February 16, 20203:00 pm

Newbridge RFC vs North Kildare RFC – MATCH REPORT:

Despite the wintry conditions and a strong wind, it was Newbridge who played their best rugby all year. IT was an open-ended game where Newbridge were under pressure early on but their superior fitness throughout this game saw them come from behind to hold all the aces in the second half. Newbridge won by scoring 5 tries with 2 converted to North Kildare’s 3 tries with 2 converted.

The match swung from end to end in the first half. Winger Stephen Cooke got over in the 6th minute in the corner after a good bit of early Newbridge pressure. North Kildare now piled on the pressure at the other end and their superior scrum drove on for them to be awarded a penalty try in the 19th minute. In the 24th minute the North Kildare right winger gathered a ball on the halfway and chipped his opposite number to score in the corner. The match now was very much in the balance until another period of Newbridge pressure coming up to the break saw scrum half Mark Delaney get over for a well merited try. Full back Donal Cashman converted to leave it at 12 points each at the break.

Newbridge playing into a strong wind got off to a great start as centre Billy Delaney crossed in the 43rd minute with Karl Darragh converting. Newbridge now opened up play and left winger Stephen Cooke got in for another try in the 51st minute for the try bonus point to leave it at 24 pints to 12. Darragh had come on at full back for Donal Cashman and Colin Campbell replaced Billy Delaney a outhalf. In the 62nd minute North Kildare got a break away and scored a converted try. However, Newbridge were in full flow and their wide play and good offloading of the ball saw right winger Eimhin Conroy get over the line in the 69th minute.

Best for Newbridge we centre Denis Clarke whose trusts in midfield were superb. The introduction of Campbell in the second half brought solidity and sound rugby from the Newbridge backs. In the forwards Idris Rqibi in the second row was powerful and he was ably assisted by Pierce Dargan at number 8. Conor Gleeson at wing forward was first to every break down.

Newbridge: Paddy Commane, Will Jennings, Brendan Commane, Scott McMullan, Idris Rqibi, Conor Gleeson, Jeff Draper (Capt), Pierce Dargan, Mark Delaney, Paul McDonald, Stephen Cooke, Billy Delaney, Denis Clarke, Emhin Conroy, Donal Cashman. Subs: Cameron English, Brian Kelly, Ronan Mangan, Karl Darragh, Colin Campbell.

Referee: Jason Teehan LBIRFU

Newbridge have still to play a postponed away match against Mullingar.