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Under 17 leinster league  

Kilkenny  20
   New Ross 0

Kilkenny youths kept their Leinster league aspirations alive as they moved up to third in their section with this well deserved win over neighbours New Ross in this fourth round game played in reasonable conditions at Foulkestown on Saturday last. Indeed were it not for the inept defensive display last timeout versus Enniscorthy they would be top of their section and with  that in mind it was timely that  the penny dropped for the side as a whole and they kept the first clean sheet  of all  eight  teams in the division.

The win was well deserved as the locals grabbed the game from the start and dominated the exchanges throughout against a competitive and well drilled New Ross side who have been competitive all year. The margin of victory would have been greater but for a combination of  excellent defence  by New Ross and Kilkenny’s skill set leaving them down  when scoring passes went to ground instead of to hand on several occasions throughout the game . However the skill set will improve as the season progresses and encouragingly the chances were created and the decision making was generally correct. 

While the performance was far form perfect as the penalty count of 14 to 3 in favour of New Ross  shows a need for patience in defence, the visitors were  never allowed  got close enough for a shot at goal as Kilkenny  stubbornly  kept a  grip on the game. The first half was lively as Kilkenny playing against the breeze tried to keep the ball alive and New Ross refused to kick to touch limiting Kilkenny to three lines out put INS in the entire game.   

An opening penalty from Sean Moran after 15 minutes was followed by  some excellent passages of play where  despite  trying to run ball new Ross were  constantly forced into kicking the ball as the locals for the first time this season  played as a unit in defence. With the back three of Jack Cotter, Ricky Drennan and Dara McGrath rock solid and counterattacking confidence spread throughout the team.

With Adam Jordan leading the way with a man of the match display full of cover tackling and surging runs after twenty eight minutes the breakthrough came as Darragh Morrissey took a flat pass from Sean Moran and broke the line to score a try converted by Moran. Turning with the wind Kilkenny kicked long and enjoyed the better of the exchanges but could not score and for fifteen minutes the game drifted along until after a series of drives and phases Morrissey again got on the end of a ruck to score his second converted by Moran who added the conversion and finished the game with a penalty.

In the last 10 minutes Kilkenny played intelligent rugby with Moran and Corcoran kicking long relieving kicks downfield whenever New Ross looked threatening in total contrast to recent games which were lost as Kilkenny tried to run ball dirty ball from their own 22. 

While Kilkenny have a long way to go to reach their full potential this was an encouraging display as for the first time the entire team committed themselves to a team defence while maintaining their attacking threat. In a day where they had few put in themselves the defensive line out was excellent stealing or disrupting a lot of New Ross ball but the concession of so many penalties would be punished by a team with a stronger line out than the visitors.

Team Jack Cotter, Ricky Drennan, Cormac Connolly , Adam Jordan , Dara Mcgrath , Sean Moran , Robbie Corcoran ,  Mick King , Darren Knox, Nick Feehan , Conor Quinlan, Darragh Morrissey , Liam McWey , Gary Dunne , Diarmuid Hickey (capt)  John Curtin , James Rafter, Cieran Sutton , Sean Moynihan , Craig Murphy , Will Bergin


Friday  6.30 pm Banchory Academy under 18s from Edinborough will visit and play Kilkenny under 17s .

This will be a perfect warm up for  the vital  league match the following week versus Portlaoise.

Mick McGrath 06 November 2010