they host Portarlington at Oak Park, the only other side to get the better of them this season.
Some Weekend Positives
There were some positives on the local rugby front at the weekend as Kilkenny’s thirds claimed a win over Trinity on Saturday afternoon at Foulkstown while Normans RFC recorded a comprehensive 65-0 win over Emerald Warriors to cement top spot of the Metro League Division 11.