Clondalkin RFC vs Newbridge RFC – MATCH REPORT:
This top of the table clash in Division 2A of the Leinster League saw Newbridge produce a fine display of running rugby to emerge as worthy winners and take the key points. The game doubled up as a Hosie Cup semi-final with the Leinster League. The match overall was as good as it gets with both sides executing great handling and tackling skills from start to finish. Newbridge won scoring 3 tries, 4 penalties and 2 conversions to Clondalkin’s 3 tries 2 penalties and 3 conversions.
Newbridge started well and had the pressure on Clondalkin when a quick penalty saw wing forward Jeff Draper cross for a try. Clondalkin came back well and wing forward Simon King got in for a try near the posts which was converted by fullback Chris Jebb. Further Clondalkin pressure in the 18th minute saw Jebb kick a penalty from close in. In the 29th minute second row Oisin Howell burst his way over for a try near the posts following a superb touch kick from centre Karl Darragh. Outhalf Ronan Skehan converted. Danny Murphy replaced Matt Duggan at hooker on 32 minutes and Denis O’Callaghan entered the fray for injured wing forward Daniel Murphy. Clondalkin missed with a long-range penalty on 33 minutes. A key turning point was a yellow card for Clondalkin winger Niall Nolan after a high tackle. Skehan added another penalty on 38 minutes. The try of the game was scored after a good loop in the Newbridge backs which saw Karl Darragh tear up the wing to feed Robbie Browner to score in the corner. Skehan converted from the side-line. The half time score was Clondalkin 10 points to Newbridge’s 22 points.
The second half saw a vital mistake from Clondalkin outhalf for Newbridge to get a penalty in front of the posts which Skehan converted. A further Skehan penalty from close in now extended the Newbridge lead to 18 points. However, Clondalkin started their rear-guard action. A try from full back Jebb in the 49th minute which he converted. This was followed by a penalty from Jebb. A yellow card for winger Robbie Browner saw Newbridge under much pressure. However, a penalty from 27 metres out in the 70th minute saw Karl Darragh slot a further 3 points for Newbridge. Sebastian Berti replaced Ronan Skehan at outhalf. Skehan moved to full back in place of Conor Dolan. Clondalkin threw everything at Newbridge in the forwards at this stage but they were 2 scores down. They scored in the 4th minute of injury time through Jebb which he himself converted. Newbridge carried the day and are now top of the table with this win by 27 points to 31.
Best for Newbridge were team captain Ronan Mangan in the second row alongside his partner Oisin Howell while Sub Denis O’Callaghan at wing forward was a revelation with his solid tackling. Jeff Draper on the other side of the scrum was solid throughout. In the backs outhalf Ronan Skehan had a good game as did Karl Darragh and Robbie Browner.
Newbridge: Billy Gainey, Matt Duggan, Tomas Munita, Oisin Howell, Ronan Mangan (Capt), Daniel Murphy, Jeff Dreaper, Mark Doyle, Mark Delaney, Ronan Skehan, Robbie Browner, Billy Delaney, Karl Darragh, Liam Donovan, Conor Dolan. Subs: Brendan Commane, Sebastian Berti, Denny Murphy, Ritchie Berney, Denis O’Callaghan.
Clondalkin: Kevin Dunphy, Brian Doyle, John Allen Glynn, Marcus Doyle, Paul McDermott, Simon King, Karl Jebb, Eoghan Farrell, Thomas Ankers, Mikey Russell, Niall Nolan, Ben Foran, Mat Stapleton, Ryan Maher, Chris Jebb.
Newbridge are away to Railway Union in the Leinster Junior League next.