Here’s your Leinster League rugby roundup for Kilkenny and Carlow, week ending Sunday 30 September.
Kilkenny v Boyne
It was a case of close but no cigar for Kilkenny on Saturday as Boyne made the trip to Foulkstown in Division 1A.
A missed conversion off Kilkenny’s first try proved to be the scoring difference at the full whistle. Kilkenny’s opened the scoring inside the first quarter of an hour, but a tightly contested game kept the scores at 5-0 through the first half.
Kilkenny struck again approaching the hour mark to go 12-0 clear before Boyne found their first of three tries for the afternoon. Five minutes later, the tide had turned, Boyne taking a 14-12 lead with 15 to play.
Four minutes from time, Boyne put daylight between the sides, a third try and successful conversion pushing the scoring out to 21-12.
A penalty try for Kilkenny closed the gap in injury time but it’s Boyne who leave with their first win of the campaign. Kilkenny, without a win in three fixtures, find themselves at the foot of Division 1A.
They’ve got a weekend away from the league before returning on the 13th to play Gorey in Clonattin.
Carlow v Longford
John Shirley reports as Longford made home advantage count on Sunday.
Carlow travelled all the way to Longford last Sunday for a Leinster League match but came home empty handed after a 29 – 19 loss.
This second Leinster League loss in the first two matches has left the Oakpark side second from table bottom in Division 1B but there are still 12 matches still to come. The general feeling among players and management is that they have underperformed in their first two league matches.
With Tullow coming to Oakpark next weekend, life is not getting any easier for Carlow this season in their new higher Leinster League Division.
In Longford on Sunday exchanges were fairly equal for the first half hour with no scores recorded. But on 28 minutes Carlow’s key man Wes Shirley was sin-binned. Three minutes later Longford got in for their first try. Another was added with six minutes to allow the home side to lead 12 nil at the interval.
A good second half start was vital for the visitors but it was Longford who added a try and a penalty to open a 22 point advantage.
Finally, with less than 10 minutes remaining, Carlow found their mojo and played some good rugby, scoring three tries in the last seven minutes.
Two of these were scored by subs Johnny Murphy and Graham Brennan, the third coming from hard grafting New Zealand recruit Sam O’Brien. The spurt came too late to salvage even a losing bonus point, but it should give some confidence to the side in advance of next week’s local derby against Tullow.
Tullow v Coolmine
Following a narrow two point loss to North Kildare on the opening day of the season, Tullow bounced back with a winning bonus point against Coolmine on Sunday.
Tullow starting brightly with two tries in the first quarter of an hour. With neither conversion attempt paying off, Coolmine hit back with one of their own on the half hour mark, closing the gap to 10-7.
Both sides struck again heading into the break, a third unconverted try for Tullow with a penalty to Coolmine setting the score 15-10 at half time. Tullow picked up the scoring bonus point with their fourth try early in the second, tacking on a fifth as the game neared an end.
With a 29-10 lead heading into the final ten minutes, Tullow took the foot off and let Coolmine back into the game, shaving ten points off the scoreboard. Tullow run out 29-10 winners to jump to fourth in the table after two games.
Sunday 14 October sees Tullow travel to Carlow in the league for the first time in a few seasons. Kick off in Oakpark is set for 3pm.