Win over Tullow
An exciting final quarter saw North Kildare hold out for a crucial victory
North Kildare welcomed Tullow to The Maws sitting joint top of Leinster division 1b and hoping to keep their push for promotion on course. Although late changes to their XV due to injury may have robbed them of focus.
However there was no sign of a lack of focus when, in the first minute, Tom and Luke Satchwell combined to put James Malone into space on the halfway line. Malone used his pace and left the Tullow defence in his wake. Unfortunately the act of scoring was his final contribution as he tore his hamstring in the process. North Kildare continued with sustained pressure but an intercepted pass thrown by Jack Bruton allowed Tullow to go the length of the pitch, but Brutons blushes were spared when Tullow missed the conversion. He redeemed himself on the half hour mark with a difficult penalty. Tullow closed out the half strongly, a scrum penalty sent North Kildare’s Sam Woods to the sin bin, and the Tullow kicker narrowed the gap to two points.
The opening passage of the second half was a marked by a period of sustained pressure from North Kildare. The highlight being a skip pass in midfield by Joe Halpin sending Cormac Meyler close to the line, but unfortunately the passage of play went unrewarded. Indeed, they nearly found themselves behind on 50 minutes but Tullow were off target with a penalty attempt from the tee. A further three points from a Bruton penalty put Kildare in good stead going into the final quarter. A penalty won at the scrum allowed Kildare to kick for the corner and after a fine take in the line out by their effervescent captain Tom Satchwell, they were awarded a penalty try from the ensuing maul, which Bruton converted. Bruton then broke the line himself and sent Joe Gerry under the posts to put daylight between the teams with only 8 minutes remaining.
However steely determination from Tullow brought them right back into the game. Two tries in quick succession earned them a valuable loosing bonus point and left Kildare thankful for the final whistle. The 27-22 result leaves Kildare second in the table after Malahide's bonus point win against Mullingar. Although after injuries to key personnel this victory might of come at a cost for the Kildare. Next up for North Kildare is an away trip to Mullingar next week which is a must win if they are to enjoy their Christmas break and keep momentum in their season.