Poole nails vital winner
Enniscrothy consolidated their position at the top of the Leinster League Division 1A table with a victory in Kilkenny on Saturday.
Kilkenny 7 Enniscrothy 10
A penalty kick by centre Ivan Poole ten minutes from time was the difference. With their territorial dominance in the last quarter, Enniscorthy deserved this win, but only just.
Unfortunately, just as the game started the rain began to fall. The rain and a slippery ball led to errors on both sides. Nonetheless both teams spread the ball and this led to a very entertaining, close encounter.
The game started brightly for Enniscorthy with a well-taken try under the posts by left wing Hughie O'Neill.
They won a line-out 25 metres out and when O'Neill took an inside pass from out-half Killian Lett he jinked his way to the try line where he was held up, but his power carried him over for a wonderful individual try which Poole converted.
In the second quarter Kilkenny came well into the game. They missed a kickable penalty and went to the corner with two others, but the visitors' defence was good and held firm.
It was a period of dominance for the Kilkenny men but they didn't make it pay. Ivan Poole missed a penalty near the end of the first-half, leaving the score at 7-0.
Despite the rain, this was a high tempo game but both defences held out with no score recorded in the third quarter. Kilkenny were under pressure when they struck from deep inside their own half.
They moved the ball swiftly across the back line from a quickly-taken penalty. The visitors' cover was absent when Kilkenny's centre dived over for a well-taken try which was converted to level matters with 20 minutes to go.
To be fair, Enniscorthy responded well. The introduction of Tomás Stamp into the second row and James Doyle into the front row gave fresh impetus to the pack.
The scrum was now dominant and this led to a penalty with ten minutes left. The ever-reliable Poole duly nailed it from 30 metres.
'That was close today. It's a pity the rain came as both sides were committed to open rugby,' manager David Wrafter said.
'I thought number 8 Nick Doyle, coming in for the injured Timmy Morrissey, had an excellent game. When they levelled matters our response was excellent.
'We showed great character and basically dogged it out to the finish. This was a big team performance against a very good Kilkenny side.'
Enniscorthy now play Clondalkin in the league at the Ross Road next Saturday at 2.30 p.m.
Enniscorthy: Angelo Todisco, David Murphy, Paddy Waters, Seán Wall, Joe Bulmer, Tom Ryan, Greg Jacob, Nick Doyle, Evan Lett, Killian Lett, Hughie O'Neill, Ivan Poole, Ross Barbour, Ivan Jacob, David O'Dwyer. Subs. - James Doyle for Murphy (60), Tomás Stamp for N. Doyle (60), Jack Kelly for O'Dwyer (65), Arthur Dunne for E. Lett (80), also James Ruth.