Kilkenny College Senior Girls 7's Squad emerged victorious from the Leinster 7's Tournament held in the Energia Stadium, Donnybrook. The tournament got under way with a series of matches in a pool of 4 teams. Kilkenny College was set against Sacred Heart Tullamore. The squad began with Melanie Griffith as scrum half, Alex MacNeill, Lilly Onilenla, Grace Jackson, Sadie Hyland, Abby Bennett and Lynda Watchorn. With a 5-point lead at half time, substitutions were made; Robyn Hutchinson, Ciara Orr, Doireann Doyle, Maria Cairns, Wren Higgins, Holly Talbot and Mary Adewuyi. By full time the team had claimed the win and were well and truly set into the tournament. The next match was against Temple Carraig Secondary School. The squad, following the same team tactics, led by coaches Ms. Sue Shirley and Mr. Jeff Carter, once again climbed up the table with a final score of 20-10. The last team to beat in the pool was Eureka Secondary School and after a tough 14-minute game Kilkenny College were into the semi-finals.
The team fought hard against Dundalk coming to an even score at half time. However, with a series of trys from winger Lily Onilenla and scrum half Melanie Griffith the team won 20-10 and made it into the final.
Kilkenny College faced Eureka Secondary School once again. The final began with a try from Kilkenny College however Eureka made a quick come back before half time levelling the score. However, thanks to the determination of the team two more trys had them back in the lead. The team managed to keep a defensive line until the final whistle with a final score of 15-5. Kilkenny College had won the Cup and are now Leinster 7's Cup Champions.
Try Scorers: Melanie Griffith Mary Adewuyi Grace Jackson Lily Onilenla Wren Higgins Abby Bailey Alex McNeill Holly Talbot.
TY Team claim League Honours
On a firm but wet pitch at Newbridge College; Kilkenny College faced Clongowes Wood College in the Leinster TY League Final. It was a nervous start by Kilkenny and they spent the first 10 minutes of the match defending. However after building a few phases together and working their way up the pitch they were rewarded with a very kickable penalty opportunity. Dan O'Neill stepped up to take 3 points but the ball stood up in the wind and blew back into the hands of the Kilkenny boys, allowing them to camp on the Clongowes try line for several minutes. The Clongowes defence stood firm and they managed to turn the ball over and clear their lines.
Clongowes then marched themselves up the pitch and were rewarded a penalty outside the Kilkenny22. Kicking for field position Kilkenny boys found themselves defending a lineout 10 meters from their own line. The Kilkenny forwards turned the ball over at the lineout and with shouts to kick the ball off the field O'Neill scuffed his kick straight to the Clongowes winger who knocked the ball on straight into the hands of Dylan Watchorn who fended off two players to run 80m to score a fantastic try bringing the half time whistle, Kilkenny 5 – Clongowes 0.
Clongowes started the better of the two teams in the second half scoring early from a dominant driving mall giving them a lead of 7-5. However Kilkenny came more and more into the game and with ball in hand they looked the more dangerous side. Working the way up the pitch another penalty gave Dan O'Neill the chance to slot the ball through the posts; 8-7 to Kilkenny College
Clongowes brought some pressure to bear but the next 15 mins it was a battle in the middle of the pitch; O'Neill saw some open field behind the Clongowes defence and slotted a beautifully placed kick in behind the Clongowes winger who was met by 4 Kilkenny players. Kilkenny continued to press and won penalty after penalty giving them the field position to attacking the Clongowes line once again. After almost 15 phases Dylan Watchorn barrelled for 5 points with O'Neill converting giving Kilkenny a 15-7 lead with 9 minutes to go. Clongowes came back but the defensive organisation and pride shown by the Kilkenny team kept Clongowes out. The final whistle brought jumps of joy for the players and relief for the coaches.
Schools Cup and League games
Our SCT team started their Vinny Murray Cup campaign with a comprehensive win over a brave and committed Colaiste Bride side from Carnew. The quarter final game against Wesley College was a close affair with only a point separating the sides on the 50 minute mark, unfortunately it was Wesley College who got the late crucial score to progress to the Semi Finals. With 10 of the starting team returning for next season and a talented TY team coming through the future of this team looks bright.
Our JCT team are currently preparing for their Fr. Godfrey Cup Semi Final next Tuesday in Coolmine RFC at 5pm against Wilson Hospital. A first round 31-19 win over St. Andrews was followed up by a 48-10 victory over Dundalk Grammar in the quarter final. A win over Wilsons would see Kilkenny qualify for the Final of this competition and also take their place in the last 16 of the main Junior Cup against CBC Monkstown.
The leagues for the Senior 2nd’s, Senior 3rds and Junior B’s all started this week and all 3 games yielded positive results. A strong Senior 2nd XV were winners against Clongowes Wood, while the Senior 3rds had a much closer affair with St. Marys College before emerging as narrow winners. The Junior B’s hosted St. Columba’s College Junior A’s and will be a little disappointed to come away with a 17-17 draw having dominated large parts of the game. These leagues continue over the next few weeks.
This was the final game of a long season and both schools were determined to finish with some silverware. Kilkenny started with intent but Gerard's defence stood firm and repelled numerous attacks. Gerard's on the other hand were much more clinical and got an early try on the board with their first attack. Kilkenny responded immediately with a penalty, 5-3 after 15. Kilkenny wings Awonusi and Onilenla looked dangerous every time they got the ball but could not get over the Gerard's line.
Three weeks previous Kilkenny lined out in the Vinnie Murray final and although dominating the match had the heartache of giving away two intercept tries. It seemed as if lightening was about to strike again as one of the Gerard's backs picked off a pass and scooted under the posts. Gerard's led 12-3. Kilkenny again dominated territory for the remainder of the half and appeared to going in at the half within a score as Miller kicked another penalty. With one minute on the clock, Kilkenny failed to claim the restart and Gerard's entered the Cats 22 instantly. Multiple phases later, they crossed the line in the corner. 17-6 half time, mountain to climb.
Commiserations to the Junior Boys Rugby squad who lost narrowly to Newbridge College on a 22-20 scoreline in the final of the Leinster Schools Junior League at Donnybrook yesterday. This was a memorable final from the first minute to the last. The JCT displayed great tenacity and skill in coming back three times from behind and scoring three excellent tries. Both sides fought to the final whistle and at the end Newbridge emerged narrowly victorious. Congratulations to both sides and all the coaches for providing a match worthy of any final. The standard of play and sportsmanship was excellent throughout. Thanks also to all those students, parents and family members who gave unstinting support to our squad throughout the game and after the match had ended. Best wishes to the SCT and JCT as they move into the Leinster Schools Cup competitions. The SCT play Wilson’s Hospital School on Wednesday 18th January at Donnybrook Stadium and the JCT play CBC Monkstown on Thursday 9th February also at Donnybrook Stadium.