Rugby

Kilkenny close out 2017 with a win as Tullow drop points at Suttonians

The Leinster League hit its winter break on Sunday

The book is closed on the Leinster League for 2017.

While Carlow maintained their unbeaten run for 2017/18 with a 17-15 victory at Oak Park over Railway Union, Kilkenny were fighting hard at CPL Park in Longford to edge the hosts by a two point margin.

Longford started well and having already beaten Kilkenny this season, they were three up from the boot of Joe McGowan midway through the first half. A McGowan try followed, converted, to push Longford out 10-0 but Kilkenny crossed the line before the half to cut the margin to five.

With the hosts pressing to restore a two score lead, Kilkenny nabbed an intercept try in the final quarter to turn the tables at 12-10 and close out the game for their seventh win from 9 this season.

The result sees Kilkenny leapfrog Longford into third, behind Suttonians and Tullow in first, with just three points separating the sides.

Suttonians keep the pressure on

The top of the table clash on Sunday as Tullow travel to Dublin to take on Suttonians, but it wouldn’t end well for the 2017 Provincial Towns Cup champions.

Tullow had already beaten Suttonians 36-24 at the beginning of October at Black Gates but this weekend it was it was all Suttonians. The home side were up by seven almost straight from the kick off before Tullow intercepted on their own 22 to race clear and tie things up at 7-7 with just 12 minutes gone.

Four minutes later, Suttonians had restored their one try lead and it would stay that way up to half time. The start of the second half was almost a carbon copy of the first, Suttonians tacking on another well converted try two minutes after the restart to move to 21-17.

Midway through the first half and the visitors were pressing hard, a lot of play inside the Suttonians 22 produced a try (no conversion) for Tullow to go 21-12, but the resilience of Suttonians shone through and with five minutes to go, the bonus point was secured.

While Tullow crossed over the line at the death, it was a mere consolation, the game closing out at 28-19. The win for Suttonians send them to second place, level on points with Tullow at the top.

Elsewhere in Division 1B on Sunday North Kildare picked up a bonus point 26-10 win over Portlaoise at Togher while on Thursday night Coolmine wrapped up their 2017 campaign with a 17-13 win at home against Clondalkin.

When the league resumes in January, Tullow will start 2018 away to North Kildare while Kilkenny welcome Portlaoise to Foulkstown. Those games take place Sunday 7 January with a 2.30pm kick off.

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