This weekend was likely one of those rugby weekends where you called the games with a little more heart than head.
Coolmine v Tullow (1B)
The wheels certainly haven’t come off for Tullow but Friday night was a missed opportunity to make a real statement at the top of Division 1B, the men from Black Gates going down 30-11 away to Coolmine in the 8pm kick off.
Via Tullow’s John Tobin on Facebook
We just found ourselves on the receiving end of a well structured Coolmine side who on the night seemed to finish off their chances where we couldn’t. Maybe the loss of William Canavan in the 10 shirt had a factor to our control of the game also our Number 8, Stephen Smith, who has been playing fantastic rugby this season.
With fellow promotion contenders Wicklow comfortable with the knowledge that Tullow had dropped points on Friday night, they made the most of their clash against Clondalkin with a bonus-point secured in a 44-7 victory at Ashtown Lane. That win moves Wicklow four clear of Tullow at the top. Elsewhere, North Kildare were clinical in seeing off Suttonians 37-12 while Portlaoise made home advantagae count against Mullingar in a 31-7 win.
Kilkenny v Ashbourne (1A)
While the winning continues for Malahide and Enniscorthy at the top of Division 1A, things are looking a little bleaker for Kilkenny who suffered their fourth loss of the season under new coach Gordon Rowe at home to Ashbourne on Saturday afternoon.
With a referee delay, it was a late kick off at Foulkstown, the game delayed by 40 minutes for a 3.10 kick off but it didn’t stop Ashbourne pushing in for an early, unconverted try – the only scoring action of the first half as Ashbourne went in 5-0 at the break.
While a slow moving game at the best of times, Ashbourne had a second try inside the first five minutes of the second half, adding a penalty just past the mid-way mark to leave the scoring at 13-0.
Enniscorthy posted another big scoring result, taking Monkstown 55-15, Malahide traveled to Gorey and left with a 41-13 win while Dundalk and DLSP played out a dinger at Mill Road, the visitors edging 24-23 at the final whistle.
The result leaves Kilkenny in sixth place with nine points after six games, two behind Dundalk in fifth and 20 behind league leaders Malahide. Gorey (8) and Monkstown (5) prop up the table.
Carlow v Roscrea (2A)
Reporting is John Shirley
Carlow began this Leinster League game in Roscrea like a whirlwind but ended it like a whimper.
Playing into a strong cold breeze Carlow had clocked up three tries by the 12th minute. The first by number 8 James Nolan was added to by two more tries in the corners from out-half Fionnan Burke and winger Sam Dunne. None were converted but Carlow were on top all over the field, especially in the scrums, and the young Roscrea side were missing tackles wholesale.
In one incident a Roscrea player was sin-binned for an illegal tackle which put Carlow winger Seamus Curran out of the game with suspected rib damage. He was replaced by Adam Dowling.
The fourth and bonus try came mid way through the half when Carlow centre Simon Walshe broke from his own half and raced all the way to touch down near the posts. Peter Henessey converted to put Carlow into a 22 – nil lead which was carried through till half time.
With the wind in the backs for the 2nd period one could have expected Carlow to mount a cricket score. For a brief period this looked possible as Walshe added his second try under the posts to bring Carlow to 29 – 0.
But then the game deteriorated into a succession of reset scrums, penalties, the vast majority against Carlow, and Carlow errors. Two Carlow players, Niall Bermingham and Thomas Whitney were sin binned in this period.
Roscrea changed their front row and began to achieve scrum parity. Against the wind they carried the ball to Carlow, dominated possession and territory and squeezed through for two tries one of which was converted.
Given their big interval lead Carlow players may have got complacent. Roscrea, promoted this season into Division 2A, say that they have lost 10 players from last season, mainly due to retirements.
Carlow, third from top, play bottom of the table Newbridge at Oakpark, next Sunday.
Also in 2A in Sunday Edenderry saw off Portarlington 26-6 at Coolavacoose Carbury, Newbridge suffered another home defeat – this time to Longford -going town 29-12 while Cill Dara pipped Railway Union 30-27