||Uuder 13 South East League: Arklow v Kilkenny. 24 October 09
Kilkenny 41-12 Arklow
Unfortunately Arklow were unable to muster a full team for this fixture so Kilkenny took the walkover then loaned the opposition two players to make sure the long journey wasn't wasted.
The first score was only three minutes in coming when Finn Connolly turned over the ball, Arklow transgressed and were penalised 20 metres from their line from where Jake McDonald ignored the gusting wind to kick the penalty.
Five minutes later and a big tackle by Daniel O'Connor knocked the ball loose to be snapped up by the alert McDonald inside the Kilkenny 22. Slick passing got it to Michael Ryan just inside his own half and he raced in under the posts.
On 20 minutes a well won Kilkenny lineout on the opposition 22 was quickly transferred out to Jack Woodgate who had a fine game on the left wing. Woody was tackled under the Arklow posts, the ball popped to centre William Spencer who went on an arcing run almost to the try line before unselfishly passing to right wing Lyndon Brannigan who juggled the ball before diving to score by the corner flag. Out half McDonald was unlucky to see his conversion come back off the post to leave Kilkenny leading by 15 points to nil.
With the help of Kilkenny players Noel Whelan and Kevin Rowe Arklow drove the ball into the Kilkenny half, won a penalty on the right hand touchline then spread the ball across the pitch for their left winger to score an unconverted try.
In the last minute of the half prop Mark Carrigan took the ball on a powerful run before passing to Jake McDonald. The out half sidestepped past his marker and offloaded to Michael Ryan who just outpaced the defence from 10 metres inside the Arklow half. The successful conversion left the half time score Kilkenny 22, Arklow 5.
The start of the second half saw seven or eight minutes of concerted Arklow pressure, including big tackles by Kilkenny players Jack Ormonde and Luke Hassan, absorbed by a more aggressive Kilkenny defence typified by full back Paddy Ryan. First he had to put in a scything tackle on the big Arklow outhalf to save a certain try before taking a towering garryowen on his own 22, evading the chaser and speeding up the left touchline.
The flying full back passed to the ever supporting William Spencer who straightened through two attempted tackles before passing to his centre partner Ryan who bolted in from 40 metres. The strong breeze blowing in from the sea sparkling on his left saw Jake McDonald again hit a post with the conversion attempt.
11 minutes in and a big tackle by Kilkenny No. 8 O'Connor once more knocked the ball loose before Michael Ryan sprinted towards the Arklow line and released Lyndon Brannigan who stepped inside the last defender and scored his second try to make it 34 - 5 to the visitors.
Five minutes later and the irrepressible Sean 'Dessie' Bateman came steaming around the side of ruck and powered in to the Arklow defence before presenting the ball beautifully for the support. A good passing move towards the left touchline was added impetus to by hard running hooker Ben Devlin who passed to big Doc to score from 20 metres out.
Shortly after Arklow won their own line out on the Kilkenny 22 and, despite a crunching tackle from Noel Whelan, worked their right wing into enough space to score under the posts.
This proved to be the final score of the game and, despite winning 41 - 12, the Kilkenny team included enough knock ons and missed tackles to ensure that their next training session will be an intense affair.
Niall McDermott, 24th October 2009