Rugby fans both home and abroad can follow Leinster’s Provincial Towns Cup final live this afternoon, as IrishRugby.ie streams the Ashbourne v Kilkenny clash live from Tullow RFC (kick-off 3.30pm).
The deciding game of the Provincial Towns Cup, sponsored by Cleaning Contractors, features Leinster League Division 1B champions Ashbourne and their divisional rivals Kilkenny.
The final at Black Gates, the home ground of Tullow RFC, kicks off at 3.30pm today.
In an exciting development, IrishRugby.ie are streaming the match live worldwide for the second successive year. Click here to watch the game live.
Ashbourne enjoyed the luck of the draw early on in that their first three games were at home in Milltown House where they beat Edenderry (46-14), Gorey (21-16) and Roscrea (62-0).
The County Meath club then overcame All-Ireland Junior Cup champions Enniscorthy 12-10 in a tense semi-final played at Naas RFC on the same day that Kilkenny beat Wicklow 12-7 at Tullow in another fraught last-four encounter where the victors survived a frantic finish.
Kilkenny opened their account with an eye-catching 20-12 away at CPL Park against last year’s runners up Longford before disposing of a pair of higher ranked Division 1A clubs in Clondalkin (17-7) and Newbridge (45-11), both at home in Foulkstown.
It is only Ashbourne’s second ever Towns Cup final appearance having lost their only previous venture this far, going down 18-10 to Navan in 1999.
Kilkenny, on the other hand, have won the fabled pot on five occasions, the most recent being in 2002 when they completed a two in-a-row, while they have also lost five finals dating back to their initial success in 1955 when they beat North Kildare 3-0 after a replay in Athy.
Kilkenny are backboned by a big strong powerful pack that features an athletic back row, while their half-back pairing of the Robbie Walsh and Willie Wright is as good as there is at this level.
What makes this final so hard to call is that Ashbourne’s strength is also up front with their evergreen lock Jeff Mahon constantly leading by example in the trenches. They also feature a game controlling half-back duo in Gavin Kennedy and Paul Morris.
It promises to be an extremely tight contest between two evenly-matched teams before an expected big crowd at Black Gates. Tickets are available on the gate and are priced at €;10 for adults and €;5 for students with a valid student ID card.
If you are attending this historic clash in Tullow, check into the match on Facebook here.