IRELAND’S disappointing 16-12 loss to South Africa in the Aviva Stadium on Saturday dominated the weekend’s rugby headlines but North Kildare and Edenderry both won to keep alive their promotion hopes in Division 2B of the Leinster League, writes Dermot O’Mahony.
With no action in Division 2B of the Ulster Bank League or Division 1A of the Leinster League local interest was confined to the lower divisions where the skirmishes were no less intense.
North Kildare travelled to Athy on Sunday where they won the local derby 27-10 in a game that was dominated by the power of the visitors’ dominant pack of forwards.
Not that that the hosts didn’t fight the good fight but they were unable to generate enough good ball often enough to mount a consistent assault on the North Kildare line.
The Kilcock based side led from early on when out half Jack Bruton landed a tricky penalty goal before prop forward Joe Curran was on hand early in the second quarter to finish off a move initiated by a weaving run from centre James Malone and carried on by No 8 Tom Satchwell with a try to the left of the posts.
Centre Mark Beever got the hosts on the board soon after with a penalty goal but almost immediately North Kildare winger Sean Damery exposed some holes in the hosts’ defence with a try wide right.
Bruton’s second conversion put the visitors into a commanding half time lead of 17-3 and he stretched that advantage by another three points shortly after the resumption.
Lock forward Shane Kennedy got the touchdown but try as they might they couldn’t break down an excellently marshalled visiting defence.
Despite their excellent victory North Kildare slipped a place and a point behind Edenderry who won 24-11 in Arklow, picking up a precious 4-try bonus point into the bargain.
Three tries in the opening half laid the foundation for the Carbury side’s victory with winger Jason Moore, prop forward Stephen Potterton and No 8 Sean O’Donnell all touching down prior to the break while full back Steve Cummins popped over a pair of conversions.
Despite leading 19-3 at the interval the visitors had to wait until near the end for their insurance score as Arklow mounted a valiant effort to get back into the game, closing the deficit to eight points before Potterton pounced for his second try.
On Sunday next Edenderry host Guinness while North Kildare welcome Arklow as both sides attempt to take advantage of leaders Railway Union’s week off.
In Division 2A Clane lost 36-9 away in Malahide to remain sixth and will hope for better luck on Sunday when they travel to Portlaoise, the team one place and two points behind them on the league table.
Action resumes in Division 1A on Saturday afternoon when second placed Newbridge host leaders Tullamore at Rosetown in a must-win game for the hosts if they are to retain any realistic chance of winning the title as they currently trail their visitors by seven points.
Cill Dara are also in action away to Coolmine, the team immediately above them in sixth place, in an evening ko on Saturday where defeat would make the Kildare town club favourites to fill the unwanted relegation playoff position come the end of the season.
After a week off in which they had time to savour their newly-found position as leaders of the Ulster Bank League (AIL) Division 2B, Naas travel to Drogheda on Saturday afternoon to face Boyne, who only trail the county Kildare club by a mere two points while seventh placed NUIM Barnhall will be anxious to resurrect their promotion challenge at home in Parsonstown against winless Clonakilty.