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U17 Kilkenny 7- 22   New Ross   

Sometimes score lines do not tell the true story as these two evenly matched sides fought out an entertaining friendly last Saturday in Foulkestown and the score line does not do justice to the closeness of the exchanges.

The last time these teams met in early October an under strength Kilkenny conceded 52 points to the Leinster League quarter finalists  without scoring so this was a real step forward for the Kilkenny side who  despite being short of numbers since the season commenced were playing their 9th match of their season.

Both teams fielded without their respective south east players but whereas new Ross had the remainder of their team Kilkenny are still short several long term injured players. With a makeshift pack and no lineout jumpers this game turned on Kilkenny's inability to win their own ball until near the end and three of New Rosses four tries were conceded on Kilkenny's own put in to their line out.

Other than that New Rosses more cohesive team robbed plenty of balls from Kilkenny throughout yet still had to depend on their full back to make three outstanding cover tackles to stop Kilkenny scoring certain tries.

Ross made the early running and scored in the 16th minute when excellent close in defence forced Ross to attack wide and despite being covered man on man, two players failed to communicate taking the same attacker and leaving an easy overlap for Ross to score.

After 22 minutes Kilkenny were penalised for slow put in to their own line out on half way yet won another put in on their own line from the kick. The unnecessarily tapped down ball was seized on by the Ross forwards who charged over the line to score a second try. Kilkenny attacked to the break without reward as one certain try went a begging. Kilkenny attacked throughout the second half with the breeze at their backs but Cian O'Mahoney was bundled into touch inches short, Owen Houlihan and Robbie Corcoran were both stopped short by excellent last ditch tackles and finally James Quinn was stopped inches short from a short penalty.

In all cases the ball was turned over by New Ross who scored a converted try in their only break out of the first 20 minutes. In their second venture into the Kilkenny half with 5 minutes remaining they scored a converted tries to make the score 22 nil. Kilkenny regathered the restart and in an excellent move a break by Aaron McGrath  was carried on by Robbie Corcoran and Liam McWee before Corcoran offloaded to McGrath again who stretched over for an excellent score converted by Adam Jordan who had moved to fly half , a far cry from his hooking days last year.

All in all a good performance by the locals who showed plenty of fight and spirit. With the Christmas break giving time for injuries to clear the side have set their sight firmly on several after Christmas competitions. As the season is now over  half way complete  in terms of  fixtures only 100 percent commitment to training when players return will make up for the inevitable  lack of cohesion that  occurs when teams  have not been able to train and play over  prolonged period.

Excellent performances were given by man of the match Robbie Corcoran, the fast Adam Jordan, and a hard working Liam McWee while everyone worked to the very end.

Team: Adam Jordon , Alex Stanley , Aaron McGrath , Steve Noonan ,(Capt.) Owen houlihan , Ed Oakes, Robbie Corcoran , Mike king ,  Liam Knox,  Josh Ryan , Dermot Cadogan ,  James Quinn,  Diarmuid Murphy ,  Cian O'Mahoney , Liam McWee.


Mick McGrath