Kilkenny will need to dig deep against DLSP if they are to avoid relegation on the last day of the Leinster League Division 1A season.
Any team can beat any other team on any given Sunday.
When Kilkenny were playing their rugby on Sundays in recent seasons (including their terrific Division 1B run two seasons back), they looked invincible. Life in Division 1A with Saturday rugby hasn’t exactly proved as fruitful.
Heading into the final game of the Leinster League Division 1A season, Kilkenny are rooted to the bottom of the table, two wins and a draw to their name out of thirteen games. They’ve put 186 points on the board this term and shipped nearly another 200 on top of that. Of their 17 points from, seven come from bonus points awarded.
Monkstown are nestled above them, level on points but ahead by virtue of games won and on Sunday and if Kilkenny are to see through to another season in Division 1B, they’re going to want to look for another bonus point and the win over visitors DLSP to at least provide a promotion/relegation playoff against Clondalkin, a side they are quite familiar with.
Team manager Packie Hennebry told KCLR ahead of the weekend that “the aim for the weekend is obviously a win.”
“We have to win with a bonus point and hope that Monkstown don’t get any more than a losing bonus point and that would leave us second last to finish the league with the playoff [to play].”
“We’ve really improved in the last couple of weeks, and so have Monkstown, that’s how things are so close between us. We’d have to be confident playing them (DLSP) at home, we played them earlier in the season, didn’t acquit ourselves very well but things have changed since then. We’ve changed a few positions on the pitch, and we’ve got a couple of boys back that were injured. We’re confident enough we can do it, but it’s on the day.”
“It’s disappointing to be at the bottom of the league when we were up the middle-top end last year. We had a lot of serious injuries this year, lads that were gone for a couple of months.”
“It is what it is. A lot of things just didn’t go our way. We have to take it on the chin and hopefully things pan out.”
With the league concluding today, Kilkenny still have some home of silverware, their early exit from the Provincial Towns Cup throwing them into the Plate for post-season and there’s already a win over Tullamore there.
The focus first though is Sunday afternoon’s home tie against DLSP in Foulkstown with kick-off set for 3pm. A loss would automatically send Kilkenny back to Division 1B where as a win could at least, for today, give another opportunity to avoid relegation.