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Kilkenny 2nd’s fighting spirit secures win.

Enniscorthy 2nd XV – 10pts
Kilkenny 2nd XV – 13pts

Kilkenny 2 nd XV opened their 2010/2011 season South East League campaign with a resounding but hard fought win over Enniscorthy at the Ross Road grounds on Sunday. Kilkenny sporting a number of new players, showed amazing heart to conquer their better organised opponents.

The game started with all the typical rivalry expected of an Enniscorthy v Kilkenny clash with neither team giving an inch. 8 minutes into the game, Enniscorthy were caught offside at a ruck just right of the posts in their own 22. Tom Corrigan stepped up to slot the ball between the posts, but unfortunately, the first kick of the new season did not go according to plan for Tom as the ball drifted slightly to the left of the posts and wide.

Kilkenny took charge of the game from this moment and on 14 minutes, following some fantastic play from the forwards, Enniscorthy were again caught offside at a ruck on their own 10m line. Captain Vinnie O’Shea kicked for touch. Brendan McIntyre soared high for the ball and secured the lineout for Kilkenny. Scrumhalf, Victor Harper, spun the ball out to the backline where the eager James Quan broke through the Enniscorthy defence and headed for the posts. He was tackled 15m out but Enniscorthy were caught coming in the side of the ruck. This time Tom Corrigan made sure of the kick and put Kilkenny 3 points ahead.

Kilkenny kept up the pressure and on 30 minutes Enniscorthy were again caught offside and Tom Corrigan, now having found his kicking boots, easily kicked the penalty and put the visitors 6 points in front. Kilkenny seemed to sit back a little at this stage and a lapse in concentration saw Enniscorthy break through the Kilkenny defence and score the opening try of the game. Fortunately for Kilkenny, Enniscorthy missed the conversion.

From the restart, Enniscorthy gathered the ball and their backline attacked Kilkenny again. The ball was floated along the line to their winger, who broke through a number of tackles but was finally put to ground by James McGregor and Tom Coorigan. Vinnie O’Shea regained possession and kicked for touch. Dave Matthews broke through at the back of the lineout but was penalised for barging and following a scuffle with his opposite number, was unfairly sent to the bin.

The first ended 6 – 5 in favour of Kilkenny. Enniscorthy started the second half stronger and 5 minutes into the half they crossed the Kilkenny line for their second try. The conversion attempt went wide of the post leaving the score-line 10 – 6 for the home side. Kilkenny decided that was enough and lifted their game. They spent the rest of the game in their opponents half.

20 minutes into the game, Tristan Dyer was shown a straight red card for, allegedly, head butting an opposition player. This seemed to wake up the Kilkenny players and for the remaining 20 minutes they put Enniscorthy under fierce pressure.

Having set up camp in their opponents 22, Kilkenny crossed the line twice but both times were denied the points to the frustration of the coaching staff. Possibly if referee, Mr. Richard Kielthy, had been better positioned, the score-line would have looked a lot healthier. Nevertheless, the pressure eventually paid off and on 27 minutes, Brian Nolan, touched down under the posts which was easily converted by Vinnie O’Shea.

Kilkenny held out until the final whistle blew with the final score standing at 13 – 10 to the visitors. The forwards were solid in the set-pieces and the backs looked very promising in attack. Coaches Enda Cantwell, Joe Walsh and Padraic Treacy were extremely happy with their teams performance.

Enda Cantwell said “ the lads showed great heart and passion in the last 20 minutes of the game. These two features are exactly what the team is built on”. Joe Walsh commented on how well the new players performed how well they gelled into the team. With everyone playing to the best of their abilities, this makes the selection process very hard for the coaches ans selectors.

Kilkenny’s next game is away to Tullow in the South East League on Sunday 12 th September.

Kilkenny 2nd XV:
Brian Nolan, Kevin Oates, Brendan McIntyre, Gerry Clarke, Conor Foley, Dave Matthews, Tristan Dyer, Victor Harper, Vinnie O’Shea, J. Huber, James Quan, James McGregor, Eoin Walsh, Tom Corrigan.

August 2010