A win would have been enough for Kilkenny to secure automatic promotion and take the Leinster League Division 1B title at Foulkstown this afternoon, but the manner in which they went about it is testament to their home and league record and grit for the 2014/15 season.
It took almost 20 minutes to find the game’s first score, a break-away try for Kilkenny coming through Darren O’Brien. Andy Nyenhuis added a second less than two minutes later with Sean Moran picking up Kilkenny’s third try of the game late in the first half. A Rory McInerney penalty had Kilkenny heading into the break 22-0 to the good.
The second half continued much like the first and try as they might, Longford could not find the space to finish their limited scoring opportunities. Kilkenny took theirs, however, adding three more tries in the second half, two from Andy Nyenhuis and one from Podge Mahon to make sure of the bonus point win and claim the Ray Campion trophy, introduced for Division 1B winners back in 2011.
Kilkenny return to the top flight of Leinster provincial rugby, having been relegated in 2008. In a post-match speech, coach Steve Ashmore hinted that Kilkenny weren’t going up just to make up the numbers or sit mid table, but instead are going up with the intention of winning Division 1A.
Given their league form for this season off the back of the 2014 Towns Cup final appearance, they’ll have to be taken very seriously in Division 1A next season.