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U17 South East League 18/9/10

Kilkenny 19-26 Carlow

Despite the adverse scoreline this was an encouraging outing for the locals as they went under to a strong Carlow side that contained 7 of last year’s Leinster league winning side. The Kilkenny side with no fewer than 9 of last years under 15 side making their debuts at this level naturally took time to settle but were the more dominant side throughout this South East league encounter played in perfect conditions in Foulkstown last Saturday.

The first half started brightly and Kilkenny attacked throughout but without ever having their line threatened they found themselves 21 points to nil down through a combination of inexperience and over exuberance as Kilkenny constantly gave the ball away in contact as they tried to play around a well aligned Carlow defence. Opting for an attacking 5 yard scrum from a penalty after 15 minutes the Kilkenny side relaxed and lost the strike. The speedy Carlow winger J Ryan broke from his line and outpaced the defence to score under the posts.

Kilkenny went back on the attack and twice more before half time, having lost ball in the tackle as they adjusted to the more physical game at under 17s, Carlow scored identical breakaway tries as the Kilkenny defenders stepped in and tried for intercepts leaving the Carlow winger free to score his hatrick, all under the posts and leaving Kilkenny trailing at half time.

The early stage of the second half saw Carlow’s only period of dominance as they took the game to Kilkenny, However it took more Kilkenny inexperience to allow them add to their score as a long kick by fly half Hugh lane was not chased, allowing Carlow to counter attack instead of being pinned back in their own half resulting in a Carlow try despite good defence.

Kilkenny stuck to their guns however and finally supporting the ball carrier much more quickly than before they started to dominate again and produced a stream of quality ball with Liam McWey touching down after phases of play that resulted in a 4 man overlap being expertly created, identified and finished. Sean Moran scored a good individual try as the Carlow defence opened up as a result of constant pressure.

Kilkenny created a certain try scoring opportunity to close the gap to a score with 5 minutes remaining, enough to sneak the game but once again the opportunity was spurned as the player in possession ignored the two on one and lost the ball in contact. However in the final movement another fine try was scored when Cormac Connolly finished well after a fine movement involving several Kilkenny players for a try converted by Sean Moran.

All told a good outing as Kilkenny prepare for the Leinster League in 2 weeks’ time with enough promise from the many newcomers who all impressed as well as the return to action of Darragh Morrissey after a year out injured to suggest a good season ahead with the lineout dominant in the second half, and once the side settled the rucking was crisp , precise and produced go forward ball .

Kilkenny: Adam Jordon, Craig Murphy, Cormac Connolly, Sean Moran, Dara McGrath, Hugh Lane, Robbie Corcoran, Michael King, Darren Knox, James Rafter, Conor Quinlan, Darragh Morrissey, Liam McWey, Diarmuid Hickey, Gary Dunne, Cieran Sutton, John Curtin.

U17 Fixtures:
Tullow away Saturday 25/9/10, South East League.
Kilkenny College selection Wed 29/9/10.

Kilkenny Under 17s are inviting any players interested in playing or returning to play to attend training next Thursday at 7pm sharp. With a minimum of 19 matches to play including development games and only 17 players available last Saturday there is plenty of opportunity to play.

Mick McGrath 19 September 2010