U14 and U15 Friendly v Christ College. Sunday, 24/10/10
U14: Kilkenny 12-19 Christ College
Kilkenny Under 14s & Under 15s were delighted to welcome two teams from Christ College Brecon in Wales, coached by ex Kilkenny and Ireland player Gary Halpin, to the club on a gloriously bright Sunday morning.
The Under 14 match didn’t start too promisingly for the home side when, after only 4 minutes the Brecon out half got the ball just outside his own half and brushed off some weak tackles to score by the posts. Kilkenny shrugged off this disappointment, and the disruption of three early, enforced replacements due to injury, to play some decent rugby for the remainder of the half.
The Kilkenny scrum was dominant throughout and provided replacement out half Joe Connolly with plenty of ball to launch his back line at the opposition. Just before half time excellent runs by winger Michael Ryan and the superb Noel Whelan at second row drove Kilkenny into the Brecon 22 where Kilkenny were awarded a penalty. Hooker Ben Devlin tapped quickly and popped the ball to prop Eoin Clarkson thundering up from deep and he crashed over for the equalising score with the sides having 7 points apiece at half time.
7 minutes into the second half, fine runs by Clarkson again and livewire replacement wing Shane Stapleton forced another penalty in the opposition 22. Breaking all known front row rules hooker Devlin hit a raking kick to set up a 5 metre line out to Kilkenny. The home side won the ball and set up Noel Whelan, Kilkenny’s top tackler, to show great drive and determination to power over the line for a try.
In the 16th minute a lack of concentration on their own ruck, not for the first time, saw Kilkenny turn over the ball on the half way line from where the Brecon number 12 hared in for the try that brought the scores to 12 all.
Both sides strived manfully for the winning score after this not least when Brecon managed to launch their huge number 8 on a bullocking run down the right touchline. The slight figure of Shane Stapleton- you’d see more meat on a butcher’s pencil- bravely stood his ground and hammered the much bigger opponent into touch.
Just as it looked as if the game would end in a deserved draw, with the very last action of the match, a Brecon forward intercepted a Kilkenny pass and flopped over the try line to give his team a 19-12 win in a thrilling, fiercely contested game.
Under 14 Squad:- Gareth Graham, Ben Devlin, Mark Carrigan, Finn Connolly, Noel Whelan, Daniel Rafter, Daniel O’Connor(No. 8), Aiden McDonald, Ian Buckley, Jake McDonald, Jay Leahy, Daniel O’Connor(centre), Michael Ryan, Lyndon Brannigan, Paddy Ryan Joe Connolly, Marcus Stapleton, Eoin Clarkson, Keelan McDermott, Shane Stapleton, Luke Hassan, Hugh Corkery, Michael Cody, Sean Bateman
U15: Kilkenny 19-54 Christ College
The under 15 game that followed was a curious yet entertaining affair characterised by a number of concentrated scoring bursts by Brecon which led them to a comfortable victory.
By 15 minutes into the first half Kilkenny were already 21 points down when a terrific run by centre Kevin Mullen ended with him being tackled into touch just inside the opposition 22. Kilkenny spoiled the Brecon line out, poured through on the loose ball and number 6 Daniel O’Connor was just about to score when he was tackled without the ball.
The referee awarded a penalty try that seemed to inspire the home team. 5 minutes later, incisive running from centres Mullen and David Jordan along with winger Luke Rafter forced a Kilkenny penalty 5 metres from the Brecon line on the left of the pitch. The ball was spun out across the field, the Brecon defence stretched by scrum half Ian Buckley’s clever change of direction and Mullen made a mazy run to score the try that left the half time score at 21 points to 14 to the Welsh team.
Two tries for the away side in the first few minutes of the second half pretty much sealed the outcome of this game and, even though number 8 Matthew McWey combined well with Shawn Fitzgerald to send the latter scampering over for a try, 3 more excellent scores by the away team left the final score at an emphatic 54 points to 19.
U15 Squad:- Jason Hoyne, Ben Devlin, John Hanrick, Fergus O’Neill, Shane O’Carroll, Sean Brennan, Matthew McWey, Daniel O’Connor, Ian Buckley, Peter Hutchinson, William Oakes, Kevin Mullen, Luke Rafter, David Jordan, Declan McCarthy, Eoin Clarkson, Noel Whelan, Shawn Fitzgerald, Jim Moore, Aiden McDonald, Michael Ryan
The club would welcome anyone born in either 1996 or 1997 to join us at training on Monday and Wednesday evenings. For more information contact coach Noel Devlin on 0872831174.
Niall McDermott, 24/10/10