Newbridge College made it through to the Leinster League semi final on Wednesday with a convincing victory over King’s Hospital.
Newbridge got off to a poor start conceding an early penalty and finding themselves 3-0 down after 5 minutes. However Newbridge were to take control for the rest of the half. Tries from Johnny Deane and Gavin Burke left the score board a more comfortable 14-3 after twenty minutes. The most decisive moment of the match however came just after Burke’s try. Danny Murphy did will to pick off the back of a ruck, beat two defenders, fix the full back and then gave the off-load to a grateful Dylan Walker to score the simplest of tries. A King’s Hospital try just before half time left it 21-8 at the break. It was to be the final score for King’s Hospital. The boys from Dublin tried manfully in the second half and used their large pack well but they could not cross the Newbridge white wash. In part due to some great defending from the Newbridge pack led by Colm Stapleton and Geoff Flanagan. Further tries from Gavin Burke and a late solo effort from Ruairi Clearly left the final score 35-8 to Newbridge College. Best on the day for Newbridge were Ciaran Fletchmore, Danny Murphy, Geoff Flanagan and Man of the Match Gavin Burke with 23 points.
Senior 1st’s 22 Wesley 16
The Senior 1sts completed the group stages of the League this week with a home game against Wesley College. Previous results suggested this was not going to be an easy end to the group stages for the College and so it proved. A nerve jangler for the coaches but an exciting game for the neutral was in store. It didn’t disappoint! Poor securing of the kickoff saw the College put themselves under pressure and as they moved towards their own try line they gave up an early penalty which Wesley duly converted to go three points up with just two minutes on the clock. A nervy College side, suffering from some late withdrawals from the squad through illness, slowly started to use their possession to their own benefit and but for some tight Wesley defence could have wiped out the Dublin-side’s lead on a number of occasion. But the College would have to wait until 18 minutes in when Joe Darcy, following a slick move involving both forwards and backs, crossed for a try. He made the most of his pace and the space out wide to round the Wesley defence. Unfortunately, he could not add the extras. The home side were growing into this game but they could not pull away. Some sloppy play gave Wesley position in the College half and a needless penalty gave Wesley another three points. This focussed the College and they used the forwards wisely to gain good field position. Strong breaks from Jonathan Phelan, Hugh O’Donnell and Jack Briody, all members of the front row union, punched holes in the Wesley defence and tied them in. A quick ball to the backs from one such occasion and some very clever running saw Darcy arc the defence again and cross for his second on 30 minutes. The conversion was missed. There would be no more scoring in the half but only thanks to a clever tackle from Richard Dromgoole Maguire. With time running out in the first half, Wesley broke the College defensive line and had crossed the try line but Dromgoole Maguire managed to wrap up the attacker and keep him from grounding the ball. The College went into the break 10-6 up.
The second half saw the College set the tone and really work the Wesley defence. And when they didn’t have the ball the College were working hard to repel Wesley attacks and recapture the ball. In particular, Matt O’Connor and Oisin McKnight were a continual thorn in Wesley’s side at the breakdown. Some good work by these two and a well placed penalty saw the College into the Wesley 22. Here Phelan collected the ball and ran. Despite having a number of defenders in close attention he stayed on his feet and drove on. Wesley were powerless to stop him and he powered over the line for a well deserved try on 42 minutes. Darcy slotted over the conversion. But once again the College failed to pull away and Wesley came knocking again. First their out-half and then their first centre ran hard to make valuable yards and put them deep into the College 22. Following a couple of ‘pick and go’s’ they popped the ball from the bottom of the ruck to an attacker who hit the line at pace and broke through to score a try which was easily converted from under the posts on 50 minutes. Back came the College and again, with another quality display of forward and back phase play, the found space out wide. With the day that was in it, who else but Darcy was there to exploit it and complete his hat-trick on 53 minutes. Wesley came out fighting and just three minutes later forced the College to concede another needless penalty to cut the deficit to six. This was going to be a tight last ten. As the game moved into the latter stages the College seemed to have more in the tank and a more controlled game saw them take charge. Suddenly it was Wesley giving up the needless penalties. Luckily for them they were outside kicking distance. But the College used them wisely to keep the visitors inside their own half. With five to go Mark Sutton stepped up to have a shot at goal with one of these penalties. An admirable effort drifted just to the right of the posts but the College were still deep in the Wesley half. They controlled both defence and attack well for the final minutes and saw out the remainder of the game to secure a 22-16 bonus point win. A pretty solid performance from all but special mention must also go to Mark Sutton and Andrew Shanahan.
TY 1st’s 20 Castleknock 3
Our TYs entertained Castleknock in the league on Wednesday. Newbridge started poorly and even though they kicked an early penalty, they allowed Castleknock get into the game. However Newbridge defended well and eventually got themselves going. Once we had upped our level of application, we scored a great team try, finished off by Morgan Mooney. A second try through Rob Buckley quickly followed after an excellent break by the centre. Jimmy O'Brien converted for a 15:0 lead. Castleknock replied with a penalty to leave the halftime score 15:3.
Newbridge came out a much better team in the second half and showed the skills which have kept them unbeaten this season. While this wasn’t transfered into points, Newbridge controlled most facets of the game. Mark Delaney sealed the win with a great break away try from halfway to leave the final score 20:3.
Inter A’s V Blackrock
Newbridge College Inter A’s had a very tough outing away to a very strong Blackrock side Wednesday last. The writing was on the wall from the second minute of the game when Blackrock crossed for their first try. Although the final score showed Blackrock’s dominance on this particular day there was some extremely good individual performances on the Newbridge side as well as some strong and controlled passages of play. Cian Murphy was the outstanding player for Newbridge on the day with Darragh Ryan, Tom Connolly and Ben Caulifield also featuring strongly. The final score finished Blackrock 69 Newbridge 0.
Inter B’s V Blackrock
The Inter Bs suffered a heavy defeat away to Blackrock. The game began with a try for Blackrock before Newbridge settled. From then on, some of the Newbridge players put up spirited resistance in defence and did their best with ball in hand. However Blackrock played with greater consistency and teamwork, and pulled away from Newbridge in the second half. In situations like that you see who are the top players. Peter Doyle, Captain for the day, had a tremendous game, leading by example and never once letting the head drop. He showed a commitment to the jersey which you need in adversity. In the backs Calum Burke again played with strong commitment and tried hard to make the breakthrough. Players who showed up well at times were Paschal Thompson, Jack Travers, Simon Hore, Enda Mc Sweeney, Stephen Murphy and Alex Pocock.
Inter C’s V Blackrock
Inter C’s played Blackrock away on Wednesday the 21st. They were beaten on a score line of 36-14. Newbridge went 7-0 down in the opening 10 minutes as a result of a converted try by Blackrock. However, Newbridge bounced back in good style to be leading at the break to a score line of 7-14 to Newbridge. Tries by James Sutton and Andrew Sweeney, respectively, were both converted by Enda Dowling who was on form. James was unlucky not to get in for his second try of the day but was tackled just shy of the try line. This would have topped off a good half by Newbridge. Unfortunately, this was as good as it caught for Newbridge. On the resumption of the 2nd half Blackrock scored a quick try which was converted and pushed on to score a further two tries and see the game out. Good performances, particularly in the first have came from Niall Stapleton at full back, Matthew Nugent and Enda Dowling.
Eller A 15 Willow Park 17
The Eller As faced a tough away trip to Willow Park looking to build on their recent run of good form. The home side started the game strongly and retained the ball through several phases, building pressure on the Newbridge defence. Some excellent tackling kept Willow at bay until their dangerous centre danced through the midfield to score under the posts. The hosts added another try before half time, when their forwards drove over from a five metre lineout. The Newbridge team came out fighting in the second period and Greg O Neill was unlucky to have two tries disallowed before Ben Howlett sent him over to open the visitors account. Willow replied almost immediately to regain their 12 point advantage. The Newbridge team dominated the remaining 20 minutes with Thomas Grant, Larry Kelly and Dylan Morrissey taking the fight to the home pack. A grandstand finish was set up when Eimhin Conroy squirmed over from close range after excellent play from Karmon Fitzgerald to leave a score between the teams. Newbridge came back looking for the equalizer and drove into Willow territory, winning a scrum five metres from the line. Ben Howlett sent Jack Banahan over down the shortside. Unfortunately the conversion fell short, leaving the final score at Willow Park 17 - 15 Newbridge
Eller C's 34 – Willow Park 26
The Eller C's had a great win against Blackrock. They scored 6 tries in total and converted 2 of them. The final score was Newbridge 34 - Blackrock 26. Best for Newbridge were Evin Magee, Lorcan O Sullivan, Alex Power and Tomas Scully.
Other Results: TY 2nds 15 CBC Monkstwon 10; Eller B 7 Willow Park 57.
Result Minor B 1-1 Newpark
Well done to our U17 Boys Soccer team who drew with the P.B.S. Newbridge 3:3 in their first midlands league match.