J1: Leinster League. Sunday, 18/11/12
New Ross 06
by Padraic Treacy
A slow, hard game played in bitterly cold and damp conditions is the only way to describe this Leinster League clash between top and bottom of the table, Kilkenny and New Ross on Sunday in Southknock.
Kilkenny the visitors never really got going and it was the weaker New Ross who provided the entertainment on the day. From a Kilkenny perspective, it was another notch in the bed-post as they continued their unbeaten run and as the League reached its midway point they are still 4 points in front of nearest chasers Malahide who scored a vital win against Gorey on Sunday, beating them 18-11.
New Ross took the lead after almost 35 minutes through the boot of their outhalf, however Kilkenny’s Willie Wright, having missed three previous and reasonably easy attempts, levelled the score line just before the break. Kilkenny came close to the try zone on at least three occasions but a mix of indiscipline on their part and sheer determination from New Ross, denied the visitors these opportunities. Half-time score 3-3.
It was hoped by the travelling supporters that Kilkenny would recoup their losses in the second half and this they did but only to a certain degree. Wright missed another kickable opportunity on 49 minutes and it became clear that the young Kiwi was having an off-day.
In the 55th minute the forwards took charge of proceedings and got the try they deserved through the sheer strength and determination of second row, Victor Ryan. Wright finally found his kicking boots and converted the try and was again successful 10 minutes later when he put the game out of the reach of New Ross through a penalty kick. New Ross did manage a consolation score 2 minutes before the final whistle and the game was finally brought to a close to the delight of the half-frozen fans from both sides. Full-time score 13-6 to Kilkenny.
It was a weak performance from Kilkenny and a lot more was expected from them. The addition of the youthful Diarmaid Hickey for the injured Ray Pembroke did make a big difference to the aggressiveness of the game, but he alone could not make the result any bigger.
Kilkenny are at home to Enniscorthy in the South East League on Friday evening. Kick-off is at 7.00pm. This will be followed by a players evening in the Foulkstown clubhouse where the recipients of the Firsts and Seconds, Players of the Year for 2011/2012 will be awarded their trophies.
Kilkenny will take on Malahide and Gorey on the 2nd and 9th December respectively. A positive result in both these games could decide the promotion place for Kilkenny and both these games are awaited with great eagerness by both players and fans.
On Sunday, the Seconds also take on Enniscorthy in their South East clash in Foulkstown. Kick-off is at 2.30pm.
Kilkenny Firsts: - Philly Walsh, Alan O’Donovan, Joey Manuel, Alan Pembroke, Killian Everard, Julian Hughes, Willie Wright, Willie Duggan, John Harper, Ray Pembroke, Gerry Clarke, Victor Ryan, Wayne Kavanagh, Tom Massey, Simon O’Shea.
Subs: - Eddie Brennan, Martin Leahy, Diarmaid Hickey, Clive Kavanagh, Shane Rafferty.
Heineken Cup Trophy Tour.
The Heineken Cup Trophy Tour of Leinster came to Kilkenny last week and was brought to 23 primary and secondary schools throughout the city and county by Kilkenny Rugby Club Community Rugby Officer, Barry Daly.
Barry conveyed a special thank you to Principal Margaret Walsh and the staff of St. Mary’s N.S Thomastown, for allowing the Official Launch Day to be held in the school. Also a special thank you to the Loreto Secondary School for turning their school “Leinster Blue” and in the process they raised vital funds for various school projects.
The Heineken Cup also visited Grennan College Thomastown, Scoile Aireagail Ballyhale, Castlecomer C.S, Urlingford N.S., Johnstown N.S., Model School Kilkenny, Kilkenny College, C.B.S Secondary and Primary, Presentation Primary and Secondary, St Patricks De La Salle, St Kieran's College, St John of Gods, Gaelscoile Osraì, K.S.P., Colàiste Pobail Osraì, St Brigit’s Callan, V.E.C, and Bennettsbridge N.S.
Thank you to all the schools and their principals that took part in the Kilkenny leg of the Heineken Cup Tour.