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Leinster League 18th October 2009

Kilkenny 23 Wicklow 21

This was a game Kilkenny would have been expected to win but somebody forgot to hand the visiting team the script. In the end Kilkenny deserved to win buy they can count themselves lucky to get the points .

Wicklow were full value for money and might with a little luck have snatched the game from Kilkenny . Had they done so Kilkenny would have no won to blame only themselves. They had plenty of opportunities to kill off Wicklow but indisclipine in giving away penalties and poor tackling allowed the opposition back into the game.

With the seconds also winning the day proved an overall success. President Lar Foley was instrumental in organising an open day which welcomed the general public in to the club. The particular emphasis was to remind members to register and take an active part in the club. However once again it was the youth section which excelled themselves in their support.

Yes we had the biggest attendances for some time but long serving members support would be much appreciated. The club will only survive and prosper with each and every member lending their support to the continuing revolving wheel.

Kilkenny started this game in impressive mood and after four minutes their first chance came. A break by Killian Everard took play inside the Wicklow 22 metre line but a knock on halted the move. The scrum to Wicklow was won by Kilkenny and the ball was moved along the line to Nigel Daly, Conor O'Brien and Julian Hughes whose strength and power took him over the line for the try. The conversion by O'Brien put Kilkenny into a seven point lead.

Wicklow replied with a penalty courtesy of Barry Lynn but the same player ran in for a try in the 20th minute and the visitors were in front eight points to seven. The 30th minute rocked Kilkenny when Wicklow No 8 Ben Armstrong forced his way over for a try close to the posts converted by Barry Lynn. Before the break Conor O'Brien dropped a goal and kicked a penalty to narrow the margin but Lynn struck back with a penalty to leave the half time score 18 to 13 in favour of the visitors.

Sixteen minutes into the second half Kilkenny were back in front when Liam Phelan intercepted and ran in under the posts to score a try converted by Conor O'Brien. Now the scoreline read 20 points to 18. When O'Brien converted a penalty in the 25th minute his team looked comfortable but once again the visitors came back with a Barry Lynn penalty and the grandstand finish was on.

Wicklow looked as they might finish the stronger but the Kilkenny defence though over worked stood firm and victory was theirs.

The seconds had a comfortable win 34 points to 18 over Wicklow and scored five tries in doing so. A player bang on form back row forward Ger Costelloe scored two tries. Also on the scoresheet was Alan Pembroke, Dave Matthews and Simon Manuel who never ceases to show what a great perfomer he is. The kicking duties were shared between Barry Daly and Quenten Hearne.

Kilkenny First Team: W Kavanagh J Cody M Vidella V Ryan J Blanchfield A McIntyre J Phelan L Phelan N Daly C O Brien O Hennessy J Hughes J Manuel M O Grady K Everard E Brennan D Buckley C Phelan R O Donoghue(c)

Seconds: K Brennan M Comerford A Pembroke V O Shea T Massey B Daly Q Hearne G Clark C Bass G Costelloe B McIntyre J Corr J Dunne S Manuel D Matthews E Mahoney A Virgo G Tector G Mahon

Kilkenny will play Wicklow again next Sunday in the South East League in Foulkstown with the seconds also due to play the same opposition away on the same day.

The display of Ian Dowling for Munster on Saturday has to be admired. The former youth star was returing from injury in recents weeks but really turned the game for Munster when strung from the bench.

The most innovative club member has to be Ray Pembroke assistant coach to the seconds team. He also has the role of pitch co ordinator so when the flags have to be collected he uses his golf trolly to transport them back to the clubhouse. Their were many visitors to the club on Sunday afternoon and among them was Seamus Neary who in his day was a very accomplished player.

Sean O'Shea, 18th October 2009