New Ross 5 Kilkenny 32
U15 Leinster Cup
On a glorious spring morning Kilkenny Under 15s booked themselves a home quarter final next Saturday with a convincing win in this Leinster Cup 3rd round match in New Ross.
The away side opened their account after 5 minutes when a strike against the head by hooker Ben Devlin, and two powerful runs from second row pair Cian Smith and Tom Cuddihy, led to centre Kevin Mullen haring over from 10 metres out.
Five minutes later full back Peter Hutchinson fielded a long kick on his own 22 before launching a devastating counter attack. The ball was passed at speed from left touchline to right and all the way back again before prop Eoin Clarkson gave the scoring pass to his left wing, the speedy Luke Rafter, to touch down by the left corner flag.
Not to be outdone, Kilkenny’s other wing, the fast improving Conor Delaney, made a slashing break through the New Ross defence before being brought down only inches short of the try line. A New Ross hand illegally slowed down the ball and out half Jake McDonald, who had a very good game overall, duly punished the transgression by kicking the resulting penalty.
It wasn’t all one way traffic however and, with 5 minutes to half time, only a great tackle from tireless Number 6 Noel Whelan stopped a New Ross forward from scoring. Whelan’s team mates then completely snuffed out the threat to their line by combining to drive the ball carrier and half of his pack fully 15 metres back.
On the stroke of half time No. 8 Matthew McWey started and finished a fine move by bursting from the back of a scrum on the half way line. Mullen, Delaney and straight running centre David Jordan all made ground before quick hands from hooker Devlin sent his captain diving over in the right corner to see Kilkenny take a 20 points to 0 lead into half time.
Kilkenny sealed the victory with two tries in the second half on either side of one score from a game New Ross side. For the first try Tom Cuddihy got the reward for a series of bullocking runs throughout the game by crashing over beneath the posts in the tenth minute and, with a couple of minutes to go, Kevin Mullen defied the effects of illness to win a turn over with a tackle and still be on the end of the move 30 metres on that saw him finish the scoring in the right corner.
This was an excellent team performance from Kilkenny with the powerful Cian Smith just topping the tackle count from his two superb flankers Noel Whelan and the tigerish Aiden McDonald.
SQUAD:- Mark Carrigan, Ben Devlin, Eoin Clarkson, Tom Cuddihy, Cian Smith, Noel Whelan, Aiden McDonald, Matthew McWey, Ian Buckley, Jake McDonald, Kevin Mullen, David Jordan, Luke Rafter, Conor Delaney, Peter Hutchinson, Shane O’ Carroll, Jason Hoyne, Lyndon Brannigan, Shawn Fitzgerald, Michael Ryan, John Hanrick
Niall McDermott, 20th March 2011