October 12, 20182:00 pm

Cill Dara RFC vs Newbridge RFC – MATCH REPORT:

This Kildare derby had all the attributes of the local rivalry at its keenest.  A good open game played at a hell for leather pace saw the fitter and well coached Newbridge side come out on top. Newbridge won with 3 converted tries to Cill Dara’s 2 tries and a penalty. Newbridge will be delighted to come away with the well deserved Leinster League points. 

From the off Newbridge took the match to Cill Dara. Superior tackling and driving saw Newbridge camped in the opposition 22 metres area but no result came from this.  Cill Dara kicked a penalty from 40 metres out in the 23rd minute to lead the game. In the 32nd minute Karl Darragh at centre for Newbridge cut through to score near the posts. Darragh converted. In the 40th minute Cill Dara had a chance to narrow the gap with a penalty from 33 yards which went narrowly wide to leave the half time score at 3 points to 7 in favour of the visitors.

In the second half the Cill Dara pack showed much more cohesion and attacked Newbridge at close quarters. Newbridge were now very much on the defensive. Cill Dara brought the reward when their backrow forward scored a disputed try in the corner. Referee Niall Behan (Portarlington) had no hesitation in awarding it despite the question of touchline being breached. Behan had a fine game and controlled the match well.  Newbridge were well on top in most of this game but were led on two occasions by a dogged Cill Dara side. 

Newbridge replaced their outhalf Ronan Skehan on 57 minutes with Sebastian Berti whose influence on the match was very effective. From a Cill Dara lineout Rory McCann came onto a ball at speed to score under the posts in the 61st minute. Karl Darragh converted to put Newbridge back into the lead. Graham Burns replaced centre Billy Delaney in the 64th minute. An intercept by the Cill Dara No. 8 saw him make good ground up the field only to be caught by winger Robbie Browner. In the 67th minute Darragh missed a kick at goal while Berti kicked another wide in the 72nd minute. Newbridge now lost their very influential captain Ronan Mangan at No. 8 who was replaced by Mark Doyle. A loose relieving kick by Berti in the 73rd minute was gathered by the Cill Dara winger who raced through to score a try in the corner. Newbridge still lead by 13 points to 14.

Matt Duggan joined the fray for hooker Ian O’Rahelly in the final minutes. Berti’s influence at outhalf saw some deft touches from him and it was his kick to touch which brought about the final Newbridge score. In the 78th minute the wayward Cill Dara throwing into the lineout was severely punished when prop Tomas Munita grabbed the ball 5 metres out and crashed over for a try. Berti converted to leave the final score at 13 to 21 for Newbridge.

Best for Cill Dara were the entire backrow who took the close-in game to Newbridge at every opportunity.  For Newbridge it was the first up tackling of wing forwards Brendan Tiernan and Jeff Dreaper that was a revelation throughout the game. Oisin Howell in the second row took the game to the opposition. In the backs the efficiency of scrum half Mark Delaney whose crisp passing set up good back moves where Karl Darragh’s incisive driving runs had Cill Dara in difficulty.     

Newbridge: Billy Gainey, Ian O’Rahelly, Tomas Munita, Oisin Howell, Rory McCann, Jeff Dreaper, Ronan Mangan (Capt), Brendan Tiernan, Mark Delaney, Ronan Skehan, Robbie Browner, Billy Delaney, Karl Darragh, Liam Donovan, Conor Dolan. Subs: Mark Doyle, Brendan Commane, Matt Duggan, Graham Burns, Sebastian Berti.

Newbridge are away to Mullingar in the Leinster Junior League on Sunday next 21st October at 3pm.