The Leinster League continued for local clubs at the weekend with Kilkenny, Tullow and Carlow all in action.
For Kilkenny, a trip to Energia Park in Donnybrook was always going to be a tough ask the way the season has been going for the Foulkstown club while in Carlow it was all eyes on Black Gates with Tullow and Carlow meeting for the second time in the league this season with local bragging rights on offer.
Kilkenny slip to Bective
Saturday’s action saw Kilkenny head to Donnybrook on the back of defeats to Ashbourne and Suttonians. Defending 1A champions Bective went into the break 24-8 to the good but it wouldn’t get any better for Kilkenny on this occasion with the Dubliners running out 45-25 victors.
Results elsewhere saw fellow league strugglers Seapoint claim a 38-14 win over Monkstown, Gorey steal a 20-19 win over Boyne while Suttonians and Ashbourne played out a 29-29 draw. Bective head to Ashbourne this coming Saturday, five points clear of Gorey in second place with the Wexford side bound for Foulkstown to take on Kilkenny.
Defeat for Kilkenny leaves the current Provincial Towns Cu holders at the foot of Division 1A of the Leinster League with 17 points from 10 games and the lowest points scored in the league. They did pick up the try-scoring bonus point having run in four on Saturday but the seven tries conceded won’t help scoring difference at the business end of the season.
Tullow come out on top at Black Gates
Tullow completed a 2022-23 Leinster League double against Carlow at the Black Gates on Sunday. Unlike last October’s first match in Carlow where Tullow got a somewhat fortuitous victory, Sunday’s win was clear cut and deserved with a 30-17 result, writes John Shirley.
Carlow kicked off, but the cross-field wind took the ball directly into touch. From the resultant scrum on the halfway line, Carlow were pushed back and penalised. Tullow converted to lead 3 points to nil. That first scrum penalty set the pattern for the game with Carlow shipping 7 scrum penalties during the 80-minute game.
Scott Caldbeck got the game’s first try, converted by Jamie Cooper to push the lead out to 10-0. A Ben Crotty penalty got Carlow on the board but Tullow hit back with two tries (Jack Hanlon, Scott Sullivan) in five minutes which put the home side in the driving seat for the rest of the match.
With Tullow up 20-3 at halftime, Carlow dominated territory and outscored the home team by 14 points to 10 including tries from substitute Evan Gordon and Calum Murphy, both converted by Ben Crotty.
Speaking after the game, Tullow coach Maurice Logue said that the scoreline did not reflect the actual game.
“We got two lucky tries from the bounce of the ball and Carlow did not convert their opportunities into scores. I was surprised at our scrum superiority but it gave us a point of difference which allowed us to get out of tight situations”, said Logue.
Meanwhile, Carlow coach Corey Carty said Tullow were full value for their performance.
“We had planned to play for territory in the first half but that did not happen. The front-row injuries we suffered in last week’s Athy game really hit in today’s match. For 60% of the match, we had two hookers and a nineteen-year-old against a very experienced Tullow front three. The scrum penalties gave them entry into our half time and again.”
The win keeps Tullow in second place in the table, three points off leaders Wicklow while Carlow sit fourth, six points adrift of Athy.