It’s the defending cup champions against the newly-minted Division 1B champion this weekend as Kilkenny and Tullow meet in the final of this year’s Bank of Ireland Provincial Towns Cup on Sunday.
Ahead of the game, we’ve got two special previews coming to you this week as part of our buildup to Sunday’s final. With thanks to Poe Kiely Hogan Lanigan Solicitors in Kilkenny we’ll be joining Kilkenny Rugby Club on Wednesday night for a special one-hour preview being broadcast on Thursday evening between 8-9pm. Despite a Leinster League Division 1A campaign that ended in automatic relegation on the last day of the season, Kilkenny have found their Sunday form at the right time and have cruised through the knockout stages to land a second successive Provincial Towns Cup final with the Foulkstown club on the cusp of an unprecedented defence for the first time in over 20 years.
Kilkenny’s route to the final saw them secure a bye into the second round, disposing of Division 1A rivals Ashbourne 29-6 before coming from behind at Clonattin in the quarter-finals to edge Gorey 20-17 in the quarter-finals. While Cill Dara may have been expected to bounce back from a closing-round league defeat to Tullow the previous weekend, they were unable to stop Kilkenny in the semi-final stages with David O’Connor and co. running out 20-8 winners to continue the hunt for back-to-back titles for the first time since 2001/02.
Then on Thursday night we’ll be setting up stall in Tullow Rugby Club for another one-hour special to be broadcast this coming Friday between 7-8pm as we join the reigning Division 1B champions with thanks to Carlow Concrete Tanks to find out how they’re set for another run at the cup. Tullow picked up their first and only ‘Towns Cup in 2017 with a defeat of Skerries in Athy, the same ground providing the back drop for this Sunday’s final. Beaten in the 2018 decider, Tullow are bringing solid league and cup form into this weekend’s clash with the meeting of Kilkenny and Tullow potentially providing one of the best viewings of the season to date.
Tullow blew past Athy 37-16 in the opening round of this year’s competition before a 74th minute Paul Canavan penalty helped secure a 38-36 win over Boyne in round 2. A phenomenal 29-0 shutout of Enniscorthy in the quarter-finals was followed up by a tight 27-25 win over Carlow in the semi-finals to set up Sunday’s encounter with Kilkenny.
It’s the last big game of the Leinster junior rugby calendar and we’ll be live again with thanks to Carlow Concrete Tanks for the game in full, our buildup starting at 2pm as we join the Scoreline sports team live in Athy for a huge day of rugby action on Sunday.