Senior 1st 20 Roscrea 15
The Senior 1st XV headed to Portarlington RFC to take on Roscrea in the League semi-final on Wednesday.
With both teams playing out a 21-17 game in the pool stages this was expected to be a tight one and so it proved. The College received the kick off and set up for their first attack. They made good yards in the early minutes and the early pressure earned them a penalty just three minutes in. Robbie Mullen stepped up but pushed the ball past the near post. Roscrea kicked long into the College half and the physically bigger side started to apply pressure of their own. The College moved the ball well through the hands but a solid Roscrea defensive line kept them a distance from their opponent’s line. Roscrea kicked a penalty to the corner and tried to maul over the College tryline but the College forwards defended well to keep them at bay. Roscrea continued to attack down the left but as the College repelled another forward drive they kicked cross field and the right winger, who had stayed wide, collected the kick and Joe Darcy and Niall Delahunt couldn't get to him before he touched down on 9 minutes. The conversion was missed. Frustrated by this the College refocused and again both forwards and backs used the ball cleverly and forced another penalty at the breakdown. This was kicked to the corner and from the resulting lineout, with a training ground move, Hugh O'Donnell crashed over for the College's first try on 14 minutes. Mullen missed the conversion. The game continued to ebb and flow and both sides had time on the ball but were both foiled by a combination of good defence and poor ball retention. Roscrea missed their next scoring opportunity as their kicker pushed a penalty to the right of the posts on 21 minutes. But the College had settled into the game now and were playing the better rugby. The immense pressure from the forwards, with all eight putting in a real shift, forced a number of breakdown penalties. One of these led to a lineout where again Roscrea offended and Mullen slotted it over for the College to take the lead on 27 minutes. Jonathan Phelan and O'Donnell were scrummaging and carrying well, Oisin McKnight and Tom Brady caused havoc at the breakdown, Jack Briody and Richard Dromgoole Maguire were fighting well for loose ball and Tom Treacy and Cormac Nugent were working well in the lineout. Mullen worked hard at the breakdown, Mark Sutton moved the ball well, Jack O'Neill and Jake Howlett ran some impressive attacking and dummy lines and the back three of Darcy, Delahunt and Patrick Kyne dealt superbly with the high ball. But the College were dealt a real blow just before halftime as their captain, Brady, had to retire early with what looked to be a broken nose. As the half drew to a close it was clear that the break would only favour Roscrea. Despite having the lions-share of possession the College just could penetrate the Roscrea defence far enough to add to their total and at half time the score was 8-5 to the College.
The second half started very badly for the College. An inability to control a loose ball and a missed fly-kick saw the ball bobble towards the line. A slip saw Roscrea round the College defence and touchdown under the post just seconds into the half. A short restart saw Roscrea attack from the centre of the park and they used their superior bulk to pick and drive their way towards the College line. Despite the best efforts of the College, they crossed in the corner to cap a disastrous first five minutes of the second half and with the first try converted Roscrea led 17-8 with 40 minutes on the clock. The College dug deep and showed great heart and some much needed fight on the restart. Three line breaks, by Darcy, O'Donnell and the last by Matt O'Connor, saw O'Connor run through the Roscrea defence and run in from 15 metre out to score on 43 minutes. Mullen converted to put the College just two points behind. The College were seeing more of the ball but were not using it as efficiently as they had earlier in the game and some passes went astray and penalties were given up at the breakdown. Roscrea defended well and as the time ticked away the College were becoming frustrated by their lack of territory in the 'red zone'. The introduction of pace in the form of Chris Healy didn't get the results that had been hoped despite his best efforts to find a way through the Roscrea backline. As the College tried to play out of their own half they committed a penalty for holding on. On 61 minutes Roscrea extended their lead by three points. Roscrea enjoyed time in possession in the latter stages of the game but the College fought hard to ensure they didn't cross their line again. Success was the College's but they were just metres from their own line. They pushed their way to their 10-metre line but a knock-on was followed by the fulltime whistle and the College suffered a 20-15 defeat. A tough day for the College where they came out on the wrong end of a result in a thrilling game for the neutral.
TY 1st’s 12 Belvedere College 12
The TY’s entertained Belvedere in the semi final of this year’s TY League. We started poorly and were guilty of some handling errors early on. Belvedere settled much better and took a deserved try when they broke clear to score in the corner. This seemed to ignite the fire in the Newbridge engine and when Jimmy O’Brien and Oisin Kelly combined to execute an excellent choke tackle, the tide in the game turned. O’Brien missed a penalty, but the same player made up for it when he scored an excellent individual try after getting quick ball off the top of a lineout. He also converted for a 7:5 half-time lead. The second half was a real battle between two teams who were playing well. O’Brien missed another penalty attempt but like the first half, this singled an upsurge in Newbridge’s play. Rob Buckley crashed over for an excellent try which involved almost all of the team in the build up. But Belvedere did not lay down and in fact finished much the stronger, scoring a great try off a lineout and maul. This left the score 12:10 with time running out. And their place-kicker showed excellent skill in draining the touchline conversion to draw the teams level. Both teams had half chances to score at the end but neither managed to convert, leaving this semi-final to be decided another day. Final score 12:12.
Inter A v Castleknock
With injuries and absents a weakened Newbridge College Inter A team took on a strong Castleknock side yesterday at home. It was really a game of two halves for Newbridge. Newbridge never really got out of the blocks in the first half conceding three tries, two of which were in the opening ten minutes. Newbridge regrouped at half time and refocused their efforts. The second half was a superb spectacle with the two teams very evenly matched. The commitment and intensity by every single one of the Newbridge boys was clear to be seen. Ewan Morrin crossed for Newbridge from a well worked team try but unfortunately Newbridge conceded a try in the last five minutes. Standout performances by Rob Wynne, Peter Doyle, Patrick Ryan, Ewan Morrin, Tom Connolly and a very busy Ben Caulifield.
Inter B v Castleknock
The Newbridge Inter B team, also affected by injuries, started very well against a bigger Castleknock team. The home side had most of the ball and pitch position for the first half but couldn't make it count on the scoreboard. Liam Callanan, new to out half got the ball out to his back line and Cian Murphy and Pascal Thompson did their best to break the gainline. In the final 10 minutes of the first half, Castleknock got a try against the run of play and this seemed to break the spirit of the Newbridge side. Play became frantic and while individuals tried hard, team play suffered. Alex Pocock and Ruairi Dawson did well in defence and Andrew Dempsey was the back that threatened the most with his direct running. Thoe Hovenden Kelly worked hard at the breakdown. The final score was 12 - 29. Scores for Newbridge came from Andrew Demsey and Calum Burke (a try each) and a conversion from Liam Callanan.
Inter C v Castleknock
The Inter C team went down to a heavy defeat by Castleknock, despite the valiant efforts of a few players. Niall Thompson was outstanding in his leadership as captain and particularly in defense, making every effort to lift the team. James Sutton scored a try after some good teamwork, which showed what could have been achieved, despite the team being weakened through injuries. There were a couple of other good phases of play where Newbridge were unlucky not to score. But overall it was a disappointing game.
Eller A 85 C.U.S. 5
The Eller As travelled to Bird Avenue last Wednesday to take on a physically imposing CUS team. The freezing conditions made no impact on the quality of rugby played as we got off to a scintillating start courtesy of quickfire tries from Thomas Grant and Ben Howlett. The Newbridge pack tore into the hosts in both attack and defence, giving the backs an excellent platform to work from. Further first half tries from Karmon Fitzgerald and Conor Lowen along with more scores from the irrerepressible Grant and Howlett left the score at 47 - 0 at half time. The second half was a similar story as Howlett and Grant took their personal tallies to 5 and 4 respectively. Larry Kelly was rewarded for his superb support play when he got on the end of a flowing team move to add another name to the scoresheet before Ross Fallon crossed for our final try of the game. CUS had the last word when their excellent centre broke through some tired Newbridge tackling to leave the score at 85 - 5 to the visitors. Others to stand out for Newbridge on the day were Oisin O Cuill who worked tirelessly up front and Dylan Morrissey who left a trail of destruction everytime he carried the ball or cleaned out a ruck.
Other Results: TY 2nd’s 7 Terenure 2nd’s 24; Eller B 45 C.U.S. 19; Eller C1 60 C.U.S. 5; Eller C2 55 C.U.S. 0.
JUNIOR DOMINATE WITH TWO WINS
Junior A 5 Santa Sabina 0
The junior A’s stood to face an equally strong team of a fellow Dominican school, Santa Sabina. Although from the start the girls in black dominated, their opposition posed as a threat by making a few early breaks and putting into practice the Newbridge keeper, Begley. The Juniors persisted and a patient attack finished with a goal from Scully from the position of centre forward and Hannon, an impact sub. As the half time whistle sounded both teams retuned with a determined attitude testing the superb defensive skills of Mahon, Murphy, Tutty-Bardon, Hannon and the later introduced Dwyer. A solo break from the half way line brought forth a second goal for Scully. Continuous distribution and vital decision making of the midfield line of Briody, Crowe and O'Neill held the persistent positive attack allowing Scully through to complete a hatrick. Further great play from both wing forwards including a pass from Corless to Hannon resulting in the fifth and final goal of the match. A well deserved win by the girls and their coach Gavin Grimes.
Newbridge Junior B 1 Loreto Beaufort 0
After the narrow 1-0 loss last week against Sion Hill with their best performance of the season to date, the Junior B team trumped it and went one better against Loreto Beaufort this week. The Junior’s were quickly into their stride and controlled the game with excellent passing and movement off the ball. The back 4 of Eleanor Walsh, Megan O’Neill, Mairead Murphy and Niamh Disney were solid throughout and instrumental in starting the attacks by linking up brilliantly with the midfield of Jenna Brannock, Sarah Barrett and Niamh Crowe with clever and creative passes. With all the players constantly looking to create width and balance to the their play and stretch the opposition. Our debutant goalie Carrie-Ann Channon was called into action on 3 occasions and on each occasion saved and cleared the ball like a veteran. The forwards of Katie Tracey, Martha McGarry and Ciara Cross were busy throughout and between them won the short corner that lead to the decisive goal scored by the captain Mairead Murphy. Certainly the Junior B’s most mature hockey performance of the season and a well deserved victory. Mr Falvey their coach felt Xmas had come early with a performance like that!! Well done girls.
Senior B Muckross College PP
The Senior B’s were geared up for a challenging match versus Muckross College at home on Wednesday. They battled to keep the scoreline 0-0 until the half-time whistle blew. However at half-time the match was called off due to severe frost and the girls did not get to finish their very promising game. Well done to all and the match shall be rescheduled to a further date.
The scheduled Minor B and Minor C matches were also called off due to severe ice on the pitches. These games will be rescheduled for a later date.