Kilkenny dig deep to sink dogged Pres Bray
Tries in either half from centre Ross Bailey-Kearney proved key in Ashbourne as Kilkenny College moved into the second round of the Leinster Schools Senior Cup following a hard-fought encounter.
With the wind playing a major factor, this game had all the hallmarks of a low-scoring contest from the word go.
Indeed, it looked like it was going to remain a stalemate until half-time, but Bailey-Kearney had other ideas as he crossed the whitewash in emphatic style just before the break, ensuring the boys from the Marble County took a 5-0 cushion into the second period with them.
This was a slender advantage, though, and dogged Pres Bray narrowed the gap with a penalty from out-half Diarmuid Masterson.
Although Kilkenny were on top in terms of territorial possession, this did make things very interesting in the closing stages.
Unfortunately for Bray, though, Masterson was wide of the mark with two more attempts (one of which shaved the upright), and Kilkenny made the most of these missed opportunities with a second Bailey-Kearney try 50 minutes in.
Scrum-half Craig Miller came up short with the subsequent conversion (as he had also done in the opening half), but Bailey-Kearney's sizeable contribution was enough to get them over the line in the end.
KILKENNY COLLEGE – H Rhys-Thomas; S Williams, S Sterling, R Bailey-Kearney, T Bulfin; B Ridgeway, C Miller; J Baker, C Ruddock, J Paton, G Hastings, C Hanbidge (J Holland-Brennan 45), E Horan (S Pim 60), M Triggs, R Stanley.
PRES BRAY – J Keating; C Martin, D Henderson, J Curran, D Cassidy, D Masterson, J Carney (C Byrne 52); D Molloy (J O'Connor 60), L Barrett, C Pearse, M Thompson, J Hayes, J Walsh (M Burton 52), L O'Flynn-Martin, H Armstrong.