under 18.5 team did the Club proud on Saturday when they brought home the Leinster
League Division 1 Cup for that age grade. The Carlow lads secured this trophy by beating Kilkenny
32 pts to 12 in the final which was played in Mullingar.
The victory was just as comprehensive as the scoreline suggests. All through the match the Oakpark
side showed great teamwork alongside some outstanding individual performances.
However it was Kilkenny who scored first. A series of penalty concessions pinned Carlow back in
their 22. On yet another free on the Carlow line Kilkenny on 8 minutes opted to scrum. From this
their centre Ferdia Roche got in for a try under the Carlow post.
It took the Oakpark side another 10 minutes before registering their first score. It came when
Carlow opted to scrum from a penalty award. After several of the bigger team members were
repulsed by Kilkenny defenders it fell to the diminutive but tigerish Josh Cope to dart through for a
touchdown. The conversion was missed but Carlow were getting the upper hand and over the next
15 minutes had scored two more tries. The first was scored by captain Barry Gray after good work
by Anto Keating and the Carlow pack. This was followed by a block down 40 metres out by
Cormac McElligot who gathered the ball and went all the way to the line. The conversion by Ben
Crotty pushed Carlow into a 17 – 7 lead but on the stroke of half time Kilkenny got in for a softish
try in the corner by their left wing John Ring.
The conversion was missed leaving the half time score at Calow 17 Kilkenny 12.
Kilkenny didn’t score again as Carlow began to dominate the game. The Noresiders weren’t helped
by a number of injuries.
Carlow’s advantage was pushed out to 8 points when Crotty goaled a penalty in front of the posts
early in the second half. Carlow were camped in the Carlow 22 for almost the next10 minutes
without another score as Kilkenny got a number of last ditch turnovers. Eventually right winger
David Dunphy cut through for a try but this try was made possible by Cormac McElligot catching
the Kilkenny outhalf and forcing him to touch down behind his own line.
The conversion of the Dunphy try put Carlow into a 27 – 12 lead which was more or game won.
Carlow emptied their subs bench and the subs continued to pile the pressure on the opposition
leading to a second score from Barry Gray.
All though the game Carlow seemed to have a scrum advantage in that they drove the opposition
backwards. However the referee deemed that Carlow front row stood up and penalised them again
and again often letting Kilkenny off the hook. Carlow’s lineout mostly worked well but the wind led
to some crooked throws again taking pressure off the opposition.
This under 18.5 team is also in the final of the South East Cup and also in the Leinster Cup where
they play the winners of Longford versus Portarlington.
Carlow under 18.5
Ben Crotty, Anto Keating, Sean Quinlan, Bobby Cope, David Dunphy, Alan Owens, Josh Cope,
Cian Clarke, Matthew Keogh, Paddy Rogers, Josh McAlister, Evan Browne, Callum Fisher,
Cormac McElligott Barry Gray.
Subs, James Cowan, William Walsh, Darragh Brennan, Milo Feeney, Evan Curry, Dan Brennan,
Fiachra Fitzpatrick, Ciaran Timmons.