With Carlow and Tullow’s firsts out of this year’s Bank of Ireland Provincial Towns Cup, it’s all eyes on Ross Road Sunday.
It’s the tie of the round – last year’s winners against finalists for two years in a row – Enniscorthy v Kilkenny.
Having already sealed the Division 1A title, Enniscorthy are at home this weekend seeking back to back Towns Cup wins, chasing promotion into the AIL but for the cup competition and it’s Kilkenny who stand in their way.
As last year’s winners, Enniscorthy had a bye through to the second round, along with Kilkenny for being one of the first names out of the pot for this year. With a second round clash against Cill Dara, Enniscorthy faced a tough enough test to seal a 22-16 win while on a day of mixed conditions against Mullingar, Kilkenny scraped a 7-6 win. Last year saw kicking the difference between Enniscorthy and Kilkenny and the likes of Ivan Poole (Enniscorthy) and Rory McInerney (Kilkenny) – or whoever has the Foulkstown men’s kicking duties this weekend – in top form.
Kilkenny will be happy in the fact that they retained their Division 1A status for next season though no doubt given the mixed start, they would have preferred to put bigger numbers on the board when you compare to their season-winning Division 1B campaign in 2014/15.
They’ve (Kilkenny) lost their last four meetings with Enniscorthy, including the 2015 Provincial Towns Cup final last April. The Wexford men got the better of Kilkenny at Foulkstown in the pre-season South East League before picking up home and away wins in Division 1A this year – the league visit to Foulkstown showing Kilkenny can better Enniscorthy, despite the last gasp win for their guests.
But, while Enniscorthy will certainly be regarded as the in-form side, the Provincial Towns Cup is akin to the FA Cup cross channel – anything can happen.
We spoke to club captain David O’Connor ahead of the clash this weekend about the season just gone and what expectations are like this Sunday.
Kilkenny travel to Enniscorthy for the Quarter-Final of the 2016 Provincial Towns Cup. Ross Road is the venue and 3pm is kick-off. Elsewhere, Dublin side Clondalkin host Roscrea, Portlaoise welcome Wicklow and Naas 2nds are at home to Gorey.