In 1943, during a conversation between the Commandant of the Military College, the Prior of Newbridge College and the Rector of Clongowes Wood College, the Trianugular Competition as it is today, was first sugested. Prior to this the three institutions competed at football only and it was felt that the competition should be extended to include other forms of sport.
Hence on 30 April, 1944 the first competition was held and since then it has taken place without fail, with only minor changes in format. The competition now includes sports such as Golf, Gaelic Football, Soccer, Swimming, Athletics and Basketball.
Congratulations to all involved in this year’s Newbridge College Triangular Squad who won the event for the first time since 1985. This is an event in its 68th year, which is held between Newbridge College, Clongowes and the Cadet School across six different sports. Below is a report on this year’s event:
This year’s tournament began with the 11 a side Gaelic Football event. First up was Cadets versus Clongowes. A strange first half saw both teams going for goals rather than points and while the Cadets opened up a 2 goal lead, Clongowes hit back with three of their own. The second half remained tight but Clongowes held on for a 3:5 to 2:2 win. We played the Clane school next in what turned out to be a very entertaining game. In a very even first half we were made to regret missed opportunities only scoring 3 points from a hat full of chances. While Clongowes scored a goal before half time to lead 1:2 to 0:3. The second half however was a different story with Newbridge taking control. Peter Osbourne scored 4 points (6 in all), Ian Mulligan got 2 before Chris Healy scored a great goal to put the result beyond doubt. Conor O’Hehir and John Jennings also scored in a 1:11 to 3:2 victory. We were straight back into action in the final game against the Cadets next, knowing that a win or a draw would be enough to win the event. This turned out to be the tightest of the three games. We were a point down at half time by 1:2 to 1:1. Peter Osbourne with a point and Ben O’Connor with a great goal. The second half was also close but further points from Osbourne, O’Connor and Ian Mulligan saw us home by 1:5 to 1:2. Apart from those already mentioned, others to impress were Charlie Kings, Ian Mulligan and Matthew Stapleton but the squad as a whole played very well. A big thank you also goes to Mr Evesson for coaching the team to victory. This meant that after one event the standings were: Newbridge 15 Clongowes 12 Cadets 9.
The following day was the busiest day of this year’s competiton with three events taking place. It started in the Naas Pool with the swim event. We knew we were up against it in this event as Clongowes have two national standard swimmers in their ranks. We did however manage to take second in three of the four individual races thanks to Michael Healion and Aisling Wyer. We also took second in the relay with Emma Jane Vaughan, Jake Howlett and Joe Murphy all doing well. This meant that Clongowes won the swimming, with Newbridge second and the Cadets third. Many thanks to K Leisure and everyone in Naas Pool for their assistance in running the swimming event. Standings after two events: Newbridge 21 Clongowes 21 Cadets 12.
Next up was the basketball event which started with Newbridge v Clongowes. We were always in control of this game as Clongowes had no answer to our outside shooting game. We led 8:2 at the break and eventually won by 18 points to 4. Conor O’Hehir was in fine form scoring 12 points which included 2 3-pointers. Emma Jane Vaughan weighted in with 4 points and Rebecca O’Sullivan scored 2. Next we faced the Cadets who fielded a very tall physical team. We had problems trying to defend them but still led by 6 points to 3 at the break thanks to 3-pointers from O’Hehir and Vaughan. In the second half however, the Cadets managed to shut down our outside game and then scored a few points of their own to win 9:6. Thanks go to Mr Cash and Ms Mahon who coached our basketball team. In the final game, the Cadetes beat Clongowes 7:2, which meant that the standings after three events were: Newbridge 30 Clongowes 27 Cadets 24.
The final event of the day was the Soccer and started with Cadets v Clongowes. A goal in each half saw the Cadets home 2:0. It was then our turn to play the Clane School in what turned out to be the game of the evening. We led by a goal to nil at the break thanks to a neat Dean Reid finish. In the second half we extended our lead when Reid broke clear and beat the keeper with his shot, only to see it come back off the upright. Thankfully the ball fell to David ODwyer who smashed the ball home from close range... just! Clongowes hit back a few minutes later which set up a tense final five minutes. Thankfully, we held our nerve and Mick Donoghoe secured the win with a great finish from the edge of the area. This set up a mini final between Newbridge and the Cadets. Once again like in the Gaelic, this was a very tight affair with both teams defending very well and trying to get the upper hand. But it was to be our night and Mick Donoghoe was on hand again to stick in the winner and give us victory in the Soccer event. Other to stand out in the Soccer were Cian O’Brien and Michael Norris. Huge thanks also go to Mr Pat Maher our soccer coach who spent the day preparing the pitch for the event, lining it, dressing it and even painting the goal posts, which made the pitch look worthy of any game. Standings after four events: Newbridge 42 Clongowes 33 Cadets 33.
The golf took place on the morning of the final day of competition and was played at Newbridge Golf Club. We knew that ourselves and Clongowes had similar strength teams so this was going to be close on the tough 18 hole course. Three of four cards were to count and we had the best two cards of the day with both Conor O’Hehir and Cathal Gorman scorings 36 points each. When the final points were added up the scores were Newbridge 105, Clongowes 96 and Cadets 94. This gave us the win in the golf event so well done to our team which also included James Tighe and Eoin O’Hehir. Many thanks to Newbridge G.C. for the use of their fine course. Standings after five events: Newbridge 51 Clongowes 39 Cadets 36.
This meant that we took a commanding lead into the all important Athletics event knowing that even a second place finish would be enough to win the Triangular competition outright. This was a great boost knowing that usually Clongowes have the upper hand in the track and field events. However we also knew that the Cadets were and extremely strong and physically fit group who could spoil our day by beating us into third position. On the other hand, we also knew that this year we had quite a strong athletics team so we were certainly not going into the competition hoping to just hang on to second place. In fact the opposite was the case as the group set about showing that this year’s success would also include the Athletics event. We started really well with Darragh McConville and Phil O’Neill finishing 1st and 2nd in the 100m. Meanwhile in the field Finnian Logan got 3rd place in the Shot Putt with Clongowes 1st and 2nd while Gearoid Ryan got 2nd in the High Jump with Clongowes 1st and the Cadets 3rd. Next up on the track was the 400m and Eoin Murphy and Niall Delahunt stormed home to take 1st and 2nd for Newbridge. Back in the field Clongowes took the Long Jump with Darragh McConville 2nd for Newbridge. And then Ciaran O’Neachtain won the Javelin with Clongowes again 2nd and 3rd. The final individual track race was the 1500m and Micahel Healion ran a great race to win with Finnian Logan coming in 3rd. So going into the final races, the two relays, the Atheltics event was still up for grabs between Newbridge and Clongowes who were on 22 and 18 respectively. In the 4 x 100m, we took an early lead and never looked back with McConville and O’Neill joined by Billy Delaney and Eoin Rafter to take 1st place. This confirmed our victory in Athletics but to put icing on the cake our 4 x 400m team also took the win, the team being made up of Murphy, Delahunt, Logan and Healion. A huge thank you goes to coach Brian Dowling who spent Tuesday and Wednesday preparing our track and field facilities for the event. And also Mr Mangan and Ms Mahon for their help in preparing the team and officiated on the day, along with Mr Newsome and Mr Corbett. Final scores in the Athletics: Newbridge 34 Clongowes 24 Cadets 8.
This left the final standings for this year’s Triangular Competition as follows: Newbridge 69 Clongowes 51 cadets 42. As so for the first time since 1985, Newbridge College won the Triangular which was a tremendous achievement for all of the coaches and competitors who took part. Congratulations to you all on a job well done from start to finish.
The Competition will be hosted this year by Newbridge College. Details of event times and locations may be viewed in the online calendar of school events when they become available.