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J2: Leinster League. Sunday 3/3/13

Roscrea   17
Kilkenny  31

by Padraic Treacy

Kilkenny Seconds provided a good platform for their First team counterparts with this fine win over their opponents in Roscrea on Sunday. The visitors did not have it all their own way however and it wasn’t until deep in the second half that they finally found their feet in this game.

This was the proverbial game of two halves – with the first half going to the hosts and the second half to the visitors. Kilkenny had most of the possession in the opening half but could not convert it into scores. Meanwhile Roscrea clocked up 17 points against their opponents and despite a fine try from second row James Blanchfield in the 30th minute, it looked like the game was well and truly over for them.

But Kilkenny stuck to their guns and produced a second half display of guts and determination as well as denying their opponents any opportunity to increase their score. With sixty minutes elapsed Kilkenny finally took control of the game. Roscrea began to wilt and it was the fitter Kilkenny who reaped the benefits when Kevin O’Toole dived over in the corner to score Kilkenny’s second try with outhalf, Gerry Callinan missing the conversion attempt.

Eight minutes later No. 8 Rod O’Donohue, burst through the Roscrea line and scored nearer the posts giving Callinan an easier angle to add the points. Kilkenny were rolling now and with ten minutes remaining they scored a further two tries through scrum-half, Victor Harper and flanker, Alan McIntyre with Callinan adding the conversion on both occasions.

Kilkenny’s performance on the day is testimony to their determination and ‘never give up’ attitude. Despite a shaky first half, they battled on until the final whistle and came out deserved winners. Kilkenny were aided in their task by fine performances from centre, Conor Phelan, No.8 Rod O’Donohue and flanker Alan McIntyre.

This was the final game of the Leinster League for Kilkenny and they can be satisfied with securing fourth place on the table only 5 points behind the current leaders Malahide. Their next outing is on 17th March away to Athy in the Plate.

Kilkenny Firsts: - Clive Grehan, Shane Raftery, Conor Phelan, Kevin O’Toole, Alan O’Donovan, Gerry Callinan, Victor Harper, Ronan O’Donohue, Alan McIntyre, Ray Pembroke, James Blanchfield, Brendan McIntyre, Dave Matthews, Emmet Lynch, Darren Bawle.
Subs: - Eddie Brennan, Tom Massey, Leon Madigan, Vinnie O’Shea, Barry Daly.