The Senior firsts had their first home game of the new season on Wednesday against Ard Scoil Ris of Limerick.
A tough, physical test was expected and this proved to be the case. The first half saw both sides take each other on up front and the breakdown was hotly contested. Charlie Ryan’s kick through saw him battle shoulder to shoulder with the Ard Scoil full-back as the ball crossed the try line. The Ard Scoil player just touched down ahead of Ryan for a 22 dropout. It would be tit-for-tat for most of the half and both sides had their chances to score but it would be Ryan, with a penalty, who separated the teams at halftime. The second half saw no let up in the physical contest with some very good rucking and counterrucking and some tackles which were probably still being felt on Thursday. Following some good forward work, the ball came to the backs and Ryan spotted a gap in the Ard Scoil line. Through he went and despite the efforts of a couple of defenders he dotted down. Ryan converted his own try to make it 10 nil to the College. The College could have stretched their lead with Dan O’Loughlin, Graham Burns and Ed Wynne all coming very close to scoring tries. Ard Scoil kept pushing and although they came close on a few occasions it looked like it would not be their day. Into the last play Ryan capped a very good performance with a chip over the on-rushing defensive line, rounded his marked and collected the ball on the second hop. He ran in from 15 metres out to score his and the College’s second try. His conversion was followed by the final whistle and it finished 17-0 to the College. Notable mention must also go to Brian Hayden.
The second Junior fixture of the season and the second convincing win! This weeks game was against a more physical bigger pack but Newbridge weathered the storm in and around the ruck area and when the backs got good possession, it usually led to a try. If it were not for a number of handling errors, Newbridge could have notched up further tries. Rob Buckley got the scoring underway not long after kickoff and before half-time, Newbridge got 3 more tries (Ciaran Callan (1) and Jake Howlett (2)) James Healy converting two of the four tries. Ard Scoil battled hard in the 22 and once came away with a converted try for their efforts. The half time score was Newbridge 24 Ard Scoil 7. While the second half didn’t produce as many scores as the first, Newbridge maintained dominance even when substitutions were made in key positions. James Healy made further impact in the second half creating a try which he converted. Jake Howlett got his 3rd try late in the game, which James also converted. Ard Scoil capitilised on a lapse in concentration by the home side to get their 2nd try of the game. The final score was Newbridge 38 Ard Scoil 12.
Finally, well done to the Ellers who beat Roscrea in a blitz by 5 games to 4