NOT SINCE 1989 had Tullow beaten Carlow in a competitive rugby match but in last Sunday's J1 Leinster League match in Oakpark they extracted their revenge and left Carlow reeling from a 41 to 15 points score line.
However the top versus bottom of the table derby clash was a highly entertaining game full of end to end action. Even the Tullow supporters agreed that the final score line flattered the visitors.
Tullow's first score came in the third minute when player coach Massey Tuhakaraina jinked left and ran in for a soft try converted by William Canavan. Canavan added a penalty to make it 10-0 to the Slaneysiders.
After 12 minutes Barry Purcell was narrowly wide with a Carlow penalty. Instead Tullow swept up the field and scored two tries which were interspersed with a successful Carlow penalty by Purcell.
In the 10 minutes before the break Carlow took the game to Tullow and looked to have scored twice in the corner but each time were called back for a foot in touch. The half time score read Carlow 3, Tullow 22.
Carlow continued to attack at the start of the second half and a move, started in midfield from a Wes Shirley break, ended with Richard Whyte first touching down and then converting from out wide.
Straight from the kick-off Shirley soared into the air to secure the ball and again, to the great delight of their supporters, Carlow surged up the field and after several recycles, Jeff McDermott scored in the corner. Whyte narrowly missed the conversion, but at 15-22, 10 minutes into the second half, it seemed that a miracle might happen. The sight of the maroon and white jerseys from Tullow was getting the best out of the Carlow players.
However Tullow had power on the bench and Willie O'Brien, John Fitzgerald and Tony Bolger were brought on and the game turned back in their favour.
The Tullow supporters were now energised. Their back row of Roche, Porter and O'Brien powered their way over for a try. Number 6 Roche got another try when Carlow scrumhalf Mark Elmes was yellow carded for coming in from the side of the ruck.
Keating, the Waddock brothers, Bulmer and Rowe continued to put in the tackles for Carlow but again this week, they conceded a try in the lack move of the game.
Tullow continue as runaway leaders in Leinster League section 1A.
After six games Carlow remain pointless. But after a derby game which provided a lot more entertainment than Ireland's outing versus the Springboks on the previous evening, the Oakpark club team and supporters were hoping that the worst is behind them and that the season could turn around at next week's clash with Ashbourne.
Meanwhile Carlow's two star sides, the U-15 youths beat Athy 49 -10 and the all conquering ladies beat Trinity 87-0 to head the table. Carlow J1. Scorers: B Purcell (penalty), R White (try, conv), Jeff McDermott (try) Tullow J1. Scorers: W Canavan (1P 5C), Tuhakaraina, W O'Brien (2), J Hanbidge, S Corrigan, J Roche, R Porter (tries).