CLONDALKIN retained the Leinster North Midlands Hosie Cup with a single point victory over North Kildare in a windswept Kilcock last Saturday.
Playing with the strong wind at their backs, Clon opened the scoring with a Matt Stapleton kick before North Kildare equalised with a penalty of their own.
Unbeaten all season in Division 2A, North Kildare had significant momentum coming into the tie and their greater concentration levels in the first half were evident when they ran a tap and go penalty and scored the first try of the game to extend their lead to 8-3.
Almost immediately from the kick-off, Clondalkin were guilty of falling off a number of tackles and this allowed the home team to score a second try which went unconverted to bring their total to 13.
It eventually stirred into a response, Clon showing good hands as James Kenny broke away from the side of a ruck and score the away side’s first try, leaving a 13-8 deficit at the break.
The Kildare men extended their lead to eight points. But, keeping the ball to hand, Clon responded through a Stapleton try which he failed to convert but there was now only 3 points between the teams.
North Kildare once again extended this out to six points with their second penalty of the half.
Clon kept fighting back, though, and, with 20 minutes remaining, Eoin Delaney was tackled short of the line after more good work from the backs but Seanie Brennan was on hand to cross the line.
Facing into the stiff wind and from a wide angle, Matt Stapleton drove the conversion low and hard but between the posts to edge Clon in front for the first time, 20-19.
North Kildare had the chance to edge back in front but missed a penalty kick and Clondalkin held on to claim the Hosie Cup.
This was an important win for Clon to get under their belts with the Towns Cup semi-final game coming up against Kilkenny on Sunday next in Carlow, 3pm.
Elsewhere, Clondalkin’s seconds, pictured above, reached the fourth round of the seconds Towns Cup with a high-scoring 44-27 win at home against Carlow last Sunday.