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1st XV - Match centre

Cill Dara Rugby Football Club
Co. Carlow
Sun 25 Sep 15:00 - League Full time

Cill Dara RFC pip Co.Carlow in thriller

Cill Dara RFC pip Co.Carlow in thriller

On any given day in the last 22 months Cill Dara would probably have lost this game. It has been a painful twenty-two months for the Silken Thomas Park faithful as they watched their senior team lose home game after home game, their last recorded home league win was Dec 6th 2014 against Suttonians. Two relegations later and Cill Dara found themselves playing their first Division 2 game in over 12 years.

Twenty minutes into that game Cill Dara led 9-0 with 3 penalties from the impressive Peter O'Neill at 10 and they were cruising, 19-year-old McIlwrath was a power house at number 8 and wingers Paddy Ryan and Tom Cleary were consistently getting Cill Dara over the gain line. However, when this dominant you have to score and Cill Dara's failure to take their numerous try scoring opportunities was a worry, particularly when Carlow did venture into the Cill Dara half they looked a threat and indeed it took an outstanding tackle in the corner from Seanie Moore to stop a certain try.

At half-time considering the conditions a 9-point lead was precarious and so it proved as Carlow went on the front foot scoring 2 tries in a dominant 10-minute spell to take a deserved 12 - 9 lead. The game at this stage developed into an arm wrestle and when Carlow pushed the lead out to 15-9 it looked like they would close it out. Then the beauty of sport kicked in and with only minutes remaining on the clock Cill Dara went on the attack, they kicked a penalty to the corner but turned over the line-out, Carlow kicked clear and Paddy Ryan retrieved and counter-attacked along the touch line, he was caught just inside the 22, quick ruck ball ensued, and full-back Ronan O'Neachtain picked drove for the line threw an audacious dummy and scored to the right of the posts. Jack Ryan added the conversion to make it Cill Dara 16 Carlow 15 going into injury time.

However, from the restart Cill Dara gave away a penalty and the Carlow kicker kicked a 40m penalty and probably the league points. There was still 2 mins left and in the 83rd minute veteran Damien Broughall won the restart and Cill Dara went on the attack, retaining possession through phase after phase eventually stretching the Carlow defence and it was fitting that man of the match Mcilwrath had the final say and end 22 months of pain with the match winning touchdown. Cill Dara 21 - Carlow 18.

Match winning try:

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