Leinster League Division 1B
North Kildare 12
CARLOW got back to winning ways on Sunday with a convincing away win against North Kildare in Kilcock.
The win has secured Carlow’s place in Leinster League Division 1B for the coming season. With two games remaining the target now is to finish in the top half of the table.
Sunday’s game in Kilcock also saw local players Sam Cullen, Cormac Walsh and Owen Edgehill getting starts for first time and acquitting themselves well.
Carlow started strongly and seemed to be on their way to a couple of mauled tries but the opposition managed to disrupt the mauls and get relieving penalties. Having got out of jail, the home side went even better when they slipped through for a try to give them a 5-0 lead after six minutes.
However Carlow’s pack was dominant and five minutes later Jeff McDermott got a good team try following runs by Wes Shirley and Martin Mullins. Ritchie Whyte converted from out wide and added a penalty 10 minutes later.
On the stroke of half time another good passing move saw scrumhalf Isaac Daly crossing for a try which was again converted by team captain Whyte. This gave the visitors a 17-5 half-time lead.
North Kildare may be propping up the league table but they have been competitive in most of their games. Early in second half, they got back into the match against Carlow when they scored a converted try to narrow the gap to five points.
For the next 20 minutes neither side scored but the visitors were getting more territory and possession. Eventually this pressure cracked the home resistance allowing Carlow in for two late tries which delivered a bonus-point win. These tries were scored by two of the younger players on the team, John Murphy who is improving with every game and Sam Cullen who looked good after getting his first J1 start.
Carlow now get a two-week break from the league. Their next league match will be in Oak Park on 17 February against Dublin club Coolmine.
Carlow: Darragh Mullins, Cormac Walshe, Sam Cullen, Ritchie Whyte capt, Jeff McDermott, Fiach Millward, Isaac Daly, Owen Edgehill, John Farrell, Ross Byrne, Wes Shirley, Thomas Whitney, John Murphy, Michael Mullins, Ross Elmes. Subs: Larry McGrath, John Lyons, John Whyte, Sam Dunne
North Kildare 12
Carlow seconds also got back to winning ways in Kilcock on Sunday on a scoreline identical to that of the J1 game.
With the pack more than holding their own, the game was well marshalled by half backs Daniel Nemec and Harry Hennessey with Nemec bagging one of the five tries. The versatile Liam Slater, playing centre, was centrally involved in almost every try with his strong running. Three of these were touched down by winger Gearoid Dunbar. Centre Peter Hennessy, back from injury, got the remaining try.
Harry Hennessey converted the first and last of the tries, the other three were from out wide. In the forwards, captain Ed Keating made a lot of yardage with his direct running. Evan Gordon who moved from the front row to number seven was tigerish in his tackling, as was Sam Dunne before being taken off to sub on the firsts.
The win puts Carlow into third place in the league table with two games remaining. Next for this side is a Towns Cup match on Friday week against Newbridge.
Carlow: Tom Bolger, Gearoid Dunbar, Liam Slater, Peter Hennessey, Terry Jones, Harry Hennessey, Daniel Nemec, Lorcan Gill, Eoin Holland, Mark Slye, Fred Leonard, Shay Somers, Evan Gordon, Sam Dunne, Ed Keating. Subs: Eddie Barron