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Newbridge RFC 19 – 27 Athy RFC
Newbridge showed promise early in this fixture, winning a penalty from the first scrum of the match which forced play deep into the Athy twenty-two.
Although they failed to convert from this opportunity, they soon worked their way back into Athy territory. Carries from Scott McMullan and Cameron English provided a good attacking platform.
Strong defence from Athy forced a knock-on and they quickly worked their way into the Newbridge half, forcing a penalty which they kicked to touch.
From the resulting lineout, they launched a strike play which sucked in the Newbridge defence, allowing Billy Doyle a clean run into the right-hand corner.
Both teams showed promise in the following exchanges but Newbridge were next to score. Adam Larkin-Smithers finished strongly in the corner after some good Newbridge pressure.
Newbridge began to come into their own in both attack and defence, as they withstood heavy pressure from Athy close to their own line.
A great break from Scott McMullan, linking with Gavin Houlihan and Brendan Commane saw Newbridge set up an attacking platform deep inside the Athy twenty-two.
Good attacking pressure resulted in a penalty five yards from the Athy line. Cameron English barrelled over from a quick tap. Michael Ugochukwu added the conversion to leave the score 12 – 5 to Newbridge at the break.
Newbridge enjoyed a great start to the second half as centre Ruan Watts took the ball inside his own half and beat multiple defenders to score a superb try on debut.
At 19 – 5 down, Athy began to come back into the match, applying pressure deep inside Newbridge territory, eventually creating an overlap for Tom Glynn to score in the corner.
The deficit was soon reduced to two points with Aaron Rowan crashing over from short range after a series of hard carries close to the Newbridge line.
Athy continued to dominate possession and territory as the second half continued. They eventually took the lead with a penalty in front of the Newbridge posts with seven minutes remaining.
From there, the visitors tightened their grip on the match, eventually scoring another try through Aaron Rowan, to take the final score to 27 – 20.
Newbridge – Brendan Commane, Conor Spratt, Dan Jennings (Captain), Jack Moore, Killian Buckley, Cameron English, Max McLoughlin, Scott McMullan, Kevin Commane, Jack Duffy, Gavin Houlihan, Karmon Fitzgerald, Ruan Watts, Paidi Davies, Adam Larkin-Smithers, Stuart Keogh, Connall Sharkey, Fergal O’Grady, Adam Bingham, Declan Tougher, Tom Rynne, Michael Ugochukwu, Conor O’Brien
Athy – Gavin Doyle, Stephen Gray, Teodor Ciobanu, Seán Donohoe, Niall Dunne, Aaron Rowan, William Hendy, Tag Foley (Captain), Eoin Farrell, Craig Miller, Tom Glynn, Dylan Connelly, Tony Martin, Billy Doyle, James Harris, Graham O’Shaugnessy, Tom Sheedy, Kieran Ring, Ryan Hogg, Jack Henry