Carlow IT are the ICRU Division 1 champions
Carlow IT 30
Athlone IT 17
Carlow IT are the ICRU Division 1 champions after they ran in five tries to brush aside Athlone IT in a terrific final at the Cork IT campus yesterday evening.
Although Jaryd Bennett opened the Athlone account with a well-taken drop goal, the bulk of the first half belonged to the expansive running brand of rugby played by the Carlow backs.
David Hegarty scored their first try on 16 minutes, before a truly amazing move from impressive left-wing Alan Kenny gave them a 15-3 lead at the break.
Carlow were also rampant immediately after half-time, with Bryan Croke running in a try on 41 minutes, before Wesley Wojnar peeled away from a ruck to dive over three minutes later.
That extended their lead to a healthy 22 points, but the Westmeath side, who at this stage needed at least four scores to overturn the lead, managed to discover an extra gear and they recorded two quick-fire tries of their own.
Firstly, lively centre Paul Harte let his pace do the talking as he galloped away from two tackles before grounding to cut Carlow's advantage to 15 points, while Brendan Fagan also touched down in the 59th minute.
However, Kenny ran in for his second try of the game on 64 minutes to widen the gap -- and that was the end of the scoring.
Carlow IT -- Waters; Harvery, Sanderson, O'Neill, Kenny; Croke, Sutton; Hegerty, Lynch, Wattlesworth; Walsh, Miller; Duke, O'Shea, Wojnar.
Athlone IT -- Mitchell; O'Connor, Harte, Madden, Connaughton; Bennett, Connellan; Staunton, Ryan, Brady; Byrne, DeBurca; Stapleton, Fagan, Walsh.