The Cup is finally here! And the Senior 1sts travelled to NUI Maynooth to face The King’s Hospital in a repeat of last year’s Vinnie Murray Cup semi-final (and Cup ‘last 16’ qualifier).
As on that day, Maynooth was wet and windy and a day for expansive passing rugby it was not. Both sides, however, put on a spectacle for the large crowd. The College started strongly and good pressure saw them force some early errors from the Dublin side. With much of the early territory the College tried to find gaps in the KH defence but it stood strong and the opening exchanges came with some bone-shaking tackles. It would be the College who would get the opportunity to strike first though. A penalty infringement at the breakdown on 10 minutes by King’s saw Chris Healy step up to aim for the posts. Unfortunately, assisted by the wind, the ball passed the outside of the right post and wide. But the College were deep in the KH 22. Taking the ball from an attempted breakout by King’s Hos, the College put together a few forward phases. Then Mark Sutton spun the ball wide were it eventually came to Joe Darcy who crashed over in the corner despite some covering tackles. Healy added the extras with an excellent conversion on 16 minutes. The conditions worsened for much of the remainder of the first half and KH went with a forward-centred game plan. They pushed deep into the College half and with 15 minutes remaining in the half laid siege to the College line. Picking and driving, sniping at the base of the ruck and attacking out wider were all used but the College stood strong. KH were held up going over and from the resulting scrum they attacked again but this time the College forces a knock-on and relieved the pressure. The half finished with both side duelling it out in the mid-field and a series of knock-ons and penalties.
The second half started with a bang as Sutton claimed a high ball just seconds after the restart. He drew the on-rushing defence and off-loaded to Darcy who took flight some 15 metres inside his own half. Jinking his way up the field, he broke a cover tackle and weaved through KH bodies into open space 30 metres out and coasted over the tryline to touch down for five points. Healy couldn’t add the extras as he kicked into a strong wind. The College knocked on the restart and, as the ball was played at by a College player in front, conceded a penalty. From the resulting lineout, Hos crashed over from five out. The conversion was well wide of the target, again wind assisted, and the score was 12-5 to the College. The College worked well on the ball with both the forwards carrying well and the backs using the ball cleverly both in hand and along the ground but, while they kept KH in their own half for much of the second period, they failed to convert possession and territory into points and KH remained just a converted try away. KH for their part kept plugging away but made little use of the strong wind coming over their left shoulder and instead chose an up-front battle which the College forwards were happy to contend. All of the pack (all 12 including subs) played their part in maintaining the College lead. As the game drew to a close it was the College who finished strongest and Darcy came close to completing his hat-trick only to be bundled into touch. A great piece of openside wing-forward play from Oisin McKnight saw the College awarded a penalty for holding on. Sutton chipped the ball off the pitch and the referee blew the final whistle. For the second year in a row the College had the victory over King’s Hospital in Maynooth but this time by the tighter margin of 12-5.
A great performance by all with all of the 22 putting in great effort but special mention goes to the Cormac Nugent and Mark Sutton. Now we await the draw on Monday to see who the College will have in the last 8.
Blackrock 20 Newbridge 25
The Senior 2nds followed last week’s opening victory against St. Michaels with another notable scalp in beating Blackrock, in Blackrock, 25-20 in their 2nds league encounter. It was a close game throughout with Newbridge holding a slender three point advantage at the break despite a strong wind in their favour. Newbridge played most of the half in the Blackrock half of the pitch but some handling errors cost them at vital times. With both sides exchanging two tries a piece in the second half Blackrock scored a penalty to level the game with time almost up. From theresulting kick off Newbridge secured the ball with a magnificent take from Conor Fletchmore and ended up scoring a great team try in the corner with Matt Stapleton stretching for the line to record a memorable victory. Best for Newbridge on the day were Conor Doyle, Ed Williams, Sean Treacy in the forwards and Matt Stapleton, Sam Riehn and Andrew Shanahan in the backs. Try scorers on the day were Tom Dunne, Andrew Shanahan, Conor Doyle and Matt Stapleton.
Inter A 24 Gonzaga 5
Newbridge College Inter A’s braved the elements to take on Gonzaga College at home last Wednesday. The Newbridge boys were really up for the game and got off to a fantastic start with a try after 5 minutes courtesy of Tom Connolly. Newbridge’s lead was pushed out further 5 minutes later with a well worked team try finished by Simon Hore. Newbridge were in complete control but allowed themselves to sit back for the middle section of the first half. During this period Gonzaga used their forwards really well to crash the ball up the centre. Gonzaga eventually got their just desserts with a try in the corner. Newbridge refocused and spent the reminder of the half putting extreme pressure on Gonzaga inside their half. Newbridge’s third and final score of the half came from a 15 meter scrum where Patrick Ryan picked really well at 8, linked up with Conor Timmins his no. 7 and Conor floated a perfect pass to Louis Young on the win,g who fought his way over. The second half saw Newbridge play into a really strong wind. Newbridge forwards were superb – they fought, tackled and carried so much ball. Rob Wynne and Patrick Ryan were the stand out players in the department. Newbridge’s efforts were rewarded with a team try finished by Cian Murphy and converted by Tom 3 minutes from full time.Even though the four tries came from the backs it was the relentless hard work of the forwards that won this game on the day. Excellent performance by all 15 involved. The score finished Newbridge 24 Gonzaga 5
Inter B 12 Gonzaga 17
The Inter B's suffered another close defeat. This time at home to Gonzaga. The strong wind made it a game of two halves, favouring Newbridge in the first half. Although the wind can't be completely attributed to the Gonzaga comeback in the second half! The home side started both halves well with a try within ten minutes of kickoff, both touched down by captain Calum Burke. Calum led by example by running hard at the Gonzaga defence and by tackling hard throughout. Liam Callanan added the bonus two to the first try. Alex Pocock, pack leader, was a physical presence from start to finish. Unfortunately the 12 point lead was overturned in the second half. As a whole, concentration dipped and the big Gonzaga forwards were allowed to gain momentum. With 3 tries and one conversion, they won by 5. Other players who featured highly were Niall Stapleton, Andrew Mc Loughlin and Enda Mc Sweeney. Final score: Newbridge 12 Gonzaga 17.
Other Results: Senior 4th’s 10 Belvedere 38; Junior B 0 Wilson’s Hospital 36; Eller A 12 Clongowes 11; Eller B 5 Clongowes 17; Eller C1 22 Clongowes 20; Eller C2 57 Clongowes 17.
JUNIOR A PROGRESS TO PLATE SEMI FINALS
The junior team of Newbridge College took to the pitch again this week against Newpark Comprehensive, in what was to be a very exciting quarter final of the plate competition. After the Senior As were beaten a week before by Newpark, Newbridge were seeking a victory second time lucky. The girls opened well, dominating the play in the Newpark half. Many shots on the Newbridge goal were made but the goalkeeper of the Newbridge opposition made some superb saves. A goal resulted from the stick of Caoimhe Murphy with great support play from the starting eleven that assisting in this well taken opportunity. As the half time whistle sounded both teams returned to their goals to regroup. This benefited greatly as Louise Scully opened with a second goal. The defence -although rarely tested- proved vital in the assistance of the offensive position. A late short corner, of the last play, brought a third and final goal to the Newbridge side by Laura Hannon. The girls proved their capability to progress in this competition and are now moving forward to the semi-final stages of the plate. We wish them the best of luck!
On Thursday the 31st of January the Minor A team played Loreto Foxrock in their final league game. As soon as the first whistle blew Newbridge were straight into the game (on their own turf), possession constantly in their half. After a long battle up the sideline, the ball was in the Foxrock circle. An amazing pass by Kotryna Stepanova led to a fantastic goal scored by Megan Hoare. The girls were delighted with a 1-0 lead. At half time the team knew not to get ahead of themselves and kept their heads in the game. In the second half there were no goals scored but brilliant defence from the back line of Eleanor Walsh, Jenna Brannock, Aine Fleming and Emma Hyland. The final whistle blew and the girls were ecstatic at their well-earned win. There was a big cheer at the end for player of the match Eleanor Walsh. The girls now progress to the plate quarter final stage vs. St. Joseph's of Cluny. Finally hard luck to our Minor Cs who lost 2-0 vs. Loreto Navan.
1ST YEAR HOCKEY
Having been so unlucky last week in Dublin the first year A team were expecting strong opposition from Rathdown school, and played with great spirit from the start. They immediately put on pressure with the defence pushing up and forcing Rathdown to defend from the start. Emily O'Brien going close and also Kate Hannon, however the Dublin girls had one good break down the centre of the pitch and managed to squeeze the ball over the line despite the best efforts of Aoibhe Burke and Meadbh Whelan. The Rathdown keeper was probably their strongest player and she kept a clean sheet with some super saves. In the second half, the college girls again camped in the Rathdown circle and eventually Aimee McGrath who subbed up from the B team broke the deadlock and scored from close to goal. Rachel McMullen worked tirelessly, covering both sides of the midfield and won numerous penalty corners, eventually she and Kate combined to put one away with two minutes to go. 2-1 was a good result but didn't truly reflect the college team's superiority. This was a tremendous performance and now sets up a deciding game with Loreto, Beaufort, next week, who will provide their strongest opposition to date.
The First year B girls headed for the Caragh road hopeful for another good performance after their win in Clontarf last week. This week's opposition was the team from Mount Temple School, and the girls started as last week, attacking from the off, and they were soon on top and putting the Mount Temple girls under serious pressure. Great work from Caoimhe Sweeney led to the first goal from Aisling Phelan, Sorcha Gilman got another and Aimee McGrath, 3-0 at half time and the college girls then played in to the gale that was blowing against them. Again they got the upper hand and Alexandra Leahy got a super goal from the right wing. There was a big mix up in the opposition defence and the ball was scrambled over the line. Finally having camped in the Mount Temple circle, Victoria Keogh got another goal to have a final score of 6-0. This was a super performance from this very good B team, they show great potential and hopefully next week will get another win against Santa Sabina.
Newbridge College first Year C Hockey teams travelled to Carlow to play St Leos School in two challenge matches. On a blustery day the girls played their hearts out, drawing the first game and losing the second game narrowly at 1 nil. The Coaches were pleased with the way the girls played and the effort they put in. Given that most of the group have not played before this year the c teams are improving with every outing. The skill level of some of the team is improving all the time. This is due to their commitment to training and personal practise. Well done first years!
Well done to our 1st U16 Badminton team who were runners up in the final of the recent Kildare League competition held in Newbridge College. All four members of the team; Michael Jordan, Conor Tutty Barton, Joe O'Hara & Morgan Hurley O'Dwyer, played great games of Badminton but unfortunately were beaten by a very strong Kilcullen team.