LEINSTER SCHOOLS CUPS
Congratulations to our Senior Cup rugby team who defeated CBC Monkstown to reach the last four of this year’s Leinster Senior Cup.
This is the first time since 2004 that we have reached the semi final stages and we wait Saturday’s draw with great anticipation. Our Junior Cup team are in action this coming Wednesday when they face St Gerards Bray in the quarterfinal. This match takes place in St Mary’s RFC on Templeville Road at 3:30. Best of luck to all.
SCT 16 CBC Monkstown 11
With memories of a one point victory over CBC Monkstown in the League quarter-finals still relatively fresh, the Senior Firsts headed to Donnybrook to take on the same opposition in the Cup quarter-finals. Another tight battle was expected and that’s what was served up courtesy of two hugely committed sides and in part to some first half errors by the College. Some felt that it could have been over by half time had all chances been converted but that would only have robbed the spectators of a truly thrilling end. CBC were first on the scoreboard when an over eager College defence strayed offside at a ruck 70 seconds in. Their kicker punished the College with 3 points from in front of the posts. A nervous-looking College side slowly started to put some phases together and CBC were forced into conceding penalties of their own. One of these, on 18 minutes, was slotted over by Chris Healy to level the game. Despite the Dublin side having the lions-share of the possession and territory, the more clear-cut chances in the first half fell to the College. Some great defence, in particular by the College backrow, and some confident carrying of the ball by Jonathan Phelan, Hugh O’Donnell and captain Brian Hayden, along with a clever box-kick or two from Jack Coghlan Murray, saw the College keep Monkstown away from the College line. But some poor handling and poor support saw the College cough up their own opportunities cheaply. They would be made to pay for this when on 21 minutes CBC spun the ball from right to left and some poor tackling allowed the centre to head for the tryline. Despite a brave attempt by Niall Delahunt, he touched down for the first try of the game. The conversion missed, the score stood at 8-3 to the South Dublin side. This score seemed to focus the College minds and slowly again they started to put phases together, with centres Jack O’Neill and Patrick Kyne coming more into the game, but again silly errors were costing them. Despite an improved performance it would remain 8-3 until the break.
A much more focused College side came out in the second half and this was shown when they forced a penalty one minute in which Healy converted from 40 metres. Just five minutes later the College had the chance to take the lead but Healy hit the posts with the penalty. However, things were starting to creak for CBC and set play became the first point of strike for much of the College attack with hooker Conor Doyle heavily involved in both. They were under growing pressure and they struggled to get out of their half. With pressure coming on them in defence from Oisin McKnight, Matt O’Connor and Tom Brady, in attack from Hayden and Phelan and in counter-attack from Healy and Delahunt, the Dublin side were feeling the strain. The College kept their cool knowing now that a score was on the way. Ably marshalled in attack by Mark Sutton, they spread the ball left and right. A charge from Phelan set a ruck just metre from the CBC tryline. Sutton received and spun the ball wide to Healy. Healy popped to Joe Darcy and he touched down in the corner on 53 minutes. Healy missed the conversion but the College led 11-8. O’Donnell and Cormac Nugent were making a nuisance of themselves at ruck time and O’Neill and Jake Howlett shut the midfield defensive door. CBC started to rally as they saw their Cup existence slipping through their fingers and pushed into the College half. They managed to force a penalty on 64 minutes which they converted from the 22 to tie the game. With the clock ticking down the College regained a foothold in the CBC half. Sutton made a dash to line and looked to have scored but the referee was perfectly placed to see he had been held up. Was the game destined for draw? From the resulting scrum Robbie Mullen passed to Sutton who directed the ball out to Darcy, via the safe hands of Andrew Shanahan, Delahunt and Healy, who duly obliged with a try, two minutes into injury time. Healy missed the difficult conversion and the College led by five. Monkstown pushed hard but the defence, now boasting the bulk of Ed Wynne and Richard Dromgoole Maguire, held strong. They came within metres to the College line only for Nugent to steal the ball. When the clearing kick from Sutton was blocked down a try looked a certainty. But the referee had seen the CBC pillars stray offside and the penalty was the College’s. A breakout from their own 22, eight minutes into injury time, was held up by Nugent and when the referee blew for the scrum he followed it with the final whistle. A hard fought quarter final for which CBC deserve much respect. But it would be the College who took the game 16-11 and march on to the semi final. Well done to all involved. A massive effort by all involved. Special mention must go to Jack Briody, Connor Fletchmoore and Tom Dunne, the three unused subs, who, although they did not feature in the game, were an integral part of the squads preparation for this game and the result.
Inter A v Presentation Bray
Inter A’s took on the very big side of Presentation Bray in Bray Wednesday last. This was going to be a huge test for our Newbridge boys as Presentation were back to their full complement with their junior players returning to their squad. The game was a very even affair throughout with both teams having strong passages of play. Pres were the first to open the scoring when a laps in concentration allowed them a turnover. Excellent scramble defence stopped Pres just short of the line but they used their big forwards to pick and drive over. The remainder of the first half saw both side have chances but both defences stood firm. Newbridge started to show more dominance in the second half but found extremely hard to find a way through. Pres extended their lead to 10 – 0 against the run of play when they turned over the ball and spread it wide. Newbridge’s response was almost instant. The forwards worked the ball really well dragging the Pres defence in narrow and using the width and their speed to get out around the Pres defence. The well worked team try was eventually finished by Nicholas Cody. With only five minutes now remaining Newbridge really went for the win. They retained the ball really well from the kick off. They went through phase after phase and eventually got their just desserts with two minutes remaining when Conor Timmins reacted fastest to a Pres mistake and touched down. Tom Connolly converted the final score of the game to leave it at 12 – 10 to Newbridge. Newbridge Inter A’s continue to be unbeaten since Christmas with only three games left in this season. Although it was a very strong team performance players that stood out were Luke Heffernan, Cian Dunne, Conor Timmins and Patrick Ryan in the forwards and Louis Young, Tom Connolly Nicholas Cody and Ben Caulifield in the backs
Inter B v Presentation Bray
The Inter Bs went down to a good Pres Bray team which had two outstanding players, who did a lot of the damage. However, the Newbridge team never gave up, as was shown by the try at the end of the game by Alex Pocock, who also got our first try. He showed great awareness and support to get the scores. Both tries were converted by a Liam Callanan, who had a very good game, kicked well, and made good efforts to test the opposition defense. Throughout the game Captain Patrick O’ Brien led by example and was bravery personified as he never once shirked the tackle, and stopped the key Pres players on a number of occasions. In the pack Theo Hovenden Kelly, Dylan Johnson, Ciaran Joyce and Matthew Nugent all made good efforts in the loose. Cian Springate made an impression in the lineout while Niall Stapleton was good defensively. Shaun Lowan moved up to the A's early on to be replaced by Josh Peacock who got through a lot of work. Sub forwards Stephen Murphy, Andrew Sweeney and Andrew Mc Loughlin all played their part. In the backs, Enda Dowling grew into the game and put good pressure on his opposite number. Centres Jack Travers and Andrew Dempsey tried hard to make the breakthrough. Enda Mc Sweeney unfortunately saw little of the ball while on the other wing Kevin Dolly chased very well and was always looking to get on the ball. Sub backs Matthew Murtagh, Paschal Tompson, James Sutton, and Niall Thomson did well with Niall making one outstanding tackle. Mention must be made of Sean Murphy, Tom Tinsley, Elliot Davis, Cormac Conlan and Craig Mc Cormack who have trained hard, and given of their best, throughout the season. Once again they were unlucky not to get game time.
The Eller As travelled to CBC Monkstown on Wednesday, looking to get back into the swing of things after an extended mid term break. The game failed to ignite in the opening stages, with both teams guilty of some bad unforced errors. Newbridge opened the scoring when Thomas Grant drove over from close range after some good ball retention from the Newbridge pack. However, straight from the kickoff sloppy midfield handling saw CBC turn the ball over and spread it wide to level up the game. Newbridge were stung into action and when Karmon Fitzgerald found a mismatch inside his own ten he danced between two would be tacklers and raced 60 meters to score. Not to be outdone, Greg O Neill claimed the restart and extracated himself from a tight spot inside his own 22 before rounding his opposite number and outpacing the cover in an 80 metre footrace to the tryline. Oisin O Cuill then profited from some excellent support play when he took a pop from Thomas Grant to dot down under the posts. The home team scored a well worked try on the stroke of half time to leave the score at 10 - 24 at the interval. The introduction of Ben Howlett after the break made an immediate impact when he dummied past a defender on half way and brushed off a couple more attempted tackles on the way to the line. He notched his second try soon after and continued to provide some excellent go forward ball for the rest off the half. Karmon Fitzgerald was next to score when he pounced on a loose ball and used his pace to leave the defence trailing in his wake. The scoring was wrapped up when some excellent offloading put Conor Lowen through a gap and into the 22. He was tackled just short of the line but Eimhin Conroy and Larry Kelly were on hand to combine and send Jack Banahan over. Final score CBC Monkstown 10 - 50 Newbridge College
Other Result: Eller B 49 CBC Monkwtown 5.
Senior 1st Beat Loreto on the Green to Progress to the Leinster Plate Quarter Final!
On the 8th of February the Newbridge College Senior 1st Team travelled to their home grounds in Naas to face the mighty Loreto on the Green in the 1st round of the Leinster Plate. It was a chilly February evening as the girls warmed up in anticipation for the showdown. The game began sharp at 5pm with a Loreto passback. The first opening ten minutes involved an excellent show of communication between the Newbridge girls. A strong midfield line-up of Nessa Briody, Louise Scully and Emily Higgins resulted in some impressive loop runs to confuse the Loreto side. Sarah Henry in left back coped superbly under pressure from a very persistent Loreto right forward. Sarah Kearin worked a very different game over in right back position, using her signature sprints and chases up the sideline. Using the Loreto pressure to her advantage she won many sideline balls, constantly working up to right mid Emily Higgins and right forward Aisling Lawler. This was the highest tension of a first half the girls had experienced all season, with both teams desperate for an early goal. The defence worked tirelessly with Ciara Conaty in goals recording some amazing saves, without which the team would be have been doomed. She was aided by Kate Scully in centre back and Captain Sarah Coller as sweeper who took some superb hit outs respectively. The Newbridge placing was on point, resulting in the girls winning majority possession. However it was only to be repeatedly intercepted by the Loreto side and unfortunately resulted in a late goal in the last 15 minutes of the first half.
The second half saw both teams coming out fighting, but the underdogs Newbridge had regrouped in the half time break and clearly wanted this win more than the experienced Loreto side. After an evenly matched first half both teams picked up the pace. Loreto utilised their strong right side again on the attack while Newbridge saw some switching up in the forward line. However Loreto were now consistently positioning forwards in discreet far corners of the Newbridge circle, which was nevertheless guarded by Eleanor Younge centre back who had subbed on for Kate Scully. Suffering a bad knock to the hand she persevered and the pressure of the game reversed till Newbridge were suffocating the Loreto defenders. Anna McDonald in right forward performed excellently with some fantastic escapes under pressure, leading to a release to left midfielder Nessa Briody. A swift link up with Caoimhe Murphy resulted in a beautiful shot right into the left corner of the Loreto goal. The jubilation and relief was palpable as coach Sandra Whelan breathed a sigh of relief. The Newbridge team had equalised and dominated play in the Loreto half until the full time whistle.
The first draw of the Leinster Plate resulted in a few moments of confusion as the Loreto referee phoned the Leinster Administrator to confirm a new rule in this particular situation. A captains call was made after which Coller informed the team that the match was now to be played as a ‘silver goal’ game. This means 5 extra minutes are played and if there is no score then another 5 minutes is played. The teams were given 5 minutes to regroup and decide on a game plan. The Newbridge girls used all their ammunition in the first half, but both sides experienced a frustrating back and forth play. This resulted in a nil all result and an extra 5 minutes. These crucial 5 minutes were played with fierce adrenaline and both sides wanted the result to be settled at that moment. Some excellent saves again from Ciara Conaty resulted in another nil all result.
Now it was time for penalties. Silver goal penalties entail a one on one scenario where the attacking outfielder has 8 seconds to score against the goalie. Goalie Conaty being a former Leinster player was well experienced in this field and the team had full confidence in her. Ness Briody, Emily Higgins, Caoimhe Murphy, Sarah Henry and Kate Scully were chosen as the penalty takers. Briody stepped up first and narrowly missed. This system alternated with Conaty saving most Loreto balls. Scully missed a shot for it to be quickly compensated for by Henry, Murphy and Higgins. But the game was now even once again. Briody was called up once more and this time scored a superb corner goal. The rest of the team waited on the half way line in a nervous huddle to see if their goalie could save the day. Silence fell as the Loreto player took her shot... but had it gone in? The girls couldn’t tell, but their confusion was soon banished as Ciara Conaty came hurtling towards them with a wide grin on her face shouting ‘I saved it! I saved it!’ A Newbridge victory well deserved. Congratulations to the girls on a brilliant team effort. They look forward to the Leinster Plate Quarter Finals to be played the second week back after midterm holidays, all support welcome.
Congratulations to Hannah Quinn (TY) on being chosen to represent Ireland in Modern Pentathlon in the UK in March. There are competitors coming from all over Europe for this competition in Hartpury on 9th March 2013. Her disciplines are Show Jumping, Fencing, Swimming, Laser Pistol Shooting & Running.