Kilkenny secure Division 1A status as attention shifts to Towns Cup
On Saturday, Kilkenny wound out their season on the road to De La Salle Palmerston. Where the 2014/15 in Division 1B was a near perfect season for Kilkenny, life on the road for the Foulkstown men has been quite difficult in Division 1A. Changes to training, injuries, player availability and adjusting to Saturday fixtures were all factors in a season that didn’t bring consistency in good results.
Wins at home were matched by losses on the road and where a win came on the road, points would be dropped at home. Home wins were picked up against Suttonians, Clondalkin and Monkstown (on a narrow 11-10 scoreline) while the doubles were picked up against Clondalkin and Suttonians on the road.
On Saturday, trailling 14-7 at the break, Kilkenny couldn’t recover in the second half and finished the game on a 26-15 reverse, their second league loss to DLSP. Enniscorthy ensured their Division 1A crown with a comprensive 55-0 dismantling of Monkstown, that result cementing fifth place for Kilkenny in the final table standings. Elsewhere on Saturday Ashbourne made sure that Suttonians finished 2015/16 winless with a 48-5 victory at Milltown House while Gorey secured second place with a 10-0 win over Clondalkin.
With 1A status locked in, the focus for Kilkenny now shifts to the Provincial Towns Cup.
Enniscorthy lie in wait for Kilkenny on the bank holiday weekend with an away quarter-final fixture on the cards. Kilkenny may well be hoping for a hangover effect from Enniscorthy’s league win when they go head to head for the fifth time in almost 12 months. Of those four fixtures, Enniscorthy defeated Kilkenny in last year’s Provincial Towns Cup final (9-8) before beating them at Foulkstown in the South East League in August/September while also getting a league double over them this season – certainly stacking the odds in favour of the Wexford men.
That game kicks off 3pm at Ross Road on Sunday 20 March.
Tullow Avoid Relegation Playoff To Stay In 1B
Tullow will also live to fight another season in Division 1B of the Leinster League.
When they look back at their league season, it will be the bonus points picked up on narrow defeats that will ultimately have saved Tullow’s Divsion 1B status. But for relegated Cill Dara, Tullows 3 wins from 14 is the lowest in the 1B, the men from Black Gates ultimately finishing 2 points above seventh-placed Longford with 10 bonus points picked up in the run of the season.
Tullow didn’t pick up their first win until 8 November when they fought their way back into the game against Longford at CPL Park to come home with a 20-12 victory in what would be their only victory that side of Christmas. January was kinder, with Tullow coming off the back of their Christmas break with a strong 34-10 victory over now-relegated Cill Dara and but for a 34-17 bonus point win in the return fixture against Longford at the end of January, 2015/16 will be marked as a tough, tough season for Tullow.
Facing Malahide in their final league game on Sunday, both sides swapped tries throughout the first half with Malahide going into the break 24-21 to the good. The Dublin side opened strongly after the break, ,pushing things out to 36-21 before Tullow pushed to narrow the gap to just three points. A final try from Malahide ensured their twelfth victory of the season, taking the 1B crown picked up by Kilkenny last year.