This was the final game of a long season and both schools were determined to finish with some silverware. Kilkenny started with intent but Gerard's defence stood firm and repelled numerous attacks. Gerard's on the other hand were much more clinical and got an early try on the board with their first attack. Kilkenny responded immediately with a penalty, 5-3 after 15. Kilkenny wings Awonusi and Onilenla looked dangerous every time they got the ball but could not get over the Gerard's line.
Three weeks previous Kilkenny lined out in the Vinnie Murray final and although dominating the match had the heartache of giving away two intercept tries. It seemed as if lightening was about to strike again as one of the Gerard's backs picked off a pass and scooted under the posts. Gerard's led 12-3. Kilkenny again dominated territory for the remainder of the half and appeared to going in at the half within a score as Miller kicked another penalty. With one minute on the clock, Kilkenny failed to claim the restart and Gerard's entered the Cats 22 instantly. Multiple phases later, they crossed the line in the corner. 17-6 half time, mountain to climb.
One thing that can never be doubted in this Kilkenny team is their resolve and determination to work for each other. The message was clear at half time and players returned to the pitch determined to give one last push. Kilkenny raised the intensity immediately and were rewarded with early territory. Adam Earle arrived on the pitch and had an immediate impact at scrum time, in combination with Gray and Edghill they started to get the upper hand on their opposite numbers. A penalty resulted from such an altercation, Miller kicked to the corner. The Kilkenny maul has been a destructive weapon all year and if it was ever needed, now was the time. Sure enough it delivered, Pim rose high to claim the ball and the Kilkenny pack inched towards the line. The ball was transferred to the back of the maul and into the safe hands of Gray who dotted down as the pack crossed the line. Miller added the extras and Kilkenny were back within touching distance.
A scrum in the centre of the pitch provided the platform for Kilkenny's next score. Miller took the game into his own hands and scored a sensational solo effort, the resulting kick was no gimme either but he slotted it to ensure his team led by 3. A dangerous lead and so it proved, Gerard's gained territory immediately and piled the pressure on. After 10 minutes of sustained pressure the Bray school snuck over in the corner and now led by 2. A season of near misses looked destined to add another. Kilkenny players remained calm however as they knew 3 points would be enough. Gain territory and force a mistake. Sure enough the opportunity presented itself as Gerard's conceded a penalty just outside their 22.
Gerard’s conceded a penalty at the breakdown and presented Miller with the opportunity to regain the lead. A pressure kick if there was ever one but the number 10 coolly slotted it between the posts. Kilkenny led 23-22. Gerard's were dogged and determined all day and would not go down without a fight. They spent the remainder of the game attacking the Kilkenny line. Kilkenny were determined that today would be their day and repelled attack after attack, eventually forcing a knock on to finish the tie. An exhilarating game of rugby which remained in the balance until the final whistle. Both teams deserve tremendous credit for their part in an exhilarating end of season game. Kilkenny took the Fr Hampson Cup back to the Castlecomer Road and fittingly ended the season on a high. Credit to coaches Gordon Rowe and Wesley Carter for their efforts all year and to S and C coach Stephen Gray.