Su­perb win for Wick­low

Vic­tory needed af­ter de­feat

Wicklow People (Arklow) - - SPORT -

WICK­LOW RFC’S se­nior men took on a resur­gent Kilkenny RFC at Ash­town Lane on Sun­day af­ter­noon.

Kilkenny had won three games in a row against Bec­tive Dun­dalk and Ash­bourne in the lead up to this game. Wick­low had a dis­ap­point­ing out­ing away to league lead­ers En­nis­cor­thy last week­end and were keen to get things back on track.

The game was played on a gloomy enough af­ter­noon. All the early pres­sure was from Wick­low but a fired up kilkenny held firm in the open­ing stages.

Af­ter 14 min­utes the break­through came. A pow­er­ful burst by Shane Far­rar saw him go close to the line. The ball was re­cy­cled, and Si­mon Breen crashed over in the cor­ner for a good score. The con­ver­sion was missed but Wick­low led 5–0.

Kilkenny hit back al­most im­me­di­ately with a well worked try of their own to make it 5–7 af­ter 17 min­utes. Wick­low were re­duced to 14 men when a mist­imed tackle saw Si­mon Breen go to the bin for ten min­utes.

Wick­low scored next when a good break by Luke Gersekowski found Char­lie But­ter­worth in sup­port. The big num­ber eight scored be­neath the posts and Niall Earls con­ver­sion made it 12–7 to Wick­low.

Wick­low went asleep and al­lowed Kilkenny to strike back im­me­di­ately and they went in front 12–14 af­ter 33 min­utes.

On the stroke of half-time a con­certed pe­riod of Wick­low pres- sure yielded a valu­able score. Two min­utes of bat­ter­ing the Wick­low line in the face of tremen­dous Kilkenny de­fence be­fore Niall Earls scythed through the cover on an an­gled run to score a fine try. His con­ver­sion made it 19–14 to Wick­low at the break.

The sec­ond half started with Kilkenny on the at­tack. They forced a penalty, but the kick was pushed nar­rowly wide.

Soon af­ter­wards re­place­ment full-back Jack Dunne got over for the bonus-point try af­ter ex­cel­lent work by Wes Wo­j­nar. Earls con­verted and Wick­low were 26–14 up with 25 min­utes left.

Kilkenny threw the Kitchen sink at Wick­low but tremen­dous Wick­low de­fence kept them out. Wick­low cleared up­field and forced the con­ces­sion of another penalty. Niall Earls made no mis­take and Wick­low led 29–14 as the game ran into in­jury time in the gath­er­ing dark­ness.

The fi­nal whis­tle went with Wick­low on the at­tack in Kilkenny ter­ri­tory. This was a fine win by Wick­low who bounced back well af­ter last week’s dis­ap­point­ing dis­play in Ross Road. The bo- nus-point win se­cures Wick­low’s po­si­tion in third place in the league (on 28 points) be­hind En­nis­cor­thy (38 points) and Gorey (29 points).

The sec­onds had an im­por­tant and re­sound­ing win against Kilkenny by 53–0 and they will look to build on that re­sult and go in to the Christ­mas break look­ing for­ward to a strong fin­ish to the league and a cup run in the New Year.

Next week­end is a wel­come break for the first XV be­fore they take on En­nis­cor­thy for the third time this sea­son in the All-Ire­land Cup semi-fi­nal on Satur­day, De­cem­ber 15.

‘This is an his­toric game for the club, and we are hop­ing a large crowd will travel to Ross Road to sup­port the team. Kick-off is at 2pm. The WRFC Christ­mas party takes place in the club­house later that evening,’ said a club spokesper­son. WICK­LOW: Eddie Downes, Jack McKenna, Neil Dick­en­son, Brian Shortt, Ge­orge Naoupu, Wes Wo­j­nar, Luke Gersekowski, Char­lie But­ter­worth, Den­nis Hig­gins, Niall Earls, Si­mon Breen, Shane Far­rar, Billy Ngaw­ini, Ben Arm­strong, Ben Porter. Subs: Pablo Castello Vi­nolo, Brian Shortt Sea­mus O’Brien, Jack Dunne, Dean Leonard.

Wick­low’s Jack McKenna drives for the Kilkenny line.

Wick­low’s Luke Gersekowski comes un­der pres­sure at Ash­town Lane.

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