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  J2: South East League Sunday, 26/8/12

Kilkenny 2nds     17

Carlow                  22      

by Padraic Treacy

Unfortunately the Seconds were not as lucky as the Firsts in this South East League clash in Carlow on Sunday. Despite having dominated the game throughout, they were pipped at the post in the dying minutes of the game however newly elected Seconds Coach, Nigel Daly was very happy with their overall performance.

Kilkenny were without doubt the superior team on the day and played the better and more inventive rugby. Carlow however, managed to open the scoring on 25 minutes when they capitalised on a lapse in concentration by Kilkenny and crashed over the line for a fine converted try. Kilkenny regained control from the restart and 3 minutes later, their winger Mick Meany dived over the line to score a superb try in his debut for the Foulkstowners.  Clive Grehan was very unlucky not to get the extra 2 points as his conversion attempt hit the post.

With Kilkenny trailing by 2 points going into the second half, fullback Grehan made amends for his first half miss when he scored a fabulous try in the first minute of the second half. Kilkenny’s outhalf Stephen Brennan quickly flashed the ball out to his backs and with Grehan driving at pace, he broke through the Carlow defence and touched down under the posts, adding the conversion to give Kilkenny a well-earned lead. On 18 minutes Grehan was again on hand when he made a fine break along the touch-line and scored in the corner. His attempt at the conversion fell just short of the target.

Carlow seemed to be rattled but they were handed a lifeline, when they crossed the Kilkenny line in the 27th minute to narrow the deficit. Five minutes later they were handed a second lifeline when Kilkenny were penalised for a late tackle. The Carlow kicker made no mistake and levelled the score line at 17-17. It looked like Kilkenny would have to settle for the draw.
Despite having defended superbly, cracks began to show in the Kilkenny defence and the Carlow pack drove over the line to score a try and defy Kilkenny the honours on the day. Their outhalf missed the conversion and the game ended 22-17 in favour of the hosts.

Despite the narrow loss, this was a fabulous performance from Kilkenny. Each and every player gave their all. Best for Kilkenny on the day were Johnny Harper, Eamonn Mahony, Stephen Brennan, Gareth Hayes and Clive Grehan and especially brothers Mick and Sean Meany who not only made their debuts for Kilkenny but also played their first ever competitive game of rugby.

Kilkenny:  Clive Grehan, Ronnie Moran, Shane Brennan, Gareth Hayes, Mick Meany, Stephen Brennan, Victor Harper, Alan McIntyre, Paddy Walsh, Leon Madigan, Eamonn Mahony, Emmet Carey, Darren Bawle, Emmet Lynch, Wayne Kavanagh.

Subs: Johnny Harper, Shane Lacey, Richard Harper, Martin Leahy, Sean Meany.