Enniscorthy in decider again
Poole penalties prove vital
The weather conditions were always going to dictate the way this Provincial Towns Cup semi-final would be played in Kilkenny on Sunday and, although it was dry and bright, it was very windy.
Enniscorthy 6 Naas 3
As a result scores were at a premium, but Enniscorthy prevailed at the end and finished much stronger to win 6-3.
Ivan Poole kicked the opening penalty straight and through the posts to give Enniscorthy the lead after ten minutes, but from the resumption Cillian Dempsey punished an Enniscorthy indiscretion with an equally positive penalty kick.
Although Naas were playing their second team, they still were very strong up front and took the game to Enniscorthy. They were dominating the early exchanges but could not score, and that was a credit to the fine defensive play of Enniscorthy. It was 3-3 at the interval.
Enniscorthy upped the ante in the second-half although they escaped when Naas wing forward Cillian Dempsey made a superb break, but again a combination of Brian Bolger and Greg Jacob turned over him over to regain possession.
In the 45th minute Ivan Poole missed a penalty kick, but ten minutes later he put over arguably a more difficult kick to put the Cup holders 6-3 in front.
Enniscorthy were now in full flight and put Naas on the back foot, and Poole missed another kick.
Enniscorthy won another penalty kick on the '22 and the wind took Poole's effort wide of the post.
Enniscorthy were moving the ball now at pace and a good break from Timmy Morrissey was stopped five metres from the line and Naas turned over the ball.
Enniscorthy did batten down the hatches although Naas won a penalty and decided to run it, but again Enniscorthy's defence was sublime.
Enniscorthy manager David Wrafter said: 'credit to Naas, they really put it up to us but the lads are battle-hardened this season and our defence was excellent.
'The weather didn't really suit our normal running game but the backs defence was really good. It is nice to get to the final again and luckily I don't think we picked up any injuries as we have a tough couple of weeks ahead in the A.I.L. round robin, starting with an away trip to Clonmel next Saturday'.
Team: Angelo Todisco, David Murphy, Paddy Waters, Joe Bulmer, Tomás Stamp, Brian Bolger, Greg Jacob, Timmy Morrissey, Alan Jacob, Ivan Poole, David O'Dwyer, Hughie O'Neill, Killian Lett (capt.), Ivan Jacob, Ross Barbour. Subs. used - Evan Lett, Jack Kelly, Peadar O'Mahoney, James Doyle, Tom Ryan.